The Mercenaries (Part 2)

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Hello everybody!

I’m back with renewed energy!

This week, as expected, I’m showing you the other two Mercenaries stages.

I’m especially proud of the results in the “Waterworld” stage. There were some weird and nonsensical shadows here and there and you could see cloud shadows moving on the roofs of the 2 biggest structures while there were no other moving shadows anywhere else in the area. Also… the sky clouds where static to begin with!!

Now the moving shadows are everywhere, some incoherent shadows have been removed / replaced and the sky clouds now move (this way the moving shadows on the floors make sense).

I also added a nice flare lens effect like the one you can see in the 3rd Mercenaries stage that matches perfectly the direction in which shadows are cast. Before that you could see several “sun lights” all around the “Waterworld” XD. It was quite weird…

In the 3rd stage I edited the global light that reaches the characters. It was dynamic and the back of the player was always lit. Now it’s lit when you are in front of the sun but you look darker when you are behind it, like in the real world. (I already applied the same trick in several previous Main game rooms and I really like the natural look of the results!)

Then we have the typical texture / 3D / light / visual effects improvements everywhere as usual.

I didn’t post and 3rd stage comparison shots because it’s basically a rehashed version of room 320 but you can see both areas in the video below.

I hope you like this work in progress update!

 

 

As a side note, I’m glad to announce I’ve been able to overcome the inventory limitations we had: The game would crash every time we replaced one of those blocky 3D models with a hi-polygon version. The problem was the filesize of the ss_pzzl.dat files. If it gets bigger, the game crashes. Simple as that.

But there are a few unused bin files (items that Leon never uses) that can be removed from that ss_pzzl.dat file. Also, the bin files (3D models) contain a few data blocks that are not necessary in the inventory context. This allowed me make the resulting bin files smaller.

As a result of these two “tricks” I was able to bring back the hi-poly Gamecube inventory items to the UHD version of the game, and I was even to improve some of them. But I’ll leave the details and a few more things for future updates. I want to polish it a little further before showing you the results! πŸ™‚

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69 Responses to The Mercenaries (Part 2)

  1. Steven says:

    Gooood Albert. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about. It’s been a long time, comrade.

  2. GeorgeLincolnRockwell says:

    Okay in picture M-9 the water looks way better but why couldn’t you do this for the main game? I know you’ve said each room of the game has it’s own water effect or something but the one in the waterworld stage look very similar to the water in the ending cutscene.

    • albert says:

      Yes, every room has its own water effect. In this case it’s not just an effect. It’s a combination of 2 3D files transparent layers and several extra layers of water effects. and the overall result is a 100% opaque surface that wouldn’t allow transparencies in other areas like the lake, caves or rooms with reflected elements (Salazar Robot room, for example).

  3. NEGAARMAX says:

    al fin el mundo acuΓ‘tico se ve decente, como quisiera ya tener este update, se ve simplemente hermoso *_*

  4. Max says:

    Ooooh shit, this one – http://www.re4hd.com/wp-content/gallery2/0134-mercenaries-2/M-6b.jpg looks photo realistic, literally! Very good job!!!!

  5. Luca says:

    Great work as always !!

  6. HHH says:

    Great job again, you are reviving the dead with your great HD textures. If you handle limit of textures, i hope we will see great hd textures for characters, weapons and inventory like other textures.

  7. Anas Khalil says:

    Why is everything in Waterworld looks plasticy and shiny especially the wood texture on the floor?
    It looks like a high pass filter is applied or something like that, in the village the wood textures looks natural and higher resolution and not oversharpened πŸ˜›
    Also: Ada’s skin and hair looks a little bluish in the screenshots, are you gonna fix that later, when you remaster the characters? πŸ˜‰

    • albert says:

      Hello!
      The floor textures is exactly the same texture used in the original but in higher resolution (I found the original file Capcom used) but it’s still not enought HD. Maybe this is the problem. It looks blurrier compared to the rest of textures. So, we’ll probably re-create it from scratch.

