Author Topic: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes  (Read 19359 times)

Mayo Master

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[FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« on: 2015-02-28 19:41:45 »
Team Avalanche field scenes
Version 0.03

The latest pack of Team Avalanche's field scenes can be downloaded Here
The field files have to be extracted from the .7z archive into modpath/field
A gallery of the corresponding field scenes can be viewed here, where credits are given.

These fields were designed with the reference of Kaldarasha's character models , which had to be occasionally resized using Makou Reactor. It is recommended to use these character models and sizes. A list of the recommended character sizes as defined in Makou Reactor can be found in the corresponding .txt within the .7z archive from the download link.

The current version comprises 16 field scenes.
« Last Edit: 2015-04-08 23:57:43 by Mayo Master »

Mcindus

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #1 on: 2015-02-28 21:06:33 »
Amazing.  The essence of modding potential.  Really, really thorough work.  Bravo!

Aavock

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #2 on: 2015-02-28 21:12:50 »
Indeed, this is brilliant.

Instead of asking for a full PS4 remake all I want for FFVII are high resolution backgrounds, that's it. Congratulations to the team.

FFVIIFreaK

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #3 on: 2015-03-01 08:09:35 »
Amazing work

ManuBBXX

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #4 on: 2015-03-01 10:05:59 »
Can we use those textures with 7H + Yarlson fields configured ?
« Last Edit: 2015-03-01 10:11:50 by ManuBBXX »

Mirrorman95

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #5 on: 2015-03-01 10:22:26 »
I've been tracking Avalanche's progress for quite some time now, and I must say these new backgrounds all look absolutely superb, but I do have two big questions about them:

What do you mean by these models sizes? Should you manually change the sizes of all your character models every time you enter a different area, or should you just use models the size of Kaldarasha's?

Also, are you guys eventually going to release the models that you're rendering these areas from, in case someone with ambition wants to do a full remake of FF7 in a true 3D engine, like Rich Whitehouse tried to do a while back?

Mayo Master

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #6 on: 2015-03-01 17:00:32 »
Thank you, thank you  :)
Now regarding your questions

Can we use those textures with 7H + Yarlson fields configured ?
It should be doable. I asked EQ2Alyza if it was possible to combine TA's fields onto whatever other series of fields the user would like to pick. I didn't have confirmation though.
I've been tracking Avalanche's progress for quite some time now, and I must say these new backgrounds all look absolutely superb, but I do have two big questions about them:

What do you mean by these models sizes? Should you manually change the sizes of all your character models every time you enter a different area, or should you just use models the size of Kaldarasha's?

Also, are you guys eventually going to release the models that you're rendering these areas from, in case someone with ambition wants to do a full remake of FF7 in a true 3D engine, like Rich Whitehouse tried to do a while back?
Regarding model sizes: When doing the modelling work, I paid very close attention to the relative size of the characters vs. the size of the objects populating a scene. There were many inconsistencies, mostly because small items were grossly enlarged to make them be recognizable at very low resolution, but since HD can make one see the small details, many things had to be addressed (tea cup the size of a salad bowl, beer can the size of a bucket, etc.). In some cases, nearly all the objects have wrong dimensions with respect to the scene layout, while walkmesh and layering constraints does not allow me to change these sizes. Example: in ealin_12, originally, if you pay attention you'll realize that the table height reaches Cloud's shoulders, it should be actually twice smaller. The only way to address these inconsistencies is to actually change the characters sizes, and keep most of the objects relatively similar.  Objects were also designed using Kaldarasha's models to get the proportions right, chibi models may look more awkward (if something is realistically designed, it obviously cannot fit chibi design).

The characters sizes can be changed using Makou Reactor, and the changes you can make there will affect the characters sizes regardless of the ones you're using, so you can make adjustments even if you're not using Kaldarasha's models.
Doing this with Makou Reactor is unbelievably easy: you open the flevel of the field, change characters sizes there, save, and then you're done - you do it once and then it works every time the scene loads while you play the game.
I'm not totally sure how that's going to be worked out for 7H users, but I think it will be pretty much about fiddling with Makou Reactor before you use 7H. As a last note, 4 fields in the release pack are concerned with this issue (ealin_1, ealin_12, ealin_2 and mds5_w).

