Author Topic: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)  (Read 5944 times)

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
[FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« on: 2017-02-11 02:29:14 »
Hey guys. I'm new here so I hope I created topic at the right place.

So while awesome HW was being upgraded to support FFIXPC, I've spent some time exploring what can be done about backgrounds.
In the end I concluded that any kind of pixel-scaling algorithms perform bad on FFIX artwork so I went to try available neural network approaches.
I wasn't surprised that waifu gave (subjectively) very good results on this type of content.
However waifu with average/none smoothing does not produce relevant results and with full-on smoothing... While results look kinda nice and have anime-ish feel to it, the amount of details lost is simply too big.

So I opted to replace waifu's processing with something of my own that (hopefully) will do a better job. Personally, I am satisfied with the results. You can see some examples below.
I haven't done many images yet as I was waiting for a feature-complete release of HW and what I did was mainly quick-n-dirty tests anyway, but here is a quick comparison of the full-scale lossless images.

Main Street Waifu
Main Street Mine/PC version

Guardhouse Waifu
Guardhouse Mine/PC version

 For progress updates and (future) downloads visit this page.
« Last Edit: 2017-03-05 18:44:04 by Meru »

5way

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 163
  • Karma: 16
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #1 on: 2017-02-11 03:01:15 »
Hey Meru,

Sounds promising (specially the guardhouse) it looks like a plastic wrap effect to artificially add more details and accentuate borders, so far I like it but it sometimes feels like it's adding details where they do not belong like some house facades (in main street).

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #2 on: 2017-02-11 03:06:49 »
Hey, 5way.
The thing is, I'm not adding any details. I am retaining more of them. They may feel artificial because of the magnitude of the upscale. PS1 resolution is really small...
Edit:
In original renders, facades, and pretty much everything had a clearly defined texture. Unfortunately it was lost due to PS1 resolution being too small, and what is being upscaled is a blurred-out version of its former glory.
On a bright side, things like that can be prettified manually at the last stage when everything is done (assuming i will still have enough motivation for a 2nd-pass)
« Last Edit: 2017-02-11 03:12:17 by Meru »

Fraggoso

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 202
  • Karma: 7
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #3 on: 2017-02-12 16:11:54 »
Hi Meru, I'm also working on the backgrounds and could do almost 30% in game now.
maybe we can join forces or we can just make a quick chat so we can learn from each other.

If you want to contact me via Steam, here's my profile: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198022328654/
Feel free to add me so we can discuss. :)

I've added a comparison from your and my work: http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/200391
Your work really shines and the community deserves the best. The moving parts/tiles like the windmills where a little tricky. :)
« Last Edit: 2017-02-12 16:22:08 by Fraggoso »

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #4 on: 2017-02-12 16:29:12 »
Hehe, moving parts you say? Not sure about all of them but these damn ugly flags... (that don't have the original equivalent on PSX) I may possibly leave all the layer edges work for a 2nd pass. Cause it won't be worse than original PC and I wanna actually finish the game 1st.

Anyway, about joining forces I just PMed you before I saw this massage, don't see the need to repeat it here.
« Last Edit: 2017-02-12 16:34:49 by Meru »

Fraggoso

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 202
  • Karma: 7
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #5 on: 2017-02-12 16:55:53 »
Yeah the moving parts looks ugly as hell if you don't filter them (and this is only the beginning, the game have it's share of moving tiles, somtimes 1 backgroundtile and 19 moving tiles). ^^

olearyf2525

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 208
  • Karma: 15
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #6 on: 2017-02-13 10:24:50 »
good work guys would love some redone backgrounds for 9

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #7 on: 2017-02-14 04:05:24 »
To clear any possible misunderstandings, I am not working together with Fraggoso.

Anyway, I said I'll post some images but ehh, too lazy. Here is a proof-of-concept patch instead.
Attention, this is nowhere near finished and nowhere near playable! All you can do is to look around starting Alexandria but not further than alley!
Most of the moving objects aren't replaced. Some of them partially processed, some no, but all of them look 5 times more ugly on new backgrounds. Most of the layer edges need work too. I did some, like on the main street where you 1st time meet Vivi and some other places, but mostly for testing.
For now it doesn't looks like consistent wysiwyg results with edges can be achieved so I decided not to touch them until (much) later.

If you are brave enough to try it, you absolutely must make a copy of your game files. There is no way to uninstall this!
I have no idea what effect on savedata this may have, if any. Backup it too.
Also only x64 version of the game is supported.

« Last Edit: 2017-02-14 04:06:55 by Meru »

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #8 on: 2017-02-15 03:35:33 »
Just a small update for previous proof-of-convept patch. Pretty much the same thing, but I actually added all the moving objects. Layer edges are still dirty though. So not counting some occasional visual glitches, this is pretty much what it looks like. Though overall Alexandria streets are not as good looking as some other zones.

