Significant Wing Commander 4 and Prophecy Video Upgrade Available! Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

We've got a fantastic video upgrade to share with you today! ODVS has spent the past month toiling away to create incredibly detailed video remasters of the cutscenes in Wing Commander 4 and Prophecy. Over the years, we considered ourselves extremely lucky to be able to provide access to high quality DVD versions of both games, and while these were some four times as detailed as the clips originally included on CD, they're still "standard definition" editions that look quite dated compared to today's modern footage. For many years we resigned ourselves to thinking that these were as good as it was ever going to get. "You can't create detail where none exists," we thought. But we live in the future now, and Star Trek's "Enhance" feature has become astonishingly real. Through the use of advanced machine learning/AI filters and techniques, it is now possible to recreate old content with a sharper cleaner look. This isn't just old school upscaling and smoothing - new image data is generated as part of the process. Of course, it's not perfect, but the results are surprisingly good. We actually previewed a bit of this technology just last month, and we're seeing that it will be used to upscale the videos of the upcoming Command & Conquer Remastered Collection as well. ODVS has also made several great preview videos to show the improvement side-by-side. Note that the actual downloads look even better as YouTube has introduced a bit of compression back into the mix.

Continuing on to the good news: Owen's upgraded videos are ready and released! What's more is that he's been working closely with fellow Wingnuts at the CIC Forums to refine the encodings and has already put out a version 2.0 that incorporates a number of new learnings, better audio, frame rate improvements and general quality tweaks. These latest files are a solid release that will probably last for a while so that Owen can explore the potential of upgrading WC3 FMV as well. Preliminary results are promising, but it would be a lot more work to take that older material and then find a way to get it to display in the game. Anyhow, to take advantage of the awesome new clips that are available, simply unzip the following packages into the VOB movie folders of the DVD editions of either WC4 or Prophecy. The GOG release of WC4 is already the DVD edition, and you'll need to patch Prophecy to take advantage of those high res files. We also have a patch or the CD edition of WC4 if that's what you happen to have handy. Hit the comment link to join the ongoing discussion on this exciting topic at the CIC Forums!
  • Wing Commander 4: Pack 1 (3.7 gig zip)
  • Wing Commander 4: Pack 2 (3.7 gig zip)
  • Wing Commander 4: Pack 3 (3.6 gig zip)
  • Wing Commander 4: Pack 4 (3.8 gig zip)
  • Wing Commander Prophecy: Version 2.1, Pack 1 (4.2 gig zip, includes all previous 2.0 vids plus extra clips pack)
  • Wing Commander Prophecy: Version 2.1, Pack 2 (3.9 gig zip, includes all previous 2.0 vids plus extra clips pack)
Hello all, Total Newbie here - my name's Owen. First of all, thank you to everyone in this community - although I've only just joined, I have fond childhood memories of WC and I've called by WCNews occasionally over the years to make use of assets, patches and all the other wonderful things this community has come up with.

The reason I set up an account is I think I might actually have something to share. Having bought WC4 in the recent GOG sale, I decided to see if I could improve the DVD video. I set about using Machine Learning/AI to remaster the FMV footage in HD.

I've upscaled it to native 1080p Full HD (not just a scalar/smoothing solution - extra image data is actually added to create "true" HD footage) as well as removing the DVD interlacing, cleaning up the MPEG compression artefacts and remastering the colour of all footage. If you'd like to see the results, I put together a short comparison video which you can view on YouTube here.

Thanks to the wonderful work that's previously been done to bring the DVD footage into the GOG release, it was surprisingly easy to get the remastered HD footage working in-game. So if anyone would be interested, let me know and I'll see about sharing the remastered footage with anyone who'd like it - all you have to do is backup your original VOB folder in your Wing4 installation and drop my replacement video files in place.

Looking forward to any feedback!

Regards,

Owen

P.S. Do watch the YouTube video all the way through - YouTube's compression algorithms actually lowered the quality of the remastered HD footage and you get a better idea of the improvements if you watch all the examples - but the versions I dropped in-game are actually higher quality than YouTube displays.


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