Technical Improvements – Part 2: Colour, Water, Light Bloom, Positional Flashlight, and Enemy Shadows

Hi!

This week I decided to share with you my progress regarding the technical issues I’m trying to improve throughout the game. Here goes another round of minor (or not that minor) fixes:

  • Original GC/Wii colours:

colours-mini

As some of you have already noticed, all post-Wii ports suffer from weird and random colour variations compared to the original Gamecube version. This problem only occurs in some areas of the game. 

What causes this? It seems there is an additional effect in those areas that wasn’t present in the original version. This effect acts like the noise effect: it engulfs the entire screen and it’s as if you are seeing the game through a slightly red-tinted glass. This causes reddish colours and sometimes even overexposed tones.

I was able to achieve the EXACT same colours and lighting as the original GC/Wii version (running in the Dolphin Emulator) by simply deactivating that effect. And it turned out to be the same incorrect “warm colour” effect I deactivated in the previous “Technical Improvements” post!

As an extra, I have included in the comparison shots the result of using a custom gradient file I made myself when trying to emulate the TV brightness and contrast of playing the game on a real Gamecube/Wii. It’s really simple to generate new gradient files with really accurate results! Just let me know what do you think about it. The 4th gradient originally included in the game will not be needed once all colour corrections are complete, so it can be replaced with whatever we want. πŸ™‚ 

  • Broken water effect:

water-mini

There is one water effect that is obviously broken (there are several kinds of water effects throughout the game). You can find this one in the first cave area and in the water of the Robo-Salazar room.

I found no way of fixing that effect. It seems that whatever caused the distortion is hardcoded somewhere in the .exe and is not related to any specific file of the game. This is just a guess, of course… I can, however, edit several values of the effect inside the room’s EFF file with varying results. What you see in the comparison shots at the bottom of the post is the most decent look I could obtain. Now it no longer looks like Picasso dropped one of his paintings into the water. πŸ˜›

  • Light bloom effect visible through walls:

light-wall-mini

Another annoying issue that caught my attention from the very first day of release: Some lights are visible through some walls when you turn the camera in certain directions.

This problem can’t be fixed either. So I “simply” looked for an alternative: I was able to replace the effect with another bloom effect that is very similar, without that terrible side effect. I was lucky that such a similar effect exists!

  • Leon’s static flashlight:

lit-mini

I noticed that Leon aiming up and down in certain areas of the game would make the light from his flashlight to move up and down as well… but not in every room! So after some research I found the bytes that control the flashlight’s behavior and I applied the same values to all of the areas that utilize the flashlight. πŸ™‚ 

  • Enemy shadows appearing too dark:

sh1-mini

Enemy and character shadows don’t react to fog in the post-Wii ports. This makes their shadows to look extremely dark when you see them at a distance in areas with fog. Everything turns light-grey except for the shadows…

I was able to find the bytes inside the LIT files that control the opacity and the distance at which the player will start seeing these shadows. Every room and every camera angle of every cutscene has its own LIT file. Fortunatelly, it’s quite easy to find and edit those bytes…

 

And here’s the complete comparison gallery and a video. They will do a better job of explaining the corrections to some of these issues:

UPDATE: New water fix attempt:

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65 Responses to Technical Improvements – Part 2: Colour, Water, Light Bloom, Positional Flashlight, and Enemy Shadows

  1. Ilhass says:

    It’s incredible..I never thought that it will come to this point..fixing some technical issues etc. For me it’s just like Remake now.

  2. Frank Nitty says:

    The care and attn u put into detail is unprecedented. Now this is wtf I call a ‘real’ remaster. Thanks for ur hardwrk and contributions. S/N: I really like the “Optional Color Filter” you had came up w/, it def gives off a cinematic feel.