      About oversharpened textures: We received complains about the Village textures because they looked too clean/soft (specially at the distance) compared to the originals. As a result, the overall look was less gritty and worn. But I’d say they have the perfect level of sharpness now. I guess it’s a matter of taste after all and it’s impossible to get something that satisfy everyone, I’m sorry…

      Ada’s textures: I’m sorry again, but I don’t see any bluish tone on Ada’s textures πŸ™

      Greetings!

      • Anas Khalil says:

        I think you should do what’s best, not what some people want πŸ™‚
        And maybe they complained about the amount of the scratches and details on the texture not the sharpness, because some of them looked a little soft.
        And yeah it looks blurry and sharp.
        But in the end you do whatever you want πŸ˜€
        I just wanted to give my opinion <3
        I appreciate your efforts.

        • albert says:

          Hehe but selectively apply the feedback we receive when we agree of course πŸ˜›
          The problem with Village textures was not the detail itself but the way it was applied: it was too subtle and soft. The sharpness was a big part of this problem and that’s whye it’s been more accentuaded in the latest updates.

          Don’t worry about that floor. It will be really improved πŸ™‚
          Thank you about your feedback! we always welcome and want to know about different points of view!
          Oh And remember this is Work in Progress so there will be probably some other changes in the final version.
          Greetings!

  8. Maxim says:

    Amazing! Can’t wait to see new updates

  9. Frank Nitty says:

    The upgrade to graphic detail is amazing, keep up the good work.

  10. Y.Z. says:

    I understand you making the sky/clouds move (or, more accurately, rotate, since it’s a spherical skybox), due to the “moving shadows” present in the original “Waterworld” stage, but I honestly feel as though the skybox is moving *way* too fast (and I also personally feel that it looks very “fake” in a way I can’t really properly describe). If you could find a way to either slow down the “moving shadows” alongside a slowed-down skybox, or somehow create a different, more convincing “moving clouds” effect with the skybox (and I don’t really know how much control you have over that) or some other techniques, that would be perfect; otherwise I’d suggest you make the skybox static and remove the moving shadows altogether.

    Speaking of the skybox, I also felt that the looping texture chosen/created feels too bright and “solid” (in terms of color) for the sky, since skies are usually seen in varying shades/gradients (due to Rayleigh scattering). Seeing as you were able to finally accomplish a similar technique with the trough water during the beginning of RE4 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9qgUktMp4I&t=28m28s ), if you’re gonna stick with the “rotating skybox” trick, I would recommend creating two (or more) different background image layers for the skybox: A static one that’s just a gradient of shades representing the atmosphere, and one that would move that’s basically the clouds themselves on a transparent/alpha background.

    That’s just my two cents, at any rate.

    • albert says:

      Now that you mention it… yes they are too fast XD
      It’s not a problem. The clouds and shadows speed are 100% controlable. They are different kind of files compared to the dirty water in the video (that water effect control was quite limited, but the shadows and sky are not effects, they are different kind of files).

      @ otherwise I’d suggest you make the skybox static and remove the moving shadows altogether.
      No way! XD This moving shadows represented quite a “wow” moment the first time I saw them hehe
      Making them all slower will be the best solution I think πŸ˜‰

      @ I would recommend creating two (or more) different background image layers for the skybox: A static one that’s just a gradient of shades representing the atmosphere, and one that would move that’s basically the clouds themselves on a transparent/alpha background.
      In fact, This is exactly how the sky is done in a lot of rooms in this game! πŸ™‚ So, it’s possible to do. I’ll give a try during the next revision and I think it will look a lot better!

      Thanks again for your feedback, it was really useful!

  11. MAGG says:

    Se ve increible. El mundo de agua siempre me parecio un desastre grafico pero aqui se ve muy bien. Coincido un poco con el comentario de arriba, las nubes en el cielo se sienten un poco solidas. Fuera de eso esta perfecto. Me alegra que vuelvas descansado jajaja.

