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Messages - Covarr

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Devina, there is already a mod in progress for FF8 that uses this technology:

Graphical Modding / Re: [FF9PC] Background upscaling mod
« on: 2019-01-16 14:31:37 »
Congrats to your first Mod.
You should let it transfer into the release section.
I'll move it to releases if there's a release in the first post; don't want people having to dig to find the release, also don't know if Ze_PilOt wants it there before more of the kinks are worked out.

Can't you use the current remade high Res art from team avalanche jusete and jmp to train the tool?
Good training data for a tool like this is data that is quite similar to the data you'll be scaling. The reason the FF9 stuff works so well is because the high-res images are literally the source images for the backgrounds. As such, ESRGAN can understand exactly how those images were scaled, complete with dithering, limited palettes, etc., and thus better understand how to undo that.

Team Avalanche backgrounds, though gorgeous, are often fairly heavily reimagined. Things that might seem innocuous artistically make a big difference on the technical side of things. A different wood texture here, a different cloth material there, reworked lighting... If you downscale those, you don't get the original in-game backgrounds. And ESRGAN doesn't truly understand concepts like "wood", "cloth", etc. It is looking at frequent patterns, color variations, etc. And those would be substantially different on the TA stuff.

So you could use TA backgrounds for both the high- and low-res training images and create potentially okay but not really helpful training data with similar problems to the Manga109 training (albeit in the opposite direction), or you could use the TA backgrounds for high-res and the original in-game backgrounds for low-res training images, and get awful useless training materials that aren't grounded in how scaling actually works. Neither is really desirable.

So, this has gotten some attention from PC Gamer.

Just a heads up to anybody who was linked here from PC Gamer:

You have not missed a download link anywhere; this mod is not completed or released yet.

My concern with using this kind of NN-based upscaling on FMVs is how it would handle compression artifacts. The PS1 videos are better than the PC videos, but even they are pretty heavily and visibly compressed. If Gigapixel were to misinterpret those artifacts as intentional detail, the end result could well be worse, not better.

It could make a good plate for compositing, though, for those static FMVs such as junair_u, to upscale only the parts of the screen that don't move/change, and then a different scaling method (such as that already used in the Steam release) for the moving bits. Could make the transition between background and FMV less jarring, at least, if only the moving part of the screen gets all blurry and smudgy rather than the whole thing.

This 60fps mod does not run the 3D animations at 60fps. Rather:

The PlayStation version runs the 3D scene at 15fps and the battle menus below at 60fps.
The PC version runs the whole screen at 15fps. This completely breaks several framerate-driven menu options.
The 60fps mod included in Reunion R05 corrects the PC version to behave more like the PlayStation version. The slots on Tifa's limit break are probably the most visible difference.

Very nice! I've seen efforts made with other NN-based tools, such as Let's Enhance or ESRGAN, but this really seems to blow them out of the water.

The first thing you need to ask is what are you modding. There is a big difference between changing a game's executable, changing its data files, or working from originals. Here's somewhat of a basic overview.

As far as modern engines go...
Unreal Engine 4 uses its Blueprints visual scripting system in-engine, which can be expanded at a lower level using C++.
Unity uses C# for its scripting. It also allows plugins written in C, C++, Objective C, etc., which can be called using C#.
CryEngine uses Lua and C# for scripting, and C++ for lower-level stuff.

Older games, especially from the '90s, are much more likely to have been built in a proprietary engine, which can vary heavily from game to game, particularly by genre, and typically not as publicly available as the popular engines today. Realistically, the best choice for modding will depend on the particular game, and whether it can be decompiled, but the best things you can learn are C, C++, and x86 assembly (the latter of which basically demands a decent understanding of computer science).

If you want an easy language that can interact with files or memory but don't necessarily need to directly change existing software, you might consider Python. It's powerful, extensible, reasonably fast, and all-around a good first choice for beginner programmers.

And Node and Electron and React? I can't strongly enough recommend avoiding them, unless you really want to make a career out of bloated webapps (or worse, bloated webapps as desktop apps). They don't integrate nicely into OS native look and feel UIs, they have really poor performance, and their growing popularity is a pox on the tech industry.

General discussion / Re: How do I close my account?
« on: 2018-12-03 23:10:05 »
If I'm not mistaken, it also only applies to businesses. At any rate, I've deleted the account. I'm quite receptive to these requests when a user doesn't attempt to do something obnoxious such as blanking all their past posts.

General discussion / Re: Streaming audio
« on: 2018-11-20 15:59:39 »
Using a tool such as Virtual Audio Cable, you may be able to control audio routing a little better. FF7 and Steam In-Home Streaming are both really finicky about how they handle audio, so I'd bet a more sane middleman might be able to help here.