    • albert says:

      Thanks Frank! I like it too but I guess it’s a matter of taste, so I accept suggestions about that filter πŸ™‚

      • Vick S. Bateman says:

        It really is a nice effort, but i think that the original look simply cannot be achieved because of the gamma differences. On GC/Wii skies (around 8OIRE, when cloudy) appears alot brighter while other area, for ex. around 3OIRE, are darker at the same time, something that produce a more tridimensional (and appealing) image as a result. Manage it to looks correct in every instance while avoiding gamma issues at the same time, gamma issues that are also common in every version post Wii by default, it’s nearly impossibile though.
        Incredible work as asual anyway Albert.

  3. Ariamehr says:

    When can we have it? 1 year or 2 years later or never like Half Life 3 πŸ˜‰

  4. Sergey Tokarev says:

    Water effect in this room looks good enough. I wonder if you can do something with other rooms as well, especially this particular one: http://i.imgur.com/zBYv7xg.png
    It’s completely bizarre in-game. Same with the lake.

    And finally, fixed shadows and GC gamma! Now that’s exactly what I wanted to see πŸ™‚

    By the way, video is still unlisted and not embedded here properly.

  5. Daniel says:

    Simply incredible!
    You hard work WILL NOT go unappreciated.
    Every update is pure bliss and joy.
    Keep up the amazing and beautiful work!

  6. gsm says:

    The flashlight angle thing has me wondering… It must have been intentional, right? So why would they lock it sometimes and not lock it other times? Why would some minor thing related to player controls be attached to the level data? I’ve got a theory you can test… do they only permit angling the flashlight up in encounters with enemies at different terrain heights? Could it have been a subtle way to let the player know when they need to pay attention to possible threats from above?

    • albert says:

      Good point! I don’t have a complete list of rooms using the flashlight but in cells room with the Regeneratos (video) there are 2 different heights but the positional light was deactivated.
      I’ll try to find out the logic used in the use of this feature.

  7. vvoyche says:

    Light bloom effect visible through walls

    This is not an issue if you turn on MSAA! I think that’s much better solution that editing bloom effect. I’ve tried this multiple times and it worked, at least on nVidia cards.

    • albert says:

      Oh! Are you sure? I have a Nvidia GTX 750 Ti card but this option is not in the list… :/ so I can’t check it by myself
      Thanks!
      But it’s not only the lights are visible trough walls. Those bloom efects disapear when you turn the camera to certain directions.. It’s a weird issue…

      • vvoyche says:

        That’s weird, there has to be Anti-Aliasing option in video settings. Here’s what I meant:

        https://s11.postimg.org/6cfbq2n37/re4.png

        It seems to me that this is the same issue, no?

        • Alvare says:

          There’s a logic behind it. Let me explain:

          The flare effect is done by checking the brightness of a pixel of a 3D coordinate within the screen.
          Lower resolutions will sometimes check merged pixel colors within the screen. This because the screen dimensions cannot be broken up and divided by 2.
          Anti aliasing solves this because it is essentially ‘calculated’ from a more precise and higher resolution.
          I know, and I have mentioned this in an earlier post, I have programmed this very same system in one of my game projects.

          • Alvare says:

            The ‘bloom’ is just a hacky and outdated coding.
            How it was faked back in the day, on the Gamecube system.
            Nowadays there are shader depended glow post screen effects.
            A shader passes on their geometry within a depth buffer, and the remaining visible geometry of that overlaps and brightens the screen as if it was a glowing burning flame.

          • albert says:

            Wow all this stuff is beyond my understanding XD but I think I got a rough idea. Thank you for the clarifications!

          • vvoyche says:

            No arguing there. Just wanted to let Albert know about this. It would be a shame if he wasted time on fixing this when AA is off.

        • albert says:

          Yes, that’s the same πŸ™‚
          I have some antialiasing options but not the MSAA:
          http://i64.tinypic.com/30hvjuv.jpg

          In Spanish Nvidia config MSAA is called: “AA muestreado de fotogramas mΓΊltiples” as you can see here:
          http://i.imgur.com/rvgT4rc.png

          I tried activating anything else but the issue ramains
          So… is there another way of getting the same results? ;P
          Thanks!!

          • vvoyche says:

            Please try in-game Anti Aliasing setting in video options. I’ll get into more detail when I get home.

