I've Created a WC4 HD Video Pack

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Hi all,

Anyone who's been following this thread from the start may remember @AD 's post above about his set of videos that were missing from the DVD versions that he'd cleaned up from the CR-ROM versions.

Well, I've had a crack at remastering the WCP ones. You can see the results here.

What do you all think? Is it worth incorporating these into a WCP HD Pack V2.1?

I think it's definitely worth it. THe upgraded CD quality movies are a significant improvement. The upgraded DVD videos are kind of a mixed bag for me as I find the AI stuff is doing some really weird blurring on the edges in places and there's some contrast issues at times. There's also a lot of noise added in things like the flight deck backgrounds.

If you want to experiment with some more settings (and I probably did this after deinterlacing but before resizing in my initial test of the intro) I did originally adjust the contrast a little lower IIRC, as you lower contrast, the scene will appear a little lighter overall as things get more cloudy so you can sometimes lower the brightness a tiny bit at the same time to compensate. Keep an eye on your white-point and shadows to figure out where you might be starting to lose detail. If sections are washed out before you do your upscale your AI has no info to work with.

As an alternative, the WCP videos could also really use a tiny bit of desaturation. Saturation goes down automatically if you reduce contrast. Oversaturation is kind of a byproduct of too-high-contrast. Too high of color saturation will also makes the edges bleed. Lowering the saturation also helpes makes people's skin tones appear more natural and less caked on, but going too far the video can end up looking less vibrant overall though. The contrast adjustment will help get rid of blown out highlights/wierd text in the into and the saturation helps with skin tones.
You can experiment with one or the other, or both options working together.
 

ODVS

Ensign
I think it's definitely worth it. THe upgraded CD quality movies are a significant improvement. The upgraded DVD videos are kind of a mixed bag for me as I find the AI stuff is doing some really weird blurring on the edges in places and there's some contrast issues at times. There's also a lot of noise added in things like the flight deck backgrounds.

If you want to experiment with some more settings (and I probably did this after deinterlacing but before resizing in my initial test of the intro) I did originally adjust the contrast a little lower IIRC, as you lower contrast, the scene will appear a little lighter overall as things get more cloudy so you can sometimes lower the brightness a tiny bit at the same time to compensate. Keep an eye on your white-point and shadows to figure out where you might be starting to lose detail. If sections are washed out before you do your upscale your AI has no info to work with.

As an alternative, the WCP videos could also really use a tiny bit of desaturation. Saturation goes down automatically if you reduce contrast. Oversaturation is kind of a byproduct of too-high-contrast. Too high of color saturation will also makes the edges bleed. Lowering the saturation also helpes makes people's skin tones appear more natural and less caked on, but going too far the video can end up looking less vibrant overall though. The contrast adjustment will help get rid of blown out highlights/wierd text in the into and the saturation helps with skin tones.
You can experiment with one or the other, or both options working together.

Thanks, @AD 🙂

Yep, the WCP VOBs are certainly a pain to work with. Plenty of room for improvement there. I'm definitely taking a break for now, though. I've been staring at these clips and footage so much that I'm starting to hate them a bit - and that's definitely not what I want my WC thoughts to be! Also, if I have another dream about punching out Maestro, I might start to worry about myself.

Oh wait, that's a normal reaction to Maestro, isn't it?

If you could find the time to maybe pick out a shorter clip, run a few of your recommended processes on it and export it at 360p without any scaling, I'd love to take a crack at it - and if you could share your AVIsynth script/filters you used, that could save a lot of time when I come back to have another stab at these 🙂
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Hi @ChrisReid - I've put together a WCP V2.1 pack, which you can download here and here.

If you could please send me links once they're site hosted, I'll update the links at the start of this thread 🙂

Cool, are there other changes to the rest of the videos or is the defining feature of 2.1 the missing clips?
 

Panther1.0

2nd Lieutenant
hey Owen, I will take a look at them ver 2.0 tomorrow and let you know, I have ver 1.0, can do proper comparision.
 
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ODVS

Ensign
did you manage to get WCP play the movies correctly in full screen with-in the game ?

Errr... kinda. I'm afraid I'm very much not a software developer, so the best I can do is try to encode my videos in a way that the already-existing game patches can read, because the ability to mod the game is beyond my skill set.

However, these will play in-game provided you install all the patches to make the DVD versions run. It's just a little... wonky. There's a noticeable pause when they load. However, the patch that allows WCP to play the DVD VOB files uses an ActiveMovie window that relies on Windows' own installed video codecs - so as long as your computer can play the video files, WCP will play them too. Just make sure the MP4s are in your WCP "Movie" folder and that the DVD VOBs aren't.
 

Panther1.0

2nd Lieutenant
my game works 100% except the pause/loading times you mentioned, same for me, I was under the impression there is some problem for some still, some does not play at all or in the left corner but anyway it is fine, I remember the first high res video release (DVD) were the same.
 

ODVS

Ensign
oops I type to fast I meant the older release also pauses etc between loading times.