FF7 Tools / Re: [PC] Text editor - touphScript (v1.3.0)
« on: 2018-11-14 16:19:40 »
adol125, please read the forum rules. In particular, pay attention to this part:

Reporting Posts
Only use the report button to report actual rule infractions. Do not use it to report mods or tools that don't work, missing download links, members being unable to solve your problems despite their best effort, or updates that take longer than you hoped. If you cannot cite the exact rule being broken, chances are pretty good you shouldn't be reporting the post. Abuse of the report button will lead to warnings and potential moderation.

Thread creators cannot see reports, only site staff can. Reporting a post will not help your problem be solved any faster.

Audio Modding / Re: Final Fantasy VII PlayStation MIDI
« on: 2018-11-10 22:02:14 »
I think the point was getting the sequenced note data, not a streamed wav rip.

Audio Modding / Re: Final Fantasy VII PlayStation MIDI
« on: 2018-11-10 16:52:38 »
While the PS version was sequenced, there are no MIDI files in the game. This site has a PSF RIP, but I was unable to convert it using vgmtrans. You can certainly give it a try; you may have better luck than I did.

How does this not have any replies? This here is absolutely amazing work!

Good luck not getting this removed by Kickstarter for violating their terms.

Completely unrelated / Re: RIP Diablo
« on: 2018-11-05 23:39:02 »
I assume the reason they outsourced this game is because their own guys are working on Diablo 4 internally.

"Into" in this case is slang, and means "attracted to". One word is correct.

I have a question: is it possible to get this retranslation to work on the PlayStation 4 version of the game? I think I already know the answer, but I figured I'd ask anyway. Thanks!
I've got bad news and good news. The bad news is it would require a hacked PS4. I don't know the current state of PS4 hacking and modding, but I suspect there's no way to get a PS4 to actually launch a modded game like that.

The good news? The PS4 version of FF7 is basically the Steam version in a wrapper, much like the Android and iOS versions are. Data formats are exactly the same. As mods go, injecting the retranslation should be relatively straightforward.

Someone more informed than me on the state of PS4 modding as a whole could probably give a more useful answer. But as of right now I'm pretty sure the answer is "not yet, but probably in the future".

Would it be feasible to apply this same technique to GBA games?
GBA is really, REALLY weird for audio. It's got six sound channels. Four are literally chiptune stuff such as square waves carried over from the GB, present for backwards-compatibility, but also used in several GBA games. The other two channels don't have any sequencing capability. Rather, they are fed an audio stream from the CPU, which handles all sequencing and sample-based mixing in software. This means a few things:

  • There is no guaranteed, defined format for music. A lot of games use the "Sappy" engine for mixing music, and it's well enough documented that it's not too hard to rip its samples and sequences, and then reassemble it in a modern DAW for higher quality. But a lot of games don't, and a lot of games' sound engines are not really understood or documented (or in many cases even begun to be researched, if it's a game nobody cares about). There is no consistent format like you'll see on other systems.
  • Games that use the holdover GB audio channels don't have samples to rip, making accurate reproduction of their particular square waves, noise waves, etc. more challenging. Not impossible, as emulators have done a generally good job, but it does create substantially more effort for someone trying to recreate songs than sample-based music would have.
  • Several games use GB audio and GBA sample audio in tandem, which means all of the challenges of each individual type of audio, plus the added challenge of mixing them together and getting volumes right. This can be easier or harder depending on the sound engine in use.

That said, for games that DO use the Sappy engine, GBAMusRiper will create MIDIs and rip the samples to .sf2 soundfonts, which can make for VERY easy ripping. Here are several GBA soundtracks done like this (as well as several dead links).

You've pasted your links wrong. All of them got truncated in the middle with rogue ellipses inserted in their stead. Did you copy this from a post on another forum? If so, it's better to copy the post's source than the final rendered post, because many boards have a tendency to shorten URLs for display.

Completely unrelated / Re: Don't be shy - Photos
« on: 2018-10-10 15:41:27 »

I'm the guy in the middle. IMO this is one of the best pictures of me that exists.

Kickass. I considered making something like this myself several years ago, but didn't make it far on account of intense laziness.

Troubleshooting / Re: Slowdown problem in FF8
« on: 2018-10-05 15:37:00 »
What are your computer's specs? Slowdown depends a lot of the machine running the game (not that a game this old should have any slowdown at all on any remotely modern machine, but from what I understand the rerelease has higher requirements).

7thHeaven / Re: HELP! Error Starting FF7 (CODE 5)
« on: 2018-10-04 22:26:06 »
Hmm... This smells like some sort of security feature Microsoft added to protect against injection attacks. Hopefully, this doesn't require too substantial a reworking of 7H's code in order to get it working again.

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