          • Alvare says:

            Interesting. Maybe it has to do with the fps too. Perhaps that’s why it bleeds through walls for only a short time. (The pixel check might not be executed for 30 fps and thus having a slight delay or hickup when the coordinate first goes within the edges of the screen. So when the game runs on low fps, the calculations win over the fault.

            This effect has to be removed or replaced imo, as it is ineffecient and slow, specifically with multiple of them running at once.

          • albert says:

            I’m playing the game at 60 fps now and the effect it’s still broken but the ammount of time you can see the lights through the walls is lower (even there’s one light that is not vissible now). So it seems the framerate plays a specific role in this issue as you mentioned.

            BUT! The problems don’t end here. The effect disappears when you turn the camera to the left, up and down randomly. And it hides when Leon’s head is at 1 cm of the light (screen scale). It should hide when Leon’s head reaches the light, not before

            All these issues are gone during a Dolphin emulation and it just works fine like in the Gamecube.

            Thank you! It all makes a lot of sense!
            And… does anti-aliasing have something to do at the end? πŸ˜›

          • vvoyche says:

            Here’s anti-aliasing stuff.

            https://s18.postimg.org/5cjqnzqqx/reeee.png

            it works good even on old 8600GT and at 30 fps. fps doesn’t make a difference for me.
            Can you send a screenshot of a specific light problems here, I wanna check those exact places myself.

          • albert says:

            Thank you again!
            Unfortunatelly I don’t have the MSAA option. The rest is all the same but no MSAA in my card config :/
            The screenshots you provided are good examples. Anyway, here’s another one.
            http://i64.tinypic.com/2ev6tky.png
            The bloom effect are visible through walls when you turn the camera to the left.

          • Alvare says:

            Noticed that too. The light flare disappearing before being behind Leon’s head.

            Is it reacting within a box distance? If so, than it means the system is even cheaper than I expected. (Drawing black billboard rectangles over Leon before the world is rendered)
            (Black colored geometry cancels out the checking checking point’s brightness when overlapping)

          • albert says:

            Hehe it seems the entire effect got messed up during the porting process… or someone in the team wasn’t careful enough

          • Alvare says:

            Haha, yeah, I think they messed up big time. xD

          • vvoyche says:

            Thanks, I’ll checkout that location when i get the chance.

            Just to be clear, you’re missing AA option in RE4 video settings, but not in nVidia control panel (it seems to be there in the screenshot you posted earlier)? Is your game exe version 1.06? Can you grab a “fresh” exe file and try?

            Also, try forcing AA trough nVidia control panel.
            “Antialiasing – Modo” should be set to override
            “Antialiasing – Configuracion” should be set to 4x

          • albert says:

            MY RE4 config is ok and yes, it’s 1.06 πŸ™‚
            Just the Multi-framed sampled AA (MFAA) option in my nvidia control panel is missing. Sorry All the time I meant “MFAA” … a recurrent typo haha
            My video card doesn’t support MFAA

            The rest of anti aliasing options are there
            I tried β€œAntialiasing – Modo” override + β€œAntialiasing – Configuracion” 4x but nothing happened. The effect is still broken

            You have that MFAA option in your screenshot activated. Maybe that’s what makes the difference ΒΏ?
            Thank you again!

          • vvoyche says:

            That’s so annoying! No, MFAA is a new thing introduced in newer drivers that came out recently.

            Maybe you broke AA with all the heavy modifications that you made to the game πŸ˜€ Last thing to try is an untouched version of the game, without any mods. :p

  8. mofailed says:

    Some torches do this at night. In the village there are lit torches out side buildings that push their light through walls & light up interiors, its a really annoying flaw that cant be unseen once noticed. I first noticed the flash light bug when I get to control Ashley. I tried to make her point her flashlight at the armoured knights that line up the walls only to discover that nothing she faces actually lights up! The flash light is just there for effect & its a half assed crappy effect at that lmao, I am looking forward to seeing what you have been able to achieve with the flash light & am very curious about how much you can improve the waters in this game. Sorry to read about the cris situation, fingers crossed for all of you, best wishes & good luck to all of you as always.

