I've Created a WC4 HD Video Pack

ODVS

Master Chief Petty Officer
New comparison video ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

V 1.8.0 of Topaz Video Enhance AI just dropped, so I thought I'd run one of my experiments again. The new Theia Detail model is exceptionally good at rendering fine edges from low-quality source material. Keep a keen eye on edges like shoulders and cheeks to see it really shine.

Also, I FINALLY figured out a way to use the DVD source footage while maintaining its original resolution, interlacing etc. to get a proper quality comparison. In previous examples, After Effects and Premier Pro actually improved the source footage by applying scalers and de-interlacing filters ๐Ÿ™„

 

marco999

Veteran Spaceman
Hi OVDS,

Only for my curiosity what tool you have used to convert it to 60 FPS ?

At the moment Topaz seem upscale only.

Can ypu post the setting you have used with Topaz in this test ?

The result is near the perfection, this time I don't see any artifacts that are common when using IA.

Thanks !
 

ODVS

Master Chief Petty Officer
Only for my curiosity what tool you have used to convert it to 60 FPS ?

Can ypu post the setting you have used with Topaz in this test ?

Hi @marco999 - I used DAIN-App to interpolate the extra frames :)

In Topaz VEAI, I used the Thea Detail model with the settings at (I think) 30, 50, 20. Certainly I didn't alter the settings too far from the defaults when you first select the model.

What might make a difference is that I clean up the footage a bit before I run it through Topaz VEAI using AVISynth - and I also do some extra polish after upscaling, also using AVISynth. I wrote an article with a bit more detail a while ago, which you can read here :)
 
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ODVS

Master Chief Petty Officer
New WC3 Comparison Video ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Since both DAINApp and Topaz Video Enhance AI recently received major updates, I thought I'd revisit my Wing Commander III workflow and see what improvements we could reap.

On the DAINApp side, I'm now able to increase the frame rate fourfold (from the original 15fps to a nice, modern 60fps). DAINapp does an impressive job and the scene change detection function is now far more accurate - so there are no longer any noticeable fluid transitions between jump cuts.

The new Artemis AI model in Topaz Video Enhance is also much improved. This model is especially good at cleaning up blocking and other compression artefacts in low quality footage - perfect for the CD-ROM FMV from WC3 on the Playstation.

 

ODVS

Master Chief Petty Officer
Do you think you will update the WC prophecy cutscenes ?

Hi @marco999,

I did a quick test on the Prophecy footage and it doesn't lend itself well to this kind of conversion. As @AD discovered in the past, the Prophecy DVD videos use a weird combination of progessive/interlaced/telecine footage (in some instances, the CG and live action sequences are even encoded differently within the same VOB files), which is why the CG scenes all have smooth motion but the live action sequences are occasionally choppy.

I tried using DAINapp to up one of the videos to 60fps and even hoped to use it to remove/correct any replicated frames that cause the small stutters in playback - but unfortnately it didn't work. In fact, even though the output footage technically was 60fps, it didn't really look it because that choppy playback remained, and it wasn't really an improvement over the existing 30fps footage.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Hi @marco999,

I did a quick test on the Prophecy footage and it doesn't lend itself well to this kind of conversion. As @AD discovered in the past, the Prophecy DVD videos use a weird combination of progessive/interlaced/telecine footage (in some instances, the CG and live action sequences are even encoded differently within the same VOB files), which is why the CG scenes all have smooth motion but the live action sequences are occasionally choppy.

