[MOD] Remastered Friends and Foes

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carademono
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Re: [MOD] Remastered Friends and Foes

Post by carademono »

And here's the orc, with face added:
Spoiler!
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carademono
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Re: [MOD] Remastered Friends and Foes

Post by carademono »

I threw together three villager flats this morning, small amount of manual corrections on the faces. I would love to know what you think! Most of my process is now handled by batch commands and Photoshop macros, so I think I could get the villagers turned around pretty quickly if y'all approve of these.
Spoiler!

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carademono
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Re: [MOD] Remastered Friends and Foes

Post by carademono »

Managed to get these scripts working with ESRGAN for pixel-perfect alpha transparencies: https://github.com/deorder/texture-upscaler.

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MrFlibble
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Re: [MOD] Remastered Friends and Foes

Post by MrFlibble »

I definitely like the first two faces! Is this Gigapixel upscales? Very nice! I still hold to my opinion that it is not very suitable for non-photographic stuff in general though.

Just a general remark, I believe that from the ArtStation models the Sharp one tends to produce generally better, more accurate results (at least, when pre-rendered sprites are concerned; but it seems to work more or less well with painted input too), even though I liked the Details variant more with the original Orc attack animation sprite that I showed here.

And yes, I totally agree that there's no perfect, catch-all solution, and any image is ideally tested against several models. This is what makes AI upscales so exhausting, especially when there's a lot of alternatives to compare.
carademono wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 7:14 pm Managed to get these scripts working with ESRGAN for pixel-perfect alpha transparencies: https://github.com/deorder/texture-upscaler.
Oh, nice, I wasn't aware of this.

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carademono
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Re: [MOD] Remastered Friends and Foes

Post by carademono »

MrFlibble wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 7:48 pm I definitely like the first two faces! Is this Gigapixel upscales? Very nice! I still hold to my opinion that it is not very suitable for non-photographic stuff in general though.
Yep, most of the faces that have turned out nicely (as well as a few terrible ones, for sure) have come from Gigapixel. In my opinion Gigapixel's orientation towards photos really helps there; I use both the face refinement feature and the Art mode for best, painting-like results. Even then, most of Gigapixel's faces would look grotesque if not overlaid on top of an ESRGAN base layer (I set the Gigapixel layer to darken only).

Other than the faces, the Gigapixel layer isn't actually adding a whole lot to the images, but what it adds is really essential in my eyes. Here's a comparison shot:

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You can immediately see that the ESRGAN base layer is doing most of the work, but the Gigapixel overlay adds critical detail and contour lines. Notice in particular how the rebout_interp model alone makes it look like the various parts of the plate armor sort of melt together, giving it just a hint of melted wax. You can tell it's an upscaled sprite. The Gigapixel overlay adds what looks like pencil sketch lines between all the armor joints, separating them, giving the sprite a sense of depth and shadow. It also tones down the rebout_interp model's cartoonish highlights. It looks much more like an artist made the sprite on the right, rather than a series of algorithms.

The downside of this, though, is that Gigapixel often adds upscaling artifacts. But these are really easy to remove using the Dodge tool on the Gigapixel Darken Only layer -- it takes me less than thirty seconds per sprite. And it's only necessary to do this on the front-facing sprites (5-0, 5-1, 15-0, 16-0).
MrFlibble wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 7:48 pm Just a general remark, I believe that from the ArtStation models the Sharp one tends to produce generally better, more accurate results (at least, when pre-rendered sprites are concerned; but it seems to work more or less well with painted input too), even though I liked the Details variant more with the original Orc attack animation sprite that I showed here.
I'll grab the ArtsStation models and post some comparison shots when I get a chance. Once we make a collective decision on which model to go with for the commoner sprites, I'll just hit go and the batch commands / macros will do most of the work. I actually didn't know that I could run ESRGAN without an NVIDIA card until you posted that's your set-up! :lol:

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carademono
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Re: [MOD] Remastered Friends and Foes

Post by carademono »

Ok, here's the ArtStation models:
Spoiler!

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ArtStation_details
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In my view, the ArtStation models produce much better sprites at 4x, but they're far inferior to the rebout sprites at 16x. Thoughts?

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MrFlibble
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Re: [MOD] Remastered Friends and Foes

Post by MrFlibble »

I just remembered a little trick which could be possibly useful for prepping source images for Gigapixel upscaling. If you're in a mood for experimentation maybe you could give it a try?

The idea is to take the original sprite and scale it up to 3x or 4x with XBR or XBRZ (I mostly used the XBRZ test tool for that but later discovered that the built-in XBR filter in Michael Vinther's Image Analyser produces smoother results), then downsample back to the original size using bicubic interpolation. This helped immensely to reduce artifacts with the earlier ESRGAN models that were not specifically trained for 8-bit palettised input at the cost of slightly blurrier output. Here's a comparison of the early Manga109Attempt model with a raw sprite and an XBRZ-softened sprite:
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I don't remember if this was ever tested with Gigapixel and indeed not sure if it would have any desirable effect, but I think it's worth trying, if only to see if any useful results may be achieved.

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carademono
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Re: [MOD] Remastered Friends and Foes

Post by carademono »

New Release!

I am delighted to announce a new release of Remastered Villagers! These are by far the best-looking sprites yet -- a big thanks to MrFlibble's advice and Lyonhrt's rebout_interp ESRGAN filter. Check out the screenshots iin the spoilers below. If they appeal to you then head to the Nexus (https://www.nexusmods.com/daggerfallunity/mods/190) to download the update.

Please note that I've released the loose PNGs on the Nexus as well. Everybody is welcome to download and modify them for use in their own mods. The PNGs are WTFPL licensed (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WTFPL).

Re-Remastered Classes and Monsters will follow soon...
Spoiler!

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MrFlibble
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Re: [MOD] Remastered Friends and Foes

Post by MrFlibble »

Very nice! Definitely a vast improvement!

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