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Messages - blippyp

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Wow, your work is really impressive! I played FF8 for the first time all the way through last year, but backgrounds back then were MUCH less impressive. The AI stuff we've seen since the start of 2019 for FF7 and FF8 is incredible! I really hope you don't abandon the project! Cause I'd LOVE to play the game again if you do release a complete version....

One of the things I remember having an issue with for FF8 was the character models (the HD ones you used in your tests) don't quite look right to me. Their faces are pretty different and I often remember feeling like the original character designs were superior when it came to their eyes and faces.

I'd have to see a proper comparison again to see if it's what I remember. If I had any skill with modding things myself I'd LOVE to have an updated HD character set that was a bit more realistic looking with their faces. Honestly, reading through this whole thing took around an hour. And in the last few pages I kinda just started skimming because I wanted to get it finished sooner to get to the end and see if you had finished it or not. That and a LOT of the technical aspects just completely flew right over my head.

I mean, I don't even know what a GAN is xD. I'm assuming it has something to do with AI Neural Networking. But I don't know what. I hope you continue this project because it's honestly amazing what you've accomplished! And in such a short time. It reminds me of this guy Jmp who a few years ago tried to make 3D models for FF7, I read through that thread last night before bed too. The difference is your method is already pretty close to being completed, whereas his method no matter how fast the man was working had only completed like a dozen fields in months.

I think it's safe to say AI Neural Networking is a MUCH more practical solution at this point because it's so automated (compared to just straight up manual work) and allows you to do THOUSANDS of backgrounds in mere hours or days, something which is probably utterly impossible if you'd have done them by hand. I realize it's not perfect, and probably will never look as good as if someone just literally redrew ALL of the backgrounds manually again, but it's a pretty amazing result nonetheless! You should be VERY proud of what you've accomplished! :)

Thankyou, I'm glad you like it, I certainly spent a lot of time on this last I was working on it. You're right about the character's though, I'm also really not happy with what happens with them. The issue is obvious, my GAN was trained to rebuild backgrounds, not characters. I'd have to make a new GAN just for the characters to get reasonable results, which would take time. Then there would be the issue of merging a background produced image with the character produced image (which would likely have to be done by hand). Personally, I just think getting an artist to rebuild the characters if not even the backgrounds as well would just be a much better method. But this GAN stuff is pretty neat, not gonna lie. It definitely kept me really interested for a while. If someone had the time and knew more about the specifics on do's/don'ts for training GAN's however, I think you could produce whatever you wanted reasonably well, there's just so much potential, and we've only just scratched the surface on this neural networking stuff I think, although it's definitely getting more and more common in ways most people don't even realize yet, which is also kind of scary.

Ill glady try this out since im about to start a new run on FF8 where are the files to set-up?
and let me know how I can help do you still need screenshots? How far along are you into the project?

Hello, sorry I haven't been around much lately. I've clearly sort of put this project to bed atm, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if I eventually come back to it. All the images are completed, however the process didn't catch everything and there were a few oddities here and there. My initial worries regarding the characters are still a thing, as well as some backgrounds having a black checkered pattern on them (which I know how to fix, but I need to locate each screen and then rebuild them seperately for now. First problem is that I don't know which screens these are, and it would be rather time consuming to do them by hand, but not impossible as long as there aren't thousands of them (which there aren't), I'm guessing maybe a 2-3 dozen, but I have no idea.

I probably won't touch this project again until I next get the urge to play the game, which I have no idea how long that would be.

If you'd like to see the project at it's current stage however, it's being provided on the nexus:

hey , blippyp, I have a good GAN database which I had trained many months.

do you think it's better for the images?

I can help you to generate photos with my GAN database.

Well, that's the thing with these GAN's, none of them are really perfect, they're all trained to do what they're trained to do. If I trained a GAN to generate a poodle using just 4 pixels to begin with, then it's going to do a much better job at producing a 'dog' from those pixels than a GAN that's trained to take those same four pixels and turn them into a car.