    • albert says:

      Gracias!! Ya he respondido a ese comentario. Creo que podremos conseguir resultados mΓ‘s agradables a la vista/ realistas πŸ™‚
      Y sΓ­! pilas recargadas! πŸ˜‰

  12. Christopher says:

    Amazing work man, really so nice, what you are doing is simply without comparison with another remaster. There’s not to talk about, incredible

  13. Carlos Padua says:

    Hey! I was watching the barrel of the eighth image and I noticed that the sunlight was passing through it, as if it were not there. I would then like to know if there is any way to apply shadows to interactive items, such as barrels and boxes, so that they disappear with them when they are broken .. I know it must be something very complex to do, but it would be more Realistic if possible. Other than that, everything looks much better now, great job !! πŸ™‚

    • albert says:

      I’m afraid this is impossible… sort of…
      I could add a shadow at the bottom of the barrel models (Something I thought about in the past) but it surely would enter in conflict with other shadows around a lot of times and the barrels are not always at the same height which means sometimes the shadow would be at 20 cm of the floor and sometimes it would be hidden under the ground.

      Thank you for the feedback anyway and for your comments!

  14. Inim says:

    Incredible stuff, man. I rarely comment on these but I’m excited to see a new update come out each time. Thanks for all your work!

  15. Alexander says:

    good work guys keep it up! btw i got a question for you: can you change ada’s special 1 costume to mercenaries one in the main game? that would be awesome just like in RE2 or in the end credits.

    • albert says:

      Thanks!
      And yes. It’s possible. In fact, a colleague of us already done it and I’m tempted to include it in the final project pack but maybe it would be a too drastic change. So maybe we’ll include it as an optional pack. For now it’s just an idea πŸ™‚

      I felt really frustrated when I played the game for the first time using Leon’s RPD outfit. I thought it was OBVIOUS Ada’s outfil should be her RE2 clothes! but no… we got the “Assignment Ada’s” one…

      • sean says:

        Something I always wanted was to wear Leons gangster outfit with Ashleys popstar outfit. I feel like the developers mixed them up and that Ashley should wear the metal suit of armor when Leon is wearing his RCPD outfit. Please consider that possibility too πŸ™‚ thanks!

        • albert says:

          Oops I think this is beyond our remastering process hehe. I’m not even sure if this is possible… :/
          Did you ask in the Resident evil Modding forums??

          • sean says:

            there is a trainer program which allows this, but it must be ran everytime you start up the game, and it also doesn’t work 100% of the time (at least not for me). So it seems like it is possible, I was just hoping it didnt require an external program to run. Seems like it would be similar to changing Ada, no?

          • albert says:

            Nope. It’s completelly different. Ada’s outfit during the cutscenbes must be changed in every cutscene.
            All EVD files (cutscene data) contains the models for all the characters and other models that appear. The only “ingame” model used during the cutscene is Leon’s body and the stage
            But Ada’s 3D files are repeated in every EVD file she appears in and it must be replaced and adjusted in every one of these files.

            On the other side, Ashley ingame model is always the same (maybe they are two: when she is secondary character and when she is the main character but I’m not sure right now…)

          • sean says:

            oh thats too bad πŸ™ thanks though!

      • sean says:

        Also, does Leon have the tactical vest when wearing the RCPD outfit? I read somewhere that the tactical vest was part of Leons RCPD outfit in the gamecube version, but not other versions

        • albert says:

          I think you can buy it and use it normally like when using the normal clothes, but you won’t notice the change in Leon’s model. I mean… there’s no RPD + tactical vest model for Leon. Could anyone confirm?

          • sean says:

            When wearing Leons RCPD outfit, you will not be able to see the tactical vest, that is accurate. But in the gamecube version if you started a new game wearing the RCPD outfit, you would automatically start with the tactical vest which gives Leon extra armor/hp, and purchasing another one added no benefit.

            I read somewhere that later versions do not include the tactical vest when starting a new game with the RCPD outfit, and I was wondering if that is the way its supposed to be. I have not tested to confirm this, but its not a big deal, I was just curious about it.

