Grafon: low quality hi-res textures replacement

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Interkarma
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Re: Grafon: low quality hi-res textures replacement

Post by Interkarma » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:13 pm

Thank you. :) I agree what a PITA sprites can be. Not just the art either, they're a pain on the programming side as well. I doubt my next project will use sprites so heavily. They aren't a preference in general, but they are my preference in Daggerfall.

Anyway, this project is all about laying the groundwork for more tinkering and remixing in the future. I'm fairly confident someone will add the capability for rigged models one day. This project belongs to everyone and I believe the community will ultimately take it much further than I could.

Al-Khwarizmi
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Re: Grafon: low quality hi-res textures replacement

Post by Al-Khwarizmi » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:46 pm

NikitaTheTanner wrote: But on the other hand, Daggerfall enemy sprites are pre-rendered models
Just to see if I'm getting this: Daggerfall's enemy sprites were generated by first creating a 3D model, and then taking "2D screenshots" of the model? But the original model is no longer available anywhere but only the sprites?

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NikitaTheTanner
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Re: Grafon: low quality hi-res textures replacement

Post by NikitaTheTanner » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:54 pm

Just to see if I'm getting this: Daggerfall's enemy sprites were generated by first creating a 3D model, and then taking "2D screenshots" of the model? But the original model is no longer available anywhere but only the sprites?
Yeah, pretty much. It's a method used for older games which was common when machines couldn't handle full 3D, but it was already possible to produce somewhat good quality models for developers.

In reality, it might be simpler to produce 3D model and use it for sprites when actually draw all possible angles and movements by hand. Flat NPCs in Daggerfall towns are drawn, but they don't have much movement and are only seen from one angle at all times. Enemies need to be seen from the back, sideways, attacking, etc.

You can see the same models reused a few times in different combinations, for example, bat wings. I am pretty sure these were commissioned by Bethesda and they didn't model or animate them themselves, but since it was such a good model, they reused it for Daedra Seduces and even dragonlings I think.

Unfortunately, as often the case, the models are now lost I think, unlikely to be preserved somewhere. Same is true for Heroes 3, for example, and it's especially sad for its rich modding community. Even the latest HD release by Ubisoft is a cheap paint over the renders, so it doesn't look right at all.

Here you can see a video of somebody recreating Ancient Lich model for DaggerXL long time ago, but unfortunately I don't think they are still active as the result looks awesome - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx-OMn6Wqdg

Al-Khwarizmi
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Re: Grafon: low quality hi-res textures replacement

Post by Al-Khwarizmi » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:34 pm

Thanks for the detailed explanation, I've learned a lot!

It's a pity that the models have been lost (although not as much pity as the code, which would have saved Interkarma and the rest of contributors a lot of work!)

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Midknightprince
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Re: Grafon: low quality hi-res textures replacement

Post by Midknightprince » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:05 am

@Igor
That might actually look pretty cool in the game moving around.
Especially casting spells...
Check out my YouTube Channel!

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Arctus
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Re: Grafon: low quality hi-res textures replacement

Post by Arctus » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:54 am

NikitaTheTanner wrote: Same is true for Heroes 3, for example, and it's especially sad for its rich modding community. Even the latest HD release by Ubisoft is a cheap paint over the renders, so it doesn't look right at all.
This is a random point from me, but I do agree the models in the HD release are pretty meh. But I got it on a steam sale for under $5 and it was worth it for that for a handful of hours of entertainment and nostalgia. The full price of ~$15 is just ridiculous for what it is.

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Igor
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Re: Grafon: low quality hi-res textures replacement

Post by Igor » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:03 am

NikitaTheTanner wrote: Unfortunately, as often the case, the models are now lost I think, unlikely to be preserved somewhere. Same is true for Heroes 3, for example, and it's especially sad for its rich modding community. Even the latest HD release by Ubisoft is a cheap paint over the renders, so it doesn't look right at all.
Good example of remaking http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/brood-w ... omparisons

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NikitaTheTanner
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Re: Grafon: low quality hi-res textures replacement

Post by NikitaTheTanner » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:08 pm

I think that's getting off-topic, but HD mod for Heroes 3 offers large range of resolution and filters, some of which make the original sprites look just as sharp as the remake does. Plus, it works for all expansions and other mods, like Horn of the Abyss. It also comes with many convenience features, like control click to separate units one by one and much more.

On the side note of Daggerfall, I am wondering if it will be possible to apply filtering to sprites and textures dynamically, without having to redo them all. But I am afraid the results might not look too nice and come with artifacts, if they are not first fixed by hand.

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Igor
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Re: Grafon: low quality hi-res textures replacement

Post by Igor » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:28 pm

NikitaTheTanner wrote:I think that's getting off-topic, but HD mod for Heroes 3 offers large range of resolution and filters, some of which make the original sprites look just as sharp as the remake does. Plus, it works for all expansions and other mods, like Horn of the Abyss. It also comes with many convenience features, like control click to separate units one by one and much more.

On the side note of Daggerfall, I am wondering if it will be possible to apply filtering to sprites and textures dynamically, without having to redo them all. But I am afraid the results might not look too nice and come with artifacts, if they are not first fixed by hand.
Of course I know about the hd-mod for Heroes 3. This game is very popular here in Russia and many enthusiasts continue to make mods for it.

As for the filters, some are created simply by a custom camera. For example, this is done in the plugin for DAZ3D https://www.daz3d.com/camera-magic-toonycam-pro. There is no need to correct any game data. And the performance is almost not affected.

I know that many like the cartoon style of Daggerfall. And such a camera can help to return it with Grafon. Another way is to skip all the textures through a special filter in some graphic editor. For example in Gimp or in Krita (I use them).

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NikitaTheTanner
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Re: Grafon: low quality hi-res textures replacement

Post by NikitaTheTanner » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:43 pm

Heh, another comrade! Well, I am also Russian, здорово! ;) I don't know what it is about Eastern Europe, but we seem to be obsessed with good old games like HoMM, Fallout, and even Daggerfall to some extent. Though Daggerfall's community is very much international, as can be seen on this forum. I love how many people come together to bring back this wonderful game.

About issues, I am just talking from some experience, although don't have much of it, so I might be wrong. I've tried some upscaling techniques myself and sometimes they do produce minor issues because of stray pixels here and there. You can also see King of Worms' work here, as I understand, he also needs to manually work with sprites to produce best results - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=817

As for style, I must admit that I love almost every single detail of it, though I do wish for more variety in the world. Daggerfall's style is overall quite consistent and very eerie, I love it, but there is a lot of repetition for such a large world. That's why I wish we could expand the game in every area, and I do think 3D would help in this endeavor.

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