I tried using DAINapp to up one of the videos to 60fps and even hoped to use it to remove/correct any replicated frames that cause the small stutters in playback - but unfortnately it didn't work. In fact, even though the output footage technically was 60fps, it didn't really look it because that choppy playback remained, and it wasn't really an improvement over the existing 30fps footage.
The only thing that really smoothed out the playback of the Prophecy dvd footage in my intial tests was to double the frame rate when doing the initial deinterlacing basically unfolding the fields side by side (which is basically the default for QTGMC anyway). . You do end up with duplicated frames but it's the only thing that preserves the proper motion and evens out the frame rate. You can hack the videos into CG vs live action segments and do them separately but then you still have the problem of differing frame rates. If you really want to do true 60FPS without duplicate frames then the only solution I see is somewhat labor intensive. You'd have to separate the interlaced vs telecined sections. Deinterlace/reverse-telecine each section back to their original frame rates,AI to create the extra frames, then paste them back togther. Of course if you're changing frame rates and end up off slightly this could lead to headaches when trying to match it back up to the audio track.

VOBs basically allow for variable framerates within a single file. There technically might be a way for a program to look and see what kind of frame each one is and automatically separate the files into smaller segments based on those frame rates but I would have to research this more. I'm sure you could probably do it in avisynth but that's a level of scripting beyond my abilities.
 

Tom2681

Spaceman
Hey everyone.
Long-time Wing Commander player here.

I still have my old CD-ROM versions of WC3/WC4/WCP lying around.
Thinking about buying the GOG versions just to check out ODVS' remastered clips, which look amazing.

If I've skimmed the thread correctly:
So far the videos work with the GOG version of WC4 and WCP (with some bugs for some people) but not WC3 GOG or WC3 Kilrathi Saga edition, is that correct?

Side question:
How good are the GOG versions of WC3/WC4/WCP? Do they run without issues on modern machines (W10, Ryzen 3700X CPU, Radeon RX 5700XT GPU).
The last time I played these games, Windows XP was a hot new OS...
 

Pedro

Admiral
Hey everyone.
Long-time Wing Commander player here.

I still have my old CD-ROM versions of WC3/WC4/WCP lying around.
Thinking about buying the GOG versions just to check out ODVS' remastered clips, which look amazing.

If I've skimmed the thread correctly:
So far the videos work with the GOG version of WC4 and WCP (with some bugs for some people) but not WC3 GOG or WC3 Kilrathi Saga edition, is that correct?

Side question:
How good are the GOG versions of WC3/WC4/WCP? Do they run without issues on modern machines (W10, Ryzen 3700X CPU, Radeon RX 5700XT GPU).
The last time I played these games, Windows XP was a hot new OS...

You are correct.
The GOG versions of WCP and 4 run well for me; although out of the box WC3 doesn't run particularly smoothly (KS WC3 is my preferred method to play, also if ever a DVD patch was added to WC3 it'd undoubtedly be for that version).
 

ODVS

Master Chief Petty Officer
Hey everyone.
Long-time Wing Commander player here.

I still have my old CD-ROM versions of WC3/WC4/WCP lying around.
Thinking about buying the GOG versions just to check out ODVS' remastered clips, which look amazing.

If I've skimmed the thread correctly:
So far the videos work with the GOG version of WC4 and WCP (with some bugs for some people) but not WC3 GOG or WC3 Kilrathi Saga edition, is that correct?

Side question:
How good are the GOG versions of WC3/WC4/WCP? Do they run without issues on modern machines (W10, Ryzen 3700X CPU, Radeon RX 5700XT GPU).
The last time I played these games, Windows XP was a hot new OS...

Hi @Tom2681,

Many thanks for the complement!

You should find the WC4 version runs well and the HD video pack should work when you drop the replacement VOBs in place. However, some people find there's some tinkering they need to do to get the videos working properly, specifically around configuring video Codecs in Windows 10. If you find you have any issues, feel free to drop a message here and I'm sure we can point you in the right direction :^)

Prophecy never received an official DVD release - the DVD video files were hunted down by the community (the ever-resourceful @Bandit LOAF, I think) and the game was then patched to play them - so you will have to do some tinkering. If memory serves, I think you'll need to at least install HCl's DVD Movie Ugrade Patch. I'd also recommend @Pedro and Popsicle Pete's OpenGL Patch for running in modern, higher resolutions. Finally, there's @DefianceIndustries' fantastic Model Upgrade Pack, which gives a major facelift to the ships and other models in the game.