Bottom line, I wouldn't know ;-P

You'd have to post some converted images, but ultimately it all boils down to opinion(s) along with the ultimate goal. I'm also, personally, very happy with the results of my GAN with this game for the most part (it's how I want it), but some images just don't convert as nicely as others (there's a bit of a 'mix and match' with the original images, which makes that very difficult and imo, would require many differently trained GAN's to produce similar images all throughout as well as an artist to at least remake all/most of the characters which are part of the backgrounds. I began this project for me, not for others, but if others enjoy what I produce, then if I ever actually finish it all the better, it's not too late to begin using a different GAN for this project either though.

However, despite what 'I want', that doesn't mean I wouldn't love to see your results as well. So far I've automated my process, but sooner or later manual work will likely be needed, but if by some fluke luck a process is made without any need for manual labour (or manual labour is neede only once no matter which GAN/filtering system you wish to use), I'm certainly all for that and would definitely love to find a GAN/process that would do that with all these images (and a HUGE bonus if they also produce good background characters), I just highly doubt one exists tbh.

But like I said, it's impossible to tell unless you try. So post some images if you wish, I certainly have no complaints about seeing them :)

My 'impossible ultimate goal' for this project from the word 'go' was to be able to produce an automated process that would use whatever type of filtering system we wanted and apply that process to the original images of the game. So the output of one attempt would be a 'cartoon' game, another might be more realistic, another would be nothing but sketches, etc.. etc... The point is that you push a button, walk away and when you come back, you're left with an entirely different looking game than before.

So, ultimately whether I enjoy the images your process produces or not doesn't matter, if I succeed in a 'one push button fix' as is my ultimate goal, and you wanted to use your images instead, you could do that. For myself, as I mentioned, I'm already happy with my backgrounds. I get that not everyone likes them or they would prefer them looking another way, that's perfectly fine - in fact, that's the entire point of why this project began to begin with.

...I intend to start a play through tonight with these and will compile a comprehensive list of affected "checkered" areas for you. I'll take screenshots as well. Thanks for all your work! Will check back in soon...

That would be great! This mod desperately needs someone to use it and screen shot the bad areas - I would absolutely love it if you did this! :)

I've been on a 'break' on this project since I produced the beta, but would eagerly document anything people can post about it and will fix it asap even (especially anything game-breaking).

I'm currently focused on another project atm (it's still a secret) ;-P and am also working on learning how to model in blender a bit (hopefully it'll stick this time). But I have no doubt I'll come back to this sooner or later, your efforts wouldn't be for nothing imo :)

What about setting the field model onto a black background (for instance debug menu), and then increasing size of field model with an appropriate rotation. Could then screenshot it, cut it out clean because of the black background, and then impose the image onto the field over the bad ones? It'd involve shuffling the files within field screens about though, or hex-editing.

If there's a model viewer tool for this game that'd simplify things a lot, but I think it's only for battle models.

Unfortunately, since I haven't even remotely begun messing around with the models in the game, I have no idea what's required to manipulate them. However, if I'm not mistaken, it sounds like you're explaining basically what I was thinking if using models to replace the background actors. Although, imo, it would be much better/easier if an artist were to do it. They're not animated and since the originals were hand drawn anyway (for most), redrawing them would look more 'natural' to the original game. Plus some of the actors are probably in odd positions which might be difficult to get a model to get into and look unnatural, therefore creating more issues. But I wouldn't have a clue until someone tried it, anything that works and looks better is good in my book in the end, whether hand drawn or using a model though.

Actually, after re-reading your post, I think I initially misunderstood what you were saying. I like where you're going with this though, and could likely easily replace many of the bad actors in the game with some edits and using what you're suggesting as a base. It's an interesting idea, would require a lot of work, but it might be something I could do myself in the end if no one else can/is willing to help out with the situation. I'm not very good at drawing bodies, but I'm willing to bet it wouldn't be too hard to 're-dress' the actors however I want and make a few modifications here and there (hair, etc...) to make them look different. The hard part would be the characters in the background that are in odd positions though - the ones sitting, or with their hands/arms positioned in different ways or whatever, but even then I might be able to work with it.