As for your second question, the short answer is "hardly". These 3d models were designed for CG renders, not gaming. One notable difference is that it usually took more than 30 hours to render each scene, while for gaming you want this rendering time down to 1/30 second. They were not optimized in terms of poly count, and the shading (textures, bumpmaps, etc.) was made for them to be rendered with Blender's cycle engine. If someone wants to reuse these assets for a real time 3d gaming engine, at least the shading was to be reworked.

I personally do not have the ambition to work on a full 3d remake (as things currently stand). As a whole, I believe our modding situation can last as long as user play a mod which works on a purchased copy of the game. We can be tolerated as long as what we do can financially benefit Square, somehow. If you make a standalone remake which doesn't need the original material to work, then it's a short trip to Cease & Desist IMO.

eliwolfe92

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #7 on: 2015-03-14 19:13:53 »
Wow. just wow. These look fantastic, truly. I haven't played ff7 in quite some time now but I'm re-installing bootleg and trying these out. Amazing work so far! Can't wait to see how some of the more iconic scenes turn out ;)

Mayo Master

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #8 on: 2015-03-15 00:12:42 »
Thanks!
By the way, I would greatly appreciate if people could help this project a little. If some of you could make in-game HD video capture of these scenes and show them off, that'd be awesome. 
This project has always been sorely lacking manpower (each scene took roughly 1.5 months, given that there are 600+ scenes...), so it wouldn't hurt to get some exposure.

EQ2Alyza

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #9 on: 2015-03-15 02:24:15 »
You got it Mayo, I'll do my best to make some videos this week :)

Mayo Master

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #10 on: 2015-03-15 02:33:46 »
Great! Much appreciated   :)

Ansem

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #11 on: 2015-03-16 16:39:59 »
I've got a HD video available right away. I could give you the file, if you wish?

Mayo Master

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #12 on: 2015-03-16 21:12:51 »
Sure, that would be nice. You're welcome to broadcast it, too :)

Ansem

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #13 on: 2015-03-17 14:39:55 »
Alrighty. File can be found here (kinda large but you asked for quality) and I shall also broadcast it in a moment. Link for that will come at a later point in time, hehe. ;)

As it stands though, it would appear Camtasia Studio once again insists on adding those stupid black borders around the image and suppressing the original resolution slightly. If anyone wants to suggest better video editing software, I'll gladly give it a try. Preferably one that outputs both HD Video and HD Audio. Camtasia has proven to achieve neither, so that's getting shown the door.

EDIT: As I said, here's a link for the Youtube version.
« Last Edit: 2015-03-17 16:18:19 by General Ironside »

Mayo Master

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #14 on: 2015-03-17 22:32:04 »
Neat!
A couple of comments though:
- Your video has an incorrect aspect ratio, it's all in 16:9 so everything looks vertically compressed. I believe it would look better displayed in 4:3 (with vertical bands on the sides), which you can adjust with Aali's driver config.
- I also recommend you use Makou Reactor for correcting the size of the characters in mds5_w, ealin_1, ealin_12 and ealin_2, as I explained elsewhere.

EQ2Alyza

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #15 on: 2015-03-18 03:26:58 »
Mayo, if we were able to recruit more people to do the kind of work you've done here, how many folks would we need to get it done within a year or two, and would you be willing to lead that kind of project? I imagine in order to produce the work that you've done, we'd not only need the talent, but also coordination to get all the scenes reproduced in the same artistic style.