Things can get tricky when installing them all, however (hence the bugs you mentioned). From what I've been able to glean so far, it can make a difference in what order you install the above patches - but we haven't been able to nail down a best practice process yet. Again, if you have any issues, feel free to message us here - we'll try to help :^)

I'd also appreciate it if you could let us know if everything just works for you, too - it'll help us zone in on the bugs.
 

Tom2681

Spaceman
Thanks for the replies.
I'll be buying WC4/WCP soon and report back any issues/fixes.
Hopefully someone will give us a WC3 "video/DVD patch" some day.
 

ODVS

Master Chief Petty Officer
With recent improvements to Topaz Video Enhance AI's models, I thought it was finally time to attempt an upscale directly to 2160p 4K - and I have to say I'm pleased with the results.

While my previous videos have been available as 4K streams on YouTube, I rendered the actual fooage at 1080p Full HD, then used traditional bilinear scaling to double up to 4K - because YouTube uses a higher quality codec for 1440p and 2160p streams than 1080p (VP9 vs. h.264).

In this example, the footage is upscaled to native 4K (an increase of 600% in scale!) - and I think it's finally time to move to this model for the development of Wing Commander IV: Remastered.

As in previous recent uploads, I also used DAINApp to increase the frame rate to 60fps.

 

ODVS

Master Chief Petty Officer
A couple of new things to mention is this one. Firstly, as part of our efforts to improve on the base game in Wing Commander IV Remastered, I'll be fixing up any audio errors I come across - including missing dialogue. For reasons unknown, Catscratch's line "Oh my God, you're him!" (which was present in the CD-ROM release) was missing from the DVD edition of Wing Commander IV. I managed to extract it from the stereo audio of the CD-ROM release and seamlessly integrate it into the remastered version, maintaining the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound audio format. You'll have to take my word on that, given that I can only upload to YouTube in stereo - but you'll see come the final release ๐Ÿ˜

So here's the remastered version, AI upscaled to 4K UHD, 60fps HFR. I also used a new method to increase the frame rate for this video: RIFE AI. I previously used DAIN AI (Depth-Aware video frame INterpolation), but RIFE (Real-time Intermediate Flow Estimation) is new, exciting, produces fewer artefacts and most importantly (from my perspective) takes 66% less time to process.

 

ODVS

Master Chief Petty Officer
Can you share the binary of RIFE (windows) ?

Thanks !
Hi @marco999,

I've been using GRisk's RIFE-App GUI build (specifically because it saves me the bother of manually programming every batch of enhancements I want to run) - but I'm afraid that's not publicly available yet (I have early access because I'm a Patreon patron). However, if you keep an eye on that link, they should be making it public within a couple of weeks :)

Alternatively, if you'd prefer, the RIFE source code is available on GitHub here. To use it out of the box takes some technical digging (installing a Python or other CLI console for GIT commands, learning the syntax for using it via Command Line etc.) - but they also include links to some tutorials and another RIFE GUI called Flowframes that you might find useful. I haven't used Flowframes myself, but it's getting some positive buzz and (I believe) can be used to interpolate via both RIFE and DAIN.
 

ODVS

Master Chief Petty Officer
Question...

Would anyone have a list of WCIV FMV clips that include CG sequences as opposed to being entirely filmed footage?

I don't mean things like the CG backdrop in Tolwyn's office, but sequences in clips that are entirely CG (such as Seether's assault on the Amadeus in SC_0010A.VOB or the destruction of Hacker, Bob-O-Matte and Moose before entering Peleus in SC_1901A.VOB).

Ideally, I'd like a list of file names for clips that include such CGI sequences.

I have something in mind, but I'd rather not have to skim through all the footage to do it. I will if I have to, but if anyone can save me the time, you'll be my new best friend ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
 
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