Edit: oh yeah you can not upgrade from previous patch. This have to be applied from scratch. Maybe I'll make upgrading later, assuming it will not increase the size by much.
« Last Edit: 2017-02-15 03:37:46 by Meru »

Fraggoso

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 202
  • Karma: 7
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #9 on: 2017-02-15 08:57:40 »
Just a small update for previous proof-of-convept patch. Pretty much the same thing, but I actually added all the moving objects. Layer edges are still dirty though. So not counting some occasional visual glitches, this is pretty much what it looks like. Though overall Alexandria streets are not as good looking as some other zones.

Edit: oh yeah you can not upgrade from previous patch. This have to be applied from scratch. Maybe I'll make upgrading later, assuming it will not increase the size by much.

Hey Meru, why is upgrading not possible?
Only asking as the tex gets overridden in the unity assets container? At least overriding something via HW isn't a problem. ;)

How did you do the moving parts? Layer by Layer with all alpha in it? If yes, maybe it would be good to point you to something like the shield in the alex alley which collide with the ground and gets hammered back in. If this looks good at your end, than everything else will (believe me, this one is/was a sucker on my end). ^^

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #10 on: 2017-02-15 19:58:12 »
Hey Meru, why is upgrading not possible?
Not possible because I have not made it possible... but I don't think it will be needed in the long run anyway as most likely the whole thing will be replaced.

How did you do the moving parts? Layer by Layer with all alpha in it? If yes, maybe it would be good to point you to something like the shield in the alex alley which collide with the ground and gets hammered back in. If this looks good at your end, than everything else will (believe me, this one is/was a sucker on my end). ^^
I don't really understand this one. I did it same as non-moving parts. And then... shield collides with the ground? I can not even imagine why would something like that happen. Oo In any case I have not seen any changes in its behavior.

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #11 on: 2017-02-18 10:46:44 »
Looks like I've reached Evil Forest. So far things are going much more slowly than I originally expected, but they are going somewhere.
Now I hate Prima Vista, was so happy when it finally crashed... took it a lot of BG's to crash :DDD My FFIX photoshop folder is now 1.2Gb in size.
Found 3 bugs in the process (not introduced by me ofc, mine I'll never find myself). Fixed 2 of them and one left there for now cause it is barely noticeable anyway.

I have not made a patch though. Maybe later...
« Last Edit: 2017-02-18 10:50:54 by Meru »

Fraggoso

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 202
  • Karma: 7
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #12 on: 2017-02-18 10:59:33 »
Not possible because I have not made it possible... but I don't think it will be needed in the long run anyway as most likely the whole thing will be replaced.
I don't really understand this one. I did it same as non-moving parts. And then... shield collides with the ground? I can not even imagine why would something like that happen. Oo In any case I have not seen any changes in its behavior.

Start a new game and head into the alley and see what happens with the shield/sign. I'm only stressing this out because he gave me headaches. But that could've been because of an older hw version i had. :)

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #13 on: 2017-02-18 11:05:44 »
Start a new game and head into the alley and see what happens with the shield/sign. I'm only stressing this out because he gave me headaches. But that could've been because of an older hw version i had. :)
Nah, I don't have a time to waste on that. That thing is not different from any other animation. The only reason its position could change from the default one is because of a bug in one of the older HW versions (theoretically, I'm not saying there was a bug) or you accidentally moved it (but in this case it would not move far).
« Last Edit: 2017-02-18 11:23:57 by Meru »

Fraggoso

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 202
  • Karma: 7
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #14 on: 2017-02-19 06:28:59 »
Nah, I don't have a time to waste on that. That thing is not different from any other animation. The only reason its position could change from the default one is because of a bug in one of the older HW versions (theoretically, I'm not saying there was a bug) or you accidentally moved it (but in this case it would not move far).

I don't think you understood what I meant. ^^
The sign, as soon as you arrive at the alley, gets knocked down. That's why a npc will start fixing it. ;)
And yes it's far from the others animation because the layer/tile is not swapped like other one but moves down and after the npx fixes it, stays where it belongs.

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #15 on: 2017-02-19 06:42:30 »
I don't think you understood what I meant. ^^
Yea, I don't have a slightest clue what r u saying.

The sign, as soon as you arrive at the alley, gets knocked down. That's why a npc will start fixing it. ;)
No it is not. It is being fixed from the beginning. It gets knocked after you found out that the ticket is a fake.

And yes it's far from the others animation because the layer/tile is not swapped like other one but moves down and after the npx fixes it, stays where it belongs.
It is in fact swapped like other animations.