Thanks for the idea.

if you had access to similar 3D meshes for them you could perspective render them onto the image.
unless there is a good way to remove them from the image and redraw the actual background and replace them with 3D actors similar to how they are done in other areas.

These characters aren't 3D models, they're part of the drawn backgrounds, I don't think I've seen a single instance where the character was a 3D model. The actors in the game that are 3D models have all (or nearly all) been already rebuilt by other modders, so they're not my concern at the moment. It would certainly be ideal to use 3D models in their place as you say and overlap them over the 'poorly drawn' actors, unfortunately I have next to zero experience with 3D modeling. I'm sure I could do that if I played with it, but haven't gotten around to looking into it. The hard part would be rebuilding their custom textures, etc.. to make them fit. Personally I don't even care if they look the same, just as long as they look 'random' and fit into the background. As far as removing them from the background, I'm not really concerned about that part, I could easily do that myself and when the time comes, I will likely provide those backgrounds as well for other modders to use as a base to put the new characters on if they feel inclined to do so, but there are other issues that still need to be fixed before then, like the checkered layering issues need to be fixed, the game still needs to be played with the mod so that all the screens can be identified.

I still haven't even played the game with the new backgrounds myself yet and am currently taking a break from it, but am still watching the thread and the nexus page for comments for what people may be finding, especially game-breaking issues (which I would likely try to fix immediately and provide a patch for). The characters are certainly one of the 'most annoying' parts that 'need' to be fixed, but still isn't the highest priority issue unfortunately and as I've said, overall, is mostly out of my hands since I'm not an artist myself nor do I have the 3D modeling experience necessary to go that route to fix it either. Eventually I will play with it, but it's one of the last tasks on my list to do. I identified this issue a long time ago and was encouraged to continue with the mod regardless, so I did.

If an artist or someone who knew how to already mess around with those models wanted to take a crack at it, then rebuilding the backgrounds without those characters would immediately end up on my to-do list however since I want it fixed as much as anyone else and would do anything I could to help that person with that task. They don't even have to be a great artist either, as long as they could produce reasonable images, I could very likely rebuild the background including those new images making them 'merge' more naturally I'd bet. But since the mod isn't completely working yet either, I wouldn't expect anyone to want to go that route without everything else being fixed already, so I'm not holding my breath on that happening just yet.

Well, personally, I think the GAN versions look literally horrible. I would personally probably prefer to see the original versions of the characters overlapped on the new backgrounds then the way they look in the GAN upscaled versions. For an artist to redo them wouldn't be a lot of work I don't think, not a competent one at least. The trick will be finding one who is willing to do it. I'm sure someone would, we just need to find them. Right now, I'm hardly stressing over it though, sooner or later someone will likely do it, I will at least provide those backgrounds in their non Pupu converted state (so the actual images) so that if someone wants to do it they can easily provide a patch for it also once I get past the beta stage probably.

ya, that's why I considered not doing it before. basically every character that is part of the background needs to be redrawn, it sucks, but maybe an artist will provide improved images for them in the future. Sadly I lack the skills, I could probably redraw them, but it would take me a long time and I doubt they'd be considered 'an improvement' considering I'm not an artist... :'(

when I get around to finishing the mod, I will likely try to hunt for an artist who might be willing if no one steps up to the plate for it by then.