Mayo Master

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #16 on: 2015-03-18 04:10:11 »
Mayo, if we were able to recruit more people to do the kind of work you've done here, how many folks would we need to get it done within a year or two, and would you be willing to lead that kind of project? I imagine in order to produce the work that you've done, we'd not only need the talent, but also coordination to get all the scenes reproduced in the same artistic style.
Unfortunately, we would need an army to have the project done within 1-2 years. Based on my own work rate (I consider I spent "as much time as possible on the project while being able to have a life"), we would need... 40 people *cough* to get it done in 2 years. Of course I would be very happy to be able to lead such a project. I'd be happy enough with 10 people, also considering an increase in productivity with people becoming more proficient in their 3d modelling abilities. Additionally, productivity can increase if we have the ability to pool resources (if somebody models redundant items which are used in a number of scenes, no need to remodel the same object). I would also say "all levels of modelling ability are welcome", because I actually started my own practice of 3d modelling because I wanted to help Team Avalanche, which was a mere 2 years and a half ago. All in all, finding people with enough drive and commitment is a big issue. But the amateur 3d modelling community is huge, so the potential is out there. In a sense, it's all about trying to mesh people with an interest in FF7 with people from the 3d modelling community, or show people with little knowledge of 3d modelling that they have the potential to contribute.

As for the coordination of artistic style, we already have a plan for that. Basically, each artist would work on distinct geographic zones within the game, so each geographic zone will have an internal artistic consistency (which is why I've made my work on the Sector 5 slums only). Having different artistic style across different zones is not a problem, because the environments are meant to look different. That being said, there are some "artistic rules" which will have to be respected by everybody (tending towards realistic-looking results, being aware of scaling issues, etc.), but they can be easily managed.

Ansem

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #17 on: 2015-03-18 16:28:52 »
Neat!
A couple of comments though:
- Your video has an incorrect aspect ratio, it's all in 16:9 so everything looks vertically compressed. I believe it would look better displayed in 4:3 (with vertical bands on the sides), which you can adjust with Aali's driver config.
- I also recommend you use Makou Reactor for correcting the size of the characters in mds5_w, ealin_1, ealin_12 and ealin_2, as I explained elsewhere.

You've got a point with the aspect ratio, to be fair, but I can't do 4:3 because it will look absolutely ridiculous with the TV I have. The entire image will be about the size of a stamp in the middle of an A3 paper sheet. (or not, but you get the idea) That irritates the eye pretty badly, since it essentially means I'd have a bigger image on my old monitor than on TV, which kinda defeats the original purpose of me switching to a bigger display.

And I actually did resize the models before, but I switched the flevel archive and completely forgot to re-apply the changes. :P Talk about derp.

Mayo Master

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #18 on: 2015-03-18 17:41:19 »
You've got a point with the aspect ratio, to be fair, but I can't do 4:3 because it will look absolutely ridiculous with the TV I have. The entire image will be about the size of a stamp in the middle of an A3 paper sheet. (or not, but you get the idea) That irritates the eye pretty badly, since it essentially means I'd have a bigger image on my old monitor than on TV, which kinda defeats the original purpose of me switching to a bigger display.

And I actually did resize the models before, but I switched the flevel archive and completely forgot to re-apply the changes. :P Talk about derp.
Actually I'm not sure I grasp the problem you have regarding the aspect ratio. With Aali's driver config, the point is that you can play the game in HD (1920 x 1080) with vertical bands on the sides which allow to display the graphics in 4:3, without distortion. It wouldn't make the game played in low resolution. The outline would be a bit like a SD TV channel displayed on a HD TV, but the resolution itself would still be HD. Or am I missing something?

Ansem

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #19 on: 2015-03-18 20:03:19 »
Actually I'm not sure I grasp the problem you have regarding the aspect ratio. With Aali's driver config, the point is that you can play the game in HD (1920 x 1080) with vertical bands on the sides which allow to display the graphics in 4:3, without distortion. It wouldn't make the game played in low resolution. The outline would be a bit like a SD TV channel displayed on a HD TV, but the resolution itself would still be HD. Or am I missing something?