Edit: Could be whatever you or old HW messed up layer order.
« Last Edit: 2017-02-19 06:46:00 by Meru »

Fraggoso

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 202
  • Karma: 7
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #16 on: 2017-02-19 07:30:42 »
I give up. *lol*
Let's move on. ;P

Do you also intend to waifu/filter the multi titles, Meru?
I tried to filter them. The Backgrounds looks nicer but the font has black artifacts in them. :/

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #17 on: 2017-02-19 07:42:52 »
I give up. *lol*
Let's move on. ;P

Do you also intend to waifu/filter the multi titles, Meru?
I tried to filter them. The Backgrounds looks nicer but the font has black artifacts in them. :/
I really don't get it. But I tested it from the beginning and saw nothing unusual...
Moving on :D

Ultimately I would like to process every single layer, that includes titles, but right now they aren't a priority for me. After all, they only stay on the screen for a few seconds.
I saw your message about artifacts, it could be due to incorrect handling but I have not touched them myself. Maybe if I'll be bored I'll try em out.
On the other hand, I would probably just re-create them from scratch. At least English and Japanese ones (not really interested in other ones).

Fraggoso

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 202
  • Karma: 7
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #18 on: 2017-02-19 07:58:56 »
Recreating might be the better solution, yeah. :)
Is there any way we can test the Japanese language btw? I tried setting the language via steam to Japanese but that didn't do anything and there's no Japanese language selector in the game. :/

Fraggoso

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 202
  • Karma: 7
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #19 on: 2017-02-19 08:51:33 »
Just wanted to try out your patch.
On vanilla FFIX after applying the patch the screen just stays black. :(

Does it work for anyone?

How do you apply the modded backgrounds with your exe if I may ask?

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #20 on: 2017-02-19 08:58:39 »
You need to select a folder where FF9-launcher is located. After it is done you should be able to see the results in log window. if there is anything but two OKs - something went wrong.

Actually now that I reviewed the code, I found what could be a culprit. I think it could be that if patch was unsuccessful it still removes the original file. I just assumed that patch will never fail. I will improve that at some point. So yeah check if there were two OK's. And make sure you patch the unmodified version of FF9.

As for languages - I have no idea. I used only English so far. You can always swap the layers temporarily though...
Edit2: actually maybe you can't since Japanese is much bigger in size and all that... haven't thought of that.

« Last Edit: 2017-02-19 09:28:08 by Meru »

Fraggoso

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 202
  • Karma: 7
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #21 on: 2017-02-19 09:32:01 »
Like I said, I tried it on vanilla instead of my modded files.
It starts fine after re downloading but as soon as I apply your patch and chose my ffix install directory I get the black screen.
It shows 1. Using latest patch ok and 2 ok.
Still black screen. :/

Do you know of anyone who tested this? I'm running win 10 which could be the culprit on it.

Quick note: how to you intend to patch a background which is broken? Do you intend to let the players download the whole file again or do you plan on allowing patching later on? Just curious over here. :)

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #22 on: 2017-02-19 09:38:51 »
Does it say exactly "1. Using latest patch ok"? If so then ff9 definitely wasn't vanilla but the message is okay too.

black screen can only happen if:
- some file is missing (check if p0data11 is there)
- some texture or movie is broken (not gonna happen with my patch, i don't touch movies and textures whatever all ok or none)
- if you launch the game through FF.exe and not through launcher.

What do you mean background which is broken? I will not make a new version for the sake of one background. It will have to wait for more significant update. I did not expect players to actually play with that patch. It was to check things out. It is incomplete, what do you expect from version 0.002-alpha
« Last Edit: 2017-02-19 09:42:37 by Meru »

Fraggoso

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 202
  • Karma: 7
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #23 on: 2017-02-19 09:40:27 »
I'll have a look later on but I didn't mess with the movies and I start from steam directly so it goes trough the launcher. Thanks though. :)

I just mean if you need to fix anything that maybe slipped trough or couldn't be testded ,(like the chocobo part which is an optional quest which is sadly missable) would that mean that everybody needs to download the whole thing again?
« Last Edit: 2017-02-19 09:42:25 by Fraggoso »

Meru

  • Crazy poster
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Karma: 6
    • View Profile
Re: [FF9PC] Field Background replacement (patch?)
« Reply #24 on: 2017-02-19 09:46:48 »
Assuming I'll make a complete patch and THEN some issue will be found, I will of course make a new complete patch but will provide a small update for existing users too. If that's what you are asking. But if you are talking about work in progress patch, I will not be making any small updates for it unless issue will be so bad that it will be not possible to complete the game.

Edit: anyway At this point I dunno what could be the issue for you. If both messages were OK it should work. If you suspect win10, try to replace Assembly-CSharp thingy with original one. If you will see broken backgrounds but not a black screen, the issue is indeed in that... But I don't think that will help."Using latest patch ok" message means one of 2 things. You applied my patch 2 times in a row to the same FF9 folder - that would probably break things, or that means that you applied HW patch before my patch. Which shouldn't actually be an issue.
« Last Edit: 2017-02-19 10:07:27 by Meru »