As fated courage did a waifu HD pack, maybe it would be good to ask him about the checkered effects. :)

We both use completely different models for our backgrounds. I'm pretty sure he used waifu, which basically denoises and 'cleans' for lack of a better word, so tbh, I doubt he ran into the same issue as I have, or at least a lot less. Since my own model adds 'noise' and guesses on detail to add, my own backgrounds tend to show this 'checkered' effect more. I do know how to fix it (at least I think I do, it worked on one example I tested at least), and may even find a way to fix it in my scripts so I don't have to fix them all by hand (which will require rebuilding all the images again), but currently I'm focused on the language issues, once I have that worked out I will begin focusing on the backgrounds again. The unfortunate part is that I will (again) have to extract the data files for another language (this is a very manually intensive pain in the butt process), which is time consuming, but I'm just about finished that as I'm typing this. Once I have extracted another languages data files, I'm hoping that a comparison of the files will produce a smaller list of exactly which files are different so that I can easily 'pull' and modify just the files necessary for that language (each language basically has every file, so I need to compare them all, so either I do that, or rebuild all the screens again for each language, which clearly sucks). Ultimately, just for convenience, I may go that route, but I'd rather not, since it will require extracting the data for each language, and not just the necessary files, but each file, which basically takes a day for each language and it's far from an automatic process.

I know that RichterB already posted an attempt to identify the different files, but at closer inspection, I'm pretty positive the list he gave me is unfortunately not completely accurate (I have no idea why), I believe what he did was fine, and I will be doing it again in a very similar way. The main reason why I believe this however, is that in the list he gave me it did not include (from what I could tell) screens that had text that should of been flagged. For example, the computer screen in the classroom, those images weren't present, or I didn't see them when looking at the images. I didn't look at them all (and his list was producing language conflicts as expected), but when I eyeballed the file names, I'm pretty sure those screens in the classroom are missing, which leads me to conclude there are likely more missing as well. Either way, I'd still rather check and compare it myself to be sure.

There are a lot of 'skipped' steps that I've done for the 'beta' version that likely won't get skipped in the final version. For instance, I will likely eventually generate a database on each image that will allow me to manipulate the images in a much more advanced way in my scripts, which will easily remove most of the problems I have already run into (specifically the checkered issue and any light/effects issues), but it's very time consuming to go over that many files and try to determine what each file is for, if I'm lucky, I'll be able to identify what screens have these issues and save time by not having to do that step, but only time will tell. Eventually, I think I'll end up making the database any way. But am still hoping to be able to find some 'standard' in the filenames produced by Pupu to be able to solve these issues instead (and already have 90-99% of the time for the lighting/effect issues as far as I can tell, otherwise the beta wouldn't even exist).

To explain the 'checkered' issue however, I saved a lot of time on the backgrounds, by using an archive posted here on qhimm that had 'most' of the original backgrounds already in it. The backgrounds in the game aren't actually one image, but many images layered on top of eachother (I know you already know this, am just stating it for clarification for others), and you must identify which files are needed for the background and merge them to get a full image. It was very simply to put the files in this archive in with the appropriate backgrounds and only required me rebuilding like 120 backgrounds myself by hand, because of this however, I haven't fully identified which files are used in each background. Every time my GAN produces an image, it slaps the image required on top of it's background. This prevents a border effect that generates on each image by instead using the whole screen (ie: the 'border' effect lands on the edges of the screen, instead of around the alpha image, which would appear very obvious if I didn't). Because each image has this background layered below each image, the background gets 'rebuilt' for each image. The GAN never produces an exact copy however, so in some situations, it produces this checkered effect whenever using screens that are part of the background, since the background is now built of 'slightly' different versions for each image that is part of that background. In order to fix this, I need to pull the background image files from a single image, instead of re-creating each image every time which is fine for most images, if that makes sense. Explaining this would be much easier to understand with a video demonstrating it, but this will have to do.

If you still need other language files, and can kinldy explain what files I have to send you, or how extract by myself, just say it.
I'm downloading them now, so really nothing, I just have to look at them and try to figure out what I need to do with them. But I certainly appreciate the offer. :)

...and the problems encountered are things you already know.

And the "wrinkle" effect on some backgrounds, like the one here...

Yes, that's the 'checkered' effect I was mentioning and although I've only fixed a couple, seem to know how to fix, but it will be time consuming and slow to fix. I have to figure out which screens are doing it, but you only see the effect of it while in-game, the textures look fine outside of the game, which is why I'm hoping people will post pictures of the backgrounds that are doing this.