Yes, I know what you refer to. It's not easy to explain what I'm talking about, so let's just say that the supported input resolution of my TV isn't exactly as large as the TV itself is, so it looks much better to use the whole width of it rather than 3/4 of it. Imagine 1024 x 768 resolution on a HD TV; it's just so small I'd have to sit with the TV in my face. Which is not practical, considering I scrapped my old 1280 x 960 monitor precisely so that I wouldn't need to sit with my face nearly glued to it and eventually ruin my eyesight. Using the full dimensions of my TV allows for a much greater distance between myself and the display and I can see all of the details of any given game so long as the internal rendering resolution is altered accordingly. (for FF7, Aali's driver handles that automatically depending on window size and aspect ratio)

So in short, I have a cheap and dodgy TV and a 4:3 aspect ratio will always be unbearable on it, stretched or not. Therefore, I might as well use the full width and height to achieve the best image quality this TV can offer.

...I do believe, though, that the aspect ratio is not really debatable since it's a matter of opinions when it comes down to it. :P While someone prefers widescreen, another guy can prefer 4:3. Hell, there may be people who have even uncommon aspect ratios such as 16:10 and so on. I know I like 16:9 more than 4:3 for reasons stated above, heh. :D

EQ2Alyza

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #20 on: 2015-03-18 21:42:22 »
Unfortunately, we would need an army to have the project done within 1-2 years. Based on my own work rate (I consider I spent "as much time as possible on the project while being able to have a life"), we would need... 40 people *cough* to get it done in 2 years. Of course I would be very happy to be able to lead such a project. I'd be happy enough with 10 people, also considering an increase in productivity with people becoming more proficient in their 3d modelling abilities. Additionally, productivity can increase if we have the ability to pool resources (if somebody models redundant items which are used in a number of scenes, no need to remodel the same object). I would also say "all levels of modelling ability are welcome", because I actually started my own practice of 3d modelling because I wanted to help Team Avalanche, which was a mere 2 years and a half ago. All in all, finding people with enough drive and commitment is a big issue. But the amateur 3d modelling community is huge, so the potential is out there. In a sense, it's all about trying to mesh people with an interest in FF7 with people from the 3d modelling community, or show people with little knowledge of 3d modelling that they have the potential to contribute.

As for the coordination of artistic style, we already have a plan for that. Basically, each artist would work on distinct geographic zones within the game, so each geographic zone will have an internal artistic consistency (which is why I've made my work on the Sector 5 slums only). Having different artistic style across different zones is not a problem, because the environments are meant to look different. That being said, there are some "artistic rules" which will have to be respected by everybody (tending towards realistic-looking results, being aware of scaling issues, etc.), but they can be easily managed.

Well the fact that'd you'd be willing to lead a project is good enough news. If I were try and advertise on social medias, what kind of qualifications and commitment levels would you want me to list?

Mayo Master

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #21 on: 2015-03-19 03:54:29 »
Yes, I know what you refer to. It's not easy to explain what I'm talking about, so let's just say that the supported input resolution of my TV isn't exactly as large as the TV itself is, so it looks much better to use the whole width of it rather than 3/4 of it. Imagine 1024 x 768 resolution on a HD TV; it's just so small I'd have to sit with the TV in my face. Which is not practical, considering I scrapped my old 1280 x 960 monitor precisely so that I wouldn't need to sit with my face nearly glued to it and eventually ruin my eyesight. Using the full dimensions of my TV allows for a much greater distance between myself and the display and I can see all of the details of any given game so long as the internal rendering resolution is altered accordingly. (for FF7, Aali's driver handles that automatically depending on window size and aspect ratio)
So in short, I have a cheap and dodgy TV and a 4:3 aspect ratio will always be unbearable on it, stretched or not. Therefore, I might as well use the full width and height to achieve the best image quality this TV can offer.
...I do believe, though, that the aspect ratio is not really debatable since it's a matter of opinions when it comes down to it. :P While someone prefers widescreen, another guy can prefer 4:3. Hell, there may be people who have even uncommon aspect ratios such as 16:10 and so on. I know I like 16:9 more than 4:3 for reasons stated above, heh. :D
Ok, that's a set of particular circumstances and preferences, I understand that.
Personally, what matters to me is to avoid distortion in the display. In that respect, the images should have the same aspect ratio when displayed as when they were made. The fact that it is 4:3 or 16:9 is secondary.

