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A Question About What People Think Of AI Upscaled HD Texture Packs

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by ChrisFratz, Sep 30, 2021.

  1. ChrisFratz


    I was looking at a proof oc concept someone made where they took the pre-rendered graphics from the game Riven, and AI upscaled them to 1440p, and it made me wonder something, what's everyone's opinion about those HD texture packs for games that rip textures from a game, and then AI upscale them with some cleanup done in post? I personally love them and use them a lot, especially for GameCube and Wii games in Dolphin.
  2. ArmonteSalvato


    My most recent experience with that has been with Final Fantasy 7 PC mods. Right now I have 3 different mods - one of them remakes all background fields from the ground up, while the other two perform upscaling of the originals. I'm using them in this order (since none of them cover ALL of the game's fields):
    - Remade from scratch textures
    - Newer upscaled textures
    - Older upscaled textures

    And this reflects my order of preference. However, if the first mod was not available, I would still be using the two upscaled mods below... I literally can't go back to vanilla Final Fantasy 7 after experiencing this, so I'm very happy!

    As for emulated games specifically, someone did that for Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes on Dolphin, but I never got to try it (I don't even remember what it's called).
  3. For games from the mid 90's, I think it'd be best to just redraw them. Render96 has spent countless months tracking down the textures used in Super Mario 64, and while interesting to uncover what was used back in the day, the textures just don't fit in a game that was built with less powerful hardware in mind. In Tall Tall Mountain for example, the muddy looking texture actually comes from a picture of wood shavings, and it frankly just left me shrugging as to why they bothered to do it at all.
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  4. biggestsonicfan


    Model2wannaB Tech Member
    ALWAYS Sonic the Fighters
    Not a fan, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't exist or people aren't entitled to like them. I'm a fairly big purist in therms of playing a game it was originally meant to on hardware equivalent to the era of the game's release or the platform's lifespan. The developers of these games would have used similar hardware to ensure the game's quality during development, and to modify the game from that state for aesthetic purposes because you're now emulating on that platform that has 5x the resolution of the original console, I feel a bit of the original intended experience could be lost.
  5. ChrisFratz


    I can respect that. My reason for liking AI Upscaled texture packs for emulation is primarily because if done right, it can look like original just in a higher res. Which is great for people that want to or prefer to emulate a game. The way I see it, it's down to a matter of choice and hey, choice is always a great thing in my book. And heck, sometimes I do enjoy playing with vanilla textures to see how a game originally looked.
  6. JustAMotobug


    Eggman Robot Member
    United States
    As a sprite artist, it never fails to rub me the wrong way. Mainly because smoothing out pixels indiscriminately tends to ruin the overall image and makes it look like it's made of plastic. The detail put into a lot of games tends to get lost in the process, so I feel like redrawing them would definitely look much better since an actual human is putting in the work into polishing up the image instead of an AI doing it without knowledge of what the original work was going for.
  7. ChrisFratz


    Yeah, from what I've seen from the projects that I've been following, (mainly the 1440p AI upscale project for Riven the sequel to Myst) they go in and touch up stuff by hand after the AI upscales it. I feel like AI upscaling could really come in handy for some late 90s PC games with pre-rendered backgrounds that were moving over to being run at 640x480. But yeah, for 2D pixel art any sort of smoothing just looks wrong to me.
  8. casted_dreams


    In my opinion, AI upscaling only really works with low-res 3D renders. Anything else seems to usually come out looking like someone smeared the image. (AKA, just as bad as those HQx4 filters most emulators seem to have.)
    (P.S. New here- is it a bad idea to bump a 6 month old thread?)
  9. SpiderInStockings


    Idk but it’s been bumped and I think about this topic a lot

    I think it really depends on the game. Boring answer, I know, but it’s true.

    In some cases it adds to my enjoyment to bump up textures, especially with things like blurry text, and (while not technically a texture) FMVs. But there are games where the low resolution is factored into the game’s art style itself.

    Best examples of this would be a lot of horror and FPS games. Best examples I can think of are Quake and System Shock 2. Quake’s jagged, pixelated enemies contribute to the atmosphere and make something like the Shambler easy to read from across the room but still be intimidating. System Shock 2 has an infamously bad HD fan texture/model pack and nothing is more evident if that than with the Cyborg Midwive model. The original has a face you can’t make out which makes it absolutely horrifying with its gouged eyes and odd hair. This fan pack basically turned her into just… a woman covered in blood, essentially. When you get to the point where you’re overhauling textured and models and not simply up-rezzing them, I think it’s a bit too far. I haven’t seen an instance where it looks good. Remember the Half Life HD models? Uncanny, and those were done by Valve themselves
  10. charcoal


    Be Cool, Be Wild, and Be Groovy Member
    I personally think most of them look bad, just feels unnatural on dolphin games especially since it clashes with the low poly models.
    If it's just the HUD elements however, I'll actually use them 9 times out of 10.
  11. Chimes


    The One SSG-EG Maniac Member
    It's a mixed bag. If the author knows how to use the AI, then the AI-generated upscales tend to look fantastic. But often more or not I see people just slap the AI with little to no care, causing the upscaled textures to have these weird strange artifacts and ringing (and god forbid it be a moving. low-FPS FMV...), to the point where smudgy smeary bilnear N64 textures are more better than, as Vinesauce Joel put it, "a plate of oatmeal". It heavily depends on how the tools are used, but I think it has potential that is sorely missed.