This YouTube channel is using AI to gloriously remaster classic game intros and cutscenes

Twenty years ago, when realistic games were still only a distant dream, companies like Square had our imaginations soared. before We played with the big budget intro and cutscenes. before long overwatch Blizzard has normalized the practice of releasing Pixar-quality short animations for each new character. Diablo II and Capcom’s Onimusha 3 Immerse yourself in the spirit of killing the devil with amazing mini-movies, each 6 minutes long.

But if you dare to watch these classics on a modern 4K TV or 1080p monitor, they’ll look like a pixelated mess. A YouTube channel called Upscale and machine learning appeared, making it look pretty much the same as it did on previous CRTs. Or maybe even better. It all depends on how well the game’s art style works with AI algorithms to bring the game to life.

NS Kingdom Hearts For example, the intro is amazing. I’ve looked around and intend to call the final version that currently exists:

you have to check the hair World of Warcraftis the introduction of It left me in awe and the video also includes a before and after comparison.

Here are the legendary 6 minutes. Onimusha 3 Open the cinematic at 4K 60fps. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve seen. Enough to share this game history with those who need to understand it.

And this is 1999 Legacy of Kane: Soul River at 8K. Can you believe this is a PS1 game?

Advanced seems to nail it. Chrono Cross, but the second or third stab is Chrono Trigger Pretty surprising:

And I don’t particularly like Upscale’s attempt. Dirge of Cerberus. Thankfully, a handful of other YouTube channels are also trying out these machine learning techniques. game restore nailed it

All of these enhancements are made possible through software called Topaz Video Enhance AI, also known as Topaz Gigapixel, and I’ve written a bit about it before. This is the same generated adversarial network technology that some modders use to upscale the graphics of playable games. Now also applies to cutscenes. For $299, the company will be selling an app that can spit out videos like this in a matter of hours, depending on your PC’s GPU, time required, and resolution. I know because I’ve tried it myself with a handful of anime music videos and game trailers and I’m impressed with how easy it can be.

But the important thing to know is that the images your computer spits out are not necessarily “truth”. Sometimes an inappropriate pursuit of clarity can create details that don’t exist. I’ve found that 4K video sometimes looks better than 8K, and you should choose the right algorithm for the content you want to upscale and compare quick previews before committing.

Here are two different algorithms that try to enhance the same scene. gundam wing, So you can see what I mean.

Topaz’s “High Quality” setting removes intentional blur/bokeh and flattens the image.

A lower quality “Aliasing and Moiré” setting does a more faithful job at the expense of sharpness.

To be clear, these both An improved image, but one is unmistakable. This is a subtle dreamlike sequence where the background should be soft and blurry rather than sharp and flat. Of course the algorithm doesn’t know that.

Click here and here to see some examples of how I’ve improved old content myself and change YouTube quality settings. Extreme TechJoel Hruska from also has a great series on remasters. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

In fact, I was hesitant to write about Upscale. The Verge, because the lawyers thought they would either shut down immediately, or the creators of Upscale would get bored and take them off the post. But I’ve been waiting and watching for almost a year and it hasn’t gone away yet. If you are a big executive in the video game industry ~ no ze copyright missile launch?

At least until I get better at remastering this cutscene myself.


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