Wing Commander Sprite Enhancement, Experimentation, and Information

Goliath

Rear Admiral
Thanks to the recent work of @UnnamedCharacter on the WCToolbox and previous modders that came before him, it is now possible to enhance and experiment with the sprites of various Wing Commander games. Thus, this thread will serve as a source dedicated to this experimentation as well as information about tools and techniques to create these sprites. To illustrate some examples of such experimentation, consider the following screenshots for ideas of what is possible (these images are courtesy of @UnnamedCharacter and thanks to @Howard Day for the updated Tiger's Claw sprites):

view2100.png wc_278.png wc_281.png

This thread will also serve as a companion to the following threads:

Wing Commander Toolbox
Adventures in Explorations: WC1 Edition

This thread also serves as a continuation of the sprite discussion first started in: Adventures in Explorations: WC1 Edition. This post will be updated as this thread develops to point out things of interest.

Also, to avoid confusion, I feel I should mention that I also go by the handle Music_guru.
 
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Goliath

Rear Admiral
Ah @Howard Day, thank you! You'll have to forgive me however because I goofed and was looking at the wrong sprite. This is actually the biggest sprite from the set:

tc.png

Sadly, due to my mistake, these are still slightly too big (sorry!). If you don't mind doing those renders again at 360x360, that will do the trick (technically 361x361 will also work but 360x360 might be a better resolution to scale to). Just to make sure, I double checked and I've verified that resolution will work. Sorry about that!
 
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Goliath

Rear Admiral
Sure, I'll do that now and let you know. Thanks!

EDIT: OK, a resolution of 356x356 for the cruiser will work. Thanks!
 
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FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
I'm very impressed by the efforts of upgrading WC1's sprites. :)

If you ever get around doing the same for WC2 and Privateer: Would you rather use the 3D Archive or build entirely new models?
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
It's a huge undertaking, and I'm right in the middle of mad production mode on RGO - Even replacing all the WC1 sprites...I don't have all the models. I'm missing the Raptor, the Rapier, the Krant and the Gratha - I'd have to do a lot of work just to bring them up to the level of the art shown here - and the fact is, I did this stuff 10+ years ago, the urge to further update and improve it would be immensely difficult to overcome. I'm toeing the line right now in not going off the deep end into a project that's way too big for me now. I was thinking about hand-animating better explosions for WC1, for christ sake. I'm ridiculous.
 
And here one of my pet projects was to try and do WC1 in Vision since unlimited allows us to make corvettes any size with any number of turrets...but looks like y'all got it covered. I guess i'll go back to one of the other 4 projects I'm working on. :D
 
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ShadowArm

Ensign
I'm very impressed by the efforts of upgrading WC1's sprites. :)

If you ever get around doing the same for WC2 and Privateer: Would you rather use the 3D Archive or build entirely new models?
i think that Privateer wouldn't support higher res stuff like this due to the DOS architecture

unless Stinger's magic manages to make wcdx convert the DOS binaries into windows like the old MyJEMM
 

Death Angel

Rear Admiral
It's a huge undertaking, and I'm right in the middle of mad production mode on RGO - Even replacing all the WC1 sprites...I don't have all the models. I'm missing the Raptor, the Rapier, the Krant and the Gratha - I'd have to do a lot of work just to bring them up to the level of the art shown here - and the fact is, I did this stuff 10+ years ago, the urge to further update and improve it would be immensely difficult to overcome. I'm toeing the line right now in not going off the deep end into a project that's way too big for me now. I was thinking about hand-animating better explosions for WC1, for christ sake. I'm ridiculous.
Hi Howard. I think at first it would be fine to update just the capships. Since these sprites had the same resolution as the fighters in the original game they would benefit the most. Getting close to a capship wouldn't feel like flying into a wall of colored blocks anymore - which you guys have allready proven with the updated shipfile of the Claw.
Oh, and keep up the awesome work you are doing on RGO - that looks amazing, too! Can't wait for that to come out.
 

Stinger

Vice Admiral
i think that Privateer wouldn't support higher res stuff like this due to the DOS architecture

unless Stinger's magic manages to make wcdx convert the DOS binaries into windows like the old MyJEMM
I think Privateer was already written in (mostly) 32-bit code, so these limitations may not exist.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
i think that Privateer wouldn't support higher res stuff like this due to the DOS architecture
Call me crazy, but I actually don't think Privateer warrants a resolution boost. Its sprites were already significantly bigger than WC1/2, but the game still runs at 320x200 resolution. Because of the game's overall resolution, you would only see the effects of high-res sprites when you fly right up to them. It's not worth it.


Now, on the other hand, merely importing new ships into Privateer - that's a worthy task. Who wouldn't want to see Howard's WC Pioneer project come alive in the form of a Privateer mod? :)
 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
Now, on the other hand, merely importing new ships into Privateer - that's a worthy task. Who wouldn't want to see Howard's WC Pioneer project come alive in the form of a Privateer mod? :)
I like the sound of that. :)

Inspired by Howard's renders, I've decided to take the liberty of doing some HD-renders of the original Ralatha mesh.

As you can see, the lights still need some work and the textures would profit from a rebuild.
I did something like that with the Rigakh's for my short film.


 

ShadowArm

Ensign
Call me crazy, but I actually don't think Privateer warrants a resolution boost. Its sprites were already significantly bigger than WC1/2, but the game still runs at 320x200 resolution. Because of the game's overall resolution, you would only see the effects of high-res sprites when you fly right up to them. It's not worth it.
Now, on the other hand, merely importing new ships into Privateer - that's a worthy task. Who wouldn't want to see Howard's WC Pioneer project come alive in the form of a Privateer mod? :)
since privateer was made on OriginFX, i think it wouldn't be hard to look at the res options, if not maybe create a EXE that reads privateer on windows.
 

Goliath

Rear Admiral
OK, I've finished converting over the new Tiger's Claw sprites thanks to @Howard Day. Here you can see some screenshots of what it looks like in game:

tc-relit-1.png tc-relit-2.png tc-relit-3.png tc-relit-4.png
tc-relit-5.png tc-relit-6.png tc-relit-7.png tc-relit-8.png

It really looks great! Also, in the second image you can see how the 07 is mirrored (which isn't a big deal). If you want to try this out for yourself, I've attached a file named "Updated_Tiger's_Claw_for_Kilrathi_Saga_V4.zip" that has the updated SHIP file.

Also, @Howard Day, if you use the Wing Commander 1 color palette, color R: 235, G: 215, B: 255 is the transparent color in the game so you may want to avoid using it for anything other than transparency. Hope that's helpful. ;)
 

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Howard Day

Random art guy.
SO GODDAMN COOL. I think it could probably use a little more primary key light illumination to really fit in with the other WC1 stuff...It's too WC2 right now. Lemme re-render one. and then, maybe the Hornet?
 

Skanks

Rear Admiral
This is seriously the best thing ever. My favourite game looking better than ever, your models look fantastic in game Howard!
 
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