  9. Matheus Hilbert says:

    OH MY GOD! Albert, you made a really great job! Congratulations!

  10. Guitar Player says:

    Why showing an optionnal filter ? they are already optionnal filters in the game.

    • albert says:

      This is a custom filter I made by myself trying to emulate the GC/Wii console versions played on a TV. It’s just a test and I wanted to know everyone’s thoughts and suggestions πŸ˜‰

      • Boris says:

        I think the colour corrections are a godsend. As far as the custom gradient file is concerned, I think it may be tricky to get something universally perfect. Everybody has different monitors with varying gamma settings. You don’t want to “crush” black levels to the point where texture detail is obscured.

        It’s a shame about the water. Your fix looks great in the still but it’s just a little too animated in motion. Like the water is being vibrated by something. Still a vast improvement of course. Thanks again for being so invested in this project.

  11. Guitar Player says:

    Well i hope you will keep it as an option. There are enough of those “sweetFX” on the internet.

  12. eric says:

    hi ,
    the Original GC/Wii colours look great πŸ˜‰
    very nice work again !!

  13. 3CeratopZ says:

    Would it be possible to put your textures separately to Ultimate HD? And why do you only work with the version of 2007? With Ultimate HD 2014 would be less.

    • albert says:

      Hi!
      We are working with 2014 UHD version πŸ˜‰
      Greetings!

      • 3CeratopZ says:

        Sorry, I’m not particularly watching the project.
        And u know what the guys from “moddb” r doing a Restoration Project for the RE3? Enhance the quality of backgrounds and stuff. You do not want to help them?

  14. Welsh says:

    Nice work, as usual, Albert.

  15. NoSkills says:

    Are colour effects optional or permanent? I really like your project, but to be honest, I like UHD brown palette more, than original greyish.
    Anyway, you made amazing work.

    • albert says:

      Thank you!!
      Colour fix is permanent. I simply removed a reddish filter that was in some random rooms with no logical explanation making those areas more red and overexposed than the original Gamecube/Wii version while other areas have the same exact original colours. Anyway it’s quite easy to create a custom gradient file that would make the entire game more red like some of those UHD areas (I think PS3 X360 had that issue too). I could make it in 5 min for people who like the original UHD colours πŸ™‚

  16. Cris Without H says:

    Wow, this second water fix looks REALLY good. I think it can safely stay in the final release.
    As for other things, it’s all high-quality work, as always. Really enjoying the original colours.

  17. sergio says:

    great work man!! keep the good work

  18. Leon says:

    Hello.
    thanks for fixed water effect!

    please hd texture all water in game,,for example in this area:
    http://s6.uplod.ir/i/00856/pc3b75i7m3se.png
    http://s6.uplod.ir/i/00856/czbe4styfjgi.png

    please improve ‘Rain’ texture in game,,for example:
    http://s6.uplod.ir/i/00856/dtdcv8xfs6n1.png
    http://s6.uplod.ir/i/00856/o6socrtyb7tu.png

    note: screenshot of original version (2005).

    thanks for everything.

    • albert says:

      Hi!
      UHD (2014) and Ubisoft (2007) ports have completelly different effects. But we’ll do everything we can to improve them;)
      Thanks for following us!

  19. Luke Johnson says:

    Hi Albert! It’s amazing that you’re still working on this and it looks good.

    Will it be possible to apply your color filters to the original SD texture set in the game (by copying some files I assume)? I still enjoy the original textures (not to put down your work) but I want it to look as close to GC as possible when using them. Thank you sir!

    • albert says:

      Hello Luke,
      In fact, it will be impossible to play the SD textures without all 3D edits, lighting and effect adjustments after the installation (unless you unistall the project of course). So, when you select the original SD option you will be able to enjoy all the project features but the textures.
      The reason is there are 2 sets of textures per room in the game folder (SD and HD) but all 3D data, lighting and effects is just one file per stage.

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