I've run into at least 4-5 of these so far, and I'm sure there are many more. I'm trying to come up with a way to fix it thru my script so that this 'needle in the haystack' is automatically fixed, but until then, I can only fix them as I find them. If I can find a solution for that, I will likely regenerate the images again and produce another download, otherwise, I will have to locate each background having this issue and fix it by hand, then once I think I've gotten them all/most of them  I will provide another 'patch' download.

You're welcome. Any update planned in the next few days?

I have no idea tbh, I just take this stuff one day at a time, and I clearly don't work on it every day, then the next I might work on it non-stop for 2-3 days. If you locate a screen that is clearly broken, especially game-breaking. Making me aware of something like that I would likely look into it and try to fix it asap, I would react similarly for a screen that is clearly not done well and you see it all the time, and it's just driving you nuts. I would look into fixing that one as well as long as someone complains about it. But as for setting a 'date' for anything, I have no intentions for anything like that.

wow that's pretty cool, thanks for posting this for me :)

Even if I want to help, I don't even know how to find and/or extract these original files

As long as that list of files you gave me is accurate, and I have no reason to think it isn't, then it's really just a matter of collecting the files together, they won't take too long to upscale. I just gotta set a couple of hours aside to do it is all.

Ya, it's likely the first thing I'll try. Aside from some quiet hero lurking in the background who suddenly posts the files for me to just 'click' on like you did showing me which files to change, I can't think of any other method to get what I want atm and I'm assuming at this point that my 'hero' card has already been pulled and likely won't see another. But, if that fails, I'll have no choice but to wait patiently and rely on the generosity of someone else to post the files I need.

I compared all files in "textures" folder of version ENG and ITA, of Project AW, with an app called WinMerge, and here you can see the results.

Oh thanks, I was about to do the exact same thing actually, still waiting on the downloads to complete. Unfortunately it still doesn't help with the fact that I don't have the original files which I'll need to do the upscale on. I can resize these ones, but they'll be 'off' probably.

I just wonder if I can play with italian texts, but english ingame signs....

Thank you RichterB, I'm glad you're enjoying it :)

Unfortunately, it still requires a lot of work however. But it's an 'official' start I'd say.

I purchased my game on steam, but also have the playstation version as well. I pulled all my images from my steam game. It only had english data included, but if I'm understanding you correctly, you're referring to images that I've changed that are english, but you want the French or Italian version of that screen. I'll have to look into this a little further, but as far as I know I pulled every field image in the game. I might need someone to supply me with the other language versions in order to fix that. If I change my regional settings and re-download/install the game I might get the appropriate data files also (I would think) from steam which I could then convert, but that would suck having to do that and would therefore only likely do it by request or for what is likely the 'main' languages being used (in my mind). Obviously I don't want/need to convert them all however, so I'll also need to identify which screens need to be converted for that language possibly, depends on how it's laid out I suppose.

I will look into this further though. Please correct me if I'm misunderstanding you though. And thank you for the feedback, issues like this is exactly why I released the beta version even at such an early stage, so it's already paying off. :)

If your gan model is final, i'd like to test it on some ff7 field witch my current method is not realy good

I sent you a pm.

Looks like they finally approved it.

GUM v0.0b Download

It's been a while since I've posted. I haven't been working that hard on this project lately, however I did produce images for the entire game. It's far from perfect (same state as my last post), however it's the entire game this time. It took about a day to generate the images and the masks altogether. I have uploaded my mod on the Nexus, but am currently waiting for them to approve the game.

I will post back here with a direct link once it's been approved, if you're super anxious for it though, a simple search on for 'Final Fantasy VIII' should work fine considering it's probably the only FFVIII mod they have so far.

I might also produce a video for it over the next couple of days as well, not sure. I have used the saves provided to me from FatedCourage, and they seem to be working fine, so I can jump around many different areas now that I couldn't before which should make for a more pleasant video.