Well the fact that'd you'd be willing to lead a project is good enough news. If I were try and advertise on social medias, what kind of qualifications and commitment levels would you want me to list?

That's good to hear :)
In my opinion, drive and commitment are more important than sheer skills, for such a long project. I would greatly value someone willing to put an average of 5h/week or more into the project, and be able to maintain that sort of commitment for 2+ years (I was probably around 15hr/week during the past 2 years, myself). The ability to self-impose deadlines and strive to meet them is important for this kind of volunteer work. Participants will have to keep in mind that the objective is to make scenes which have to work in the game, which sets a number of practical constraints, and often involves testing and troubleshooting.
There can be work for pretty much all skill levels. Newbies would be encouraged to use Blender 3d, since it would help from a resource management point of view and from a mentoring perspective. They could be set to work on scenes matching their skill level, before moving on to more complex scenes as their ability improves through practice.
Even though the use of Blender 3d is preferred (asset management), more advanced modelling artists can actually use whatever software they're the most proficient at. Work could also be tailored to a skilled artist who can only work for a shorter stint and complete 1-2 scenes, although longer commitment is preferred.
We could also use the help of someone skilled in Photoshop/Gimp or the like, in order to help designing and creating textures, without the need for this person to have any ability in 3d modelling.
That's all I can think of for now.

Kaldarasha

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #22 on: 2015-03-19 08:23:25 »
Ok, that's a set of particular circumstances and preferences, I understand that.
Personally, what matters to me is to avoid distortion in the display. In that respect, the images should have the same aspect ratio when displayed as when they were made. The fact that it is 4:3 or 16:9 is secondary.
 
That's good to hear :)
In my opinion, drive and commitment are more important than sheer skills, for such a long project. I would greatly value someone willing to put an average of 5h/week or more into the project, and be able to maintain that sort of commitment for 2+ years (I was probably around 15hr/week during the past 2 years, myself). The ability to self-impose deadlines and strive to meet them is important for this kind of volunteer work. Participants will have to keep in mind that the objective is to make scenes which have to work in the game, which sets a number of practical constraints, and often involves testing and troubleshooting.
There can be work for pretty much all skill levels. Newbies would be encouraged to use Blender 3d, since it would help from a resource management point of view and from a mentoring perspective. They could be set to work on scenes matching their skill level, before moving on to more complex scenes as their ability improves through practice.
Even though the use of Blender 3d is preferred (asset management), more advanced modelling artists can actually use whatever software they're the most proficient at. Work could also be tailored to a skilled artist who can only work for a shorter stint and complete 1-2 scenes, although longer commitment is preferred.
We could also use the help of someone skilled in Photoshop/Gimp or the like, in order to help designing and creating textures, without the need for this person to have any ability in 3d modelling.
That's all I can think of for now.

You forget that programmers are also needed. The current way to get the walkmeshs and import the final rendered picture into the game is a bit pedestrian. This should be done faster. An expert for opengl2.0 shaders would probably also a huge help.

Mayo Master

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #23 on: 2015-03-19 15:49:42 »
You forget that programmers are also needed. The current way to get the walkmeshs and import the final rendered picture into the game is a bit pedestrian. This should be done faster. An expert for opengl2.0 shaders would probably also a huge help.
While the problem of importing layers is there, I have found some workarounds. An improved workflow is for the artist to account for the positioning of the layers at the designing stage of the scene. Things can be done a lot more efficiently than what I've done, but sometimes you can only learn by stumbling and fumbling it seems :P
All this to say: while such a programmer would eventually help our work, as you suggest, this is not at all a critical issue/roadblock.

Mayo Master

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Re: [FF7PC] Team Avalanche field scenes
« Reply #24 on: 2015-04-02 02:14:40 »
Update!
Version 0.02 includes 1 new scene: mds6_1. This scene had been made by Ulpian ages ago, but it was left at the state of 1 final render without layers (and Ulpian hasn't shown any sign of activity since... January 2013 :S ). Numerous retouches were necessary on the original image so that the layers would look right, and I thank Shampignon from the ff7.fr community for having helped out a great deal in this process.
I hope you'll enjoy!