Using AI to upscale Carmageddon 1/2 textures?

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Amador
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Using AI to upscale Carmageddon 1/2 textures?

Post by Amador »

Recently there's a big boom of modders remastering "old" games by using machine learning software like ESGRAN or Gigapixel AI. It upscales the textures and makes it more detailed. Sometimes the difference is not that much noticeable, however there are cases like DOOM, Final Fantasy VII, Morrowind or Knights of the Old Republic where the end result is indeed amazing.

Has anyone ever thought of remastering Carmageddon or Carmageddon 2 this way? Now I know the vehicles wouldn't benefit much from this, since the awesome modding community here simply made better looking ones ages ago, but maybe the tracks/levels would.
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Toshiba-3
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Re: Using AI to upscale Carmageddon 1/2 textures?

Post by Toshiba-3 »

Hello Amador,

I've been thinking about this for years now :slol: made many attempt with the various solutions available, from Waifu2x to Letsenhance and Gigapixel AI, but somehow waiting for the tech to evolve some more. I'd really like for the next VanillaC2 pack release to feature 2x upscaled textures.

The way I see it, all the texture mods released for the various games you cited are indeed amazing but not good enough, they often feel off somehow IMO. Partly because the "hallucinations" create details that weren't there before and also because the sharpness/grainyness(?) of the result is often exaggerated. The upscaled textures then part from the original texture style. I would only consider releasing upscaled textures if the result could pass as 100% genuine.

I guess the only way to achieve that would be to train an AI on C2 textures only, I'll give it a try one of these days :swheel:

When it comes to C1, textures there are pixelart. I know there are AI for pixelart now but haven't tested yet, I'm dubious it could ever achieve something good for texture sets like C1's. The additional problem with C1 is that many textures were drawn as pixelart, then downscaled to 64x64 (often without subsampling). I can't imagine an AI able to bypass that. SP textures were made with proper sizes from the start (BRender had a hard time correcting perspective on textures sized differently than 64x64 and 256x256, also the Glide mode would resize all textures to these sizes as well).
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Amador
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Re: Using AI to upscale Carmageddon 1/2 textures?

Post by Amador »

You're right about the sharp/grainy effect of the end result, now that I think about it, often the upscale looks the best when it is used in "rocky" or "rugged" surfaces, Morrowind were full of these, like Arx Fatalis or Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. I wouldn't mind the sharpness in C2's case because the worst looking textures are the ones that are really blurry, low-resolution and used all-over. Mad Maxine made a great texture pack for the airfield, looked like a sharper, upscaled version of the original, but I guess she made those by "hand" :)

I forgot that C1 uses pixelart, that indeed makes is a lot harder.
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Tracer
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Re: Using AI to upscale Carmageddon 1/2 textures?

Post by Tracer »

I came specifically for this, too bad nobody is making it for C2. The cars look out of place next to the blurry levels, some of the textures are terrible..

I think this would be an awesome idea for Carmageddon 2!
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Amador
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Re: Using AI to upscale Carmageddon 1/2 textures?

Post by Amador »

I would try it but sadly most AI Neural Upscale programs require the CUDA technology that NVIDIA has, and I was basically team red (Radeon) almost all my life. It won't work on my Amd graphics card.
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