The mod being provided on the nexus is still only BETA - Which means it is BROKEN, it is known to be broken. But every background image was regenerated using my GAN so it is an overall background mod at this point, that simply needs to fix some screens. Some backgrounds do not upscale well and I'd like also like to identify those screens and hopefully find a better model to upscale them with if possible in the future, but for now, unfortunately, it is what it is. The screens with 'checkered' like layering on them I have identified the cause of the problem and afaik, have a fix for them, but it will be a time consuming process. I will have to locate each of these backgrounds (so a screenshot from anyone using it would be super helpful, which goes for ANY background that clearly still looks like garbage). Once I know which backgrounds have this issue, I should be able to fix them one at a time. There are also likely some lighting/effects files that need to be modified, so identifying those would also be super helpful.

As I have clearly not had a chance to play the game myself with these new screens, I have no idea if other issues will also arise, however I did open up nearly all of the saves from FatedCourage and everything (aside from that which was previously mentioned) looks pretty good for the most part and seems to play out fine.

The mod is approx 2GB in size, and you will obviously need Tonberry to use it. No hashmaps are provided, I am still currently using the hasmaps from AngelWing afaik, so that should work for you as well.

Were you unable to get the saves working? Or do you plan to just release videos and packs as you progress? Either way, I'm glad to see all this moving forward.

Honestly, I still haven't had a chance to look at those, although I'm pretty sure it's a no brainer to get them going, I've simply just been rather busy the past couple days. As far as how it'll be released, it will definitely be all at once when it's 'completed' or I quit ;-P

I'm already using AngelWings backgrounds pack, so I guess it's just a matter of replacing files. I'm guessing this pack only includes the backgrounds from the video? Luckily I just got the ragnarok on disk3 so I can just check out Balamb :)

Well those entire sections are completed (bc, bd and bg folders) so whatever they have to do with in the game, is updated, much of it isn't in the 'video', but just a slideshow at the end, so if you can get to those other screens, you'll likely find bugs I'm not even aware of yet...  ;-P

This is looking phenomenal blippyp! Masks are really good too! You have a version people can use to try it out?

Mega Link To Backgrounds in Video

Thanks! Here ya go

Should go without saying, but of course you need Tonberry for this to work and anything it requires (I don't think anything, but read the mod page), I would also suggest using the hashmaps from AngelWing if memory serves. Although I'm sure most of the people who want to test this know this, but please make sure you make backups of your original folders so you can replace them when you're done.

Sorry it took so long, but here's a video with my current GAN generation. It's still not perfect, there are clearly a few areas where I need to figure out what's going on, but either way, this is what I get now when I 'push a button' to build the screens. This was approx 2K images in total for upgrading Balamb, Garden and the Cave. It probably took me about 2-3 hours to generate all the images with their masking and imported again with Pupu, so that's pretty good considering there are about 13K images in the game, I can now rebuild the entire game with a handful of screens that need some special attention, and hopefully I'll still find some fixes for those issues.

Youtube Video

I can not resist and ask at least a couple of images), especially with the battle)

Unfortunately I mis-spoke (sorry, it's been a while since I've played this game), the 'battle' scenes I was referring to was when the missile is headed to the Garden (I always think that happens the same time as the big Garden battle for some reason), but I'm pretty sure it happens well before (the battle doesn't happen until you're near Edea's house iirc). So there isn't much of the battle to see (most of that is video any way), so the images I was referring to mostly however is that area under the Garden where you activate the console so you can fly the ship. At the end of the video I'm about to post, I have attached a slideshow of most of the images you didn't get to see in the video that were also updated, but I didn't show previously.) The video will be posted soon, it's uploading now, I will make a link for it here when it's done.

my own trained ff7 model finished its 500000 iteration but the results are lower quality than my over models.
if you can share your model once trained, i'd like to test it to check the results on ff7 ^^

I'm impressed you actually got to 500K iterations, I'm still under 70K myself. I have no problem with sharing the model if you want it though when it's done.

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