I do find I have to set the OpenGL setup to display at 1920x1080 (the same res as the videos) because if I try to run the game at 4K they do run in the corner - but then I have the same issue with the DVD videos 🤷‍♂️
 

Panther1.0

2nd Lieutenant
Me too, I have also played around with the anti-aliasing on 4/8 times, makes F-HD 1920x1080 look close to 4k, well lets say it's good enough for me. With the model pack improvement it feels like a new game.

Owen, I just played some of the ver2.0 WCP movies, this time round I must say I'm impressed, much better, softer on the skin tones and more HD like, infact much more, I think most will be happy with the result, :) especially considering what's available to work with,
 
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ODVS

Ensign
Owen, I just played some of the ver2.0 WCP movies, this time round I must say I'm impressed, much better, softer on the skin tones and more HD like, infact much more, I think most will be happy with the result, :) especially considering what's available to work with,

Thanks, John, really appreciate that 🙂

I'd say there's still room for improvement, but I think the difference between V1 & V2 serves as evidence that some of the major issues can be ironed out, given enough trial-and-error and tinkering with AVIsynth and other cleanup methods. It's just seriously an unbelievable amount of work.

It also really highlights what a stunning job Chris Roberts' crew did on the WCIV video production. All the hard cleanup work on the WCP footage has to be done to the SD material. I'm making very few changes to the AI upscale process - it's all a matter of cleaning up/remastering the source material. Budget really can have an impact on video production!
 

Panther1.0

2nd Lieutenant
yes my thoughts for sure on the budget side between WC4 and WCP, clearly there was some changes and the time when Origin was bought out etc etc.

I remember when WCP were released, it was like 'oh another ' Wing Commader ? is it from the same creators ? if it is, what happened, it felt disconnected from WC3 and 4. it almost felt like the company picked up some pieces and decided to release another game to lift them out of ruins or something, then again, WCP is a good overall game and I think more appreciated in later years.
 

TylerOwenUK

Spaceman
Hi all,

I've just downloaded the GOG version of Prophecy, and keen to get the upgraded visuals working, is there a guide or any advice to get this working as i have tried various DVD Packs and patches but now i the game will not run.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
yes my thoughts for sure on the budget side between WC4 and WCP, clearly there was some changes and the time when Origin was bought out etc etc.

I remember when WCP were released, it was like 'oh another ' Wing Commader ? is it from the same creators ? if it is, what happened, it felt disconnected from WC3 and 4. it almost felt like the company picked up some pieces and decided to release another game to lift them out of ruins or something, then again, WCP is a good overall game and I think more appreciated in later years.

The buyout happened WAAAAY before.... WC3 and 4 and their large budgets would not have happened without the EA buyout. The difference between 4 and Prophecy was that not only was Prophecy the first Wing Commander without Chris Roberts, WC4 scared EA because of it's (at the time) largest-video-game-budget-ever. WC4 cost somewhere north of 12 million dollars at the time, most of it going towards the FMV and they were worried that they would have to top that for the next game... something that would eat into potential sales profits. Prophecy had a fraction of that available for the film shoot. IIRC the entire budget was somewhere around a million. 12 million sounds like peanuts in the days were game budgets from large studios easily top 200 - 300 million but given the market at the time those were insane dollars to spend on a video game and EA had cold feet about doing a WC game without Chris Roberts.
 

Panther1.0

2nd Lieutenant
Origin stated around 10 million budget for WC4,

what do you mean bought out before ? before WC3 ? I know WC3 sold more than double copies that WC4, I could not understand this at the time.

Hi all,

I've just downloaded the GOG version of Prophecy, and keen to get the upgraded visuals working, is there a guide or any advice to get this working as i have tried various DVD Packs and patches but now i the game will not run.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Did you follow the steps ? install gog ver, install the release (HCL WCP enhancement package) don't overwrite prophecy.exe, install OpenGL upgrade package the newer one from Pedro, copy movie files to Movie folder under Prophecy folder and install Media codec package like K-lite codec pack,
run Prophecy with admin and disable win98 compatility or not, for me it made no difference.
 
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Triple-B

Rear Admiral
Hey,
I just saw the Youtube vids of the Prophecy CD and WC3 Upskaling. Looks much better, however have you guys noticed the blurriness around the eyes of the actors? especially WC3 is striking. :(
 

TylerOwenUK

Spaceman
Origin stated around 10 million budget for WC4,

what do you mean bought out before ? before WC3 ? I know WC3 sold more than double copies that WC4, I could not understand this at the time.



Did you follow the steps ? install gog ver, install the release (HCL WCP enhancement package) don't overwrite prophecy.exe, install OpenGL upgrade package the newer one from Pedro, copy movie files to Movie folder under Prophecy folder and install Media codec package like K-lite codec pack,
run Prophecy with admin and disable win98 compatility or not, for me it made no difference.

Thank you, i had over written the Prophecy.exe all working now, its like a new game!
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
what do you mean bought out before ? before WC3 ? I know WC3 sold more than double copies that WC4, I could not understand this at the time.

AD is referring to EA's purchase of Origin in 1992. Everything from WC2 Deluxe and on is under EA, however there were ebbs and flows in the team and production management over time.
 
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