          • albert says:

            If you load a previously finalized game and you already bought the tactical vest during that previous game, then yes, you’ll start with the vest no matter which outfit you choose. Maybe this is the reason of the confusion. But I’m not sure…

  16. Kizaru says:

    Hey guys! Do you have any plans on characters models? It would be awesome to see high detailed HUNK or Wesker model

    • Cris says:

      Hi there! We’ll be tackling character models later in the project. We’ll see what is possible without affecting the stability of the game. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  17. Ben says:

    Hey guys, fantastic work as usual, seeing the progress you’re making is just as exciting as the thought of finally getting to play through the game with your HD project. The new models, textures fit in perfectly with the feeling of the original assets. From a distance you can’t really tell a difference mostly, but when you pay attention, or look at the new textures/models close up, you can see how detailed they are compared to the originals.

    I have a couple of questions in regard to the project;

    Firstly, are you going to include the fix you made to the r212 sound files in the final release, Albert? I noticed you posted it on a thread in the Resident Evil modding forums, and while I personally never noticed it until it was pointed out, and I opened up your fix, and the original and saw that the lock breaking sound, sounds like a painting falling.

    Secondly, I don’t quite remember if you’ve addressed this in the past, but I believe there was an issue with Specular highlights, and bump maps not being displayed properly? or something along the lines of that. Also are you going to remove the “Film grain” effect that’s in the game? In my personal opinion it looks better with it gone, but again, that’s just my opinion. Apologies if these have already been addressed, and I’ve just forgotten, but thanks! Keep up the great work! I’m excited to try this when it comes out!

    • albert says:

      Hello! And thanks for your comments and questions! πŸ™‚

      Yes, we’ll include a few sound fixes. In fact, it’s already included in the Castle pack along with the Garrador missing scream issue when you hit his weak point!

      We are working on optimizing the specular effects, yes. It’s somewhat tricky to obtain perfect results but not impossible.

      About the film grain. Grain texture is used in other different effects too. So, it’s not a good idea to remove that texture. But there is a way: uncompress all stXX\rXXX.udas.lfs files and search-replace the following bytes string in a hexeditor tool for everyone of the udas files:

      01 04 72 00 –> 00 00 00 00

      This will deactivate the film grain effect! πŸ™‚

      Greetings!!

      • Ben says:

        Awesome, always bugged me that there was a couple of sound issues, but it’s good to hear you’re going to included some fixes for them. πŸ™‚

        Also good news. I know working with Resident Evil 4, especially this latest PC port is a bit frustrating, but I’m sure you’ll be able to fine-tune it to look as good as it can.

        Ahh excellent! thanks for the mini-tutorial, didn’t think ahead that some other effects use the grain as well! So at least I’ll be able to do that if I REALLY want to get rid of it. Though, I most likely will decide to leave it on once this is officially released, as to play the game it was meant to be played. πŸ™‚

        One final question, when you equip the tactical vest as Leon, his hair no longer moves, as if there’s a missing animation, or perhaps something to do with missing bones in the hair. Is there any plan to look at that? I’m not sure if it can be fixed, but who knows. I’ll probably dab into the files myself, and see what I can do. Thanks again, and keep up the great work!

        • albert says:

          Hehe yes, there are a few more effects using the same texture (some rain layers, dust particles floating in the air, dirty water, etc…)

          I also tried to fix the lack of hair movement. I swap Leon’s regular model with the tactical vest one and suddenly Leon’s hair with regular costume stopped moving too… So, it’s not related to the models/bones/animations inside the Leon’s model .udas file. In fact, I checked both files and there are no missing animations/bones in tactical vest files. So I’m guessing it’s a programming issue and I’m not sure if I’ll be able of fixing that.

          Greetings! We’ll keep doing our best!

          • Ben says:

            Ah yes, that’s the same conclusion I came to as well, regardless the vest isn’t essential in gameplay so it’s not too big of a loss. Keep up the good work. πŸ™‚

  18. therealest says:

    Hey Albert. I hope you enjoyed your vay-kay. All in all, I would say everything looks 10/10. 2 small critiques, however.

    #1 The wooded floor looks slightly blurry in contrast to the sharp perfection of the rest of the textures. You can compare the barrel to the floor: http://www.re4hd.com/wp-content/gallery2/0134-mercenaries-2/M-7.jpg stuff on top of the floor compared to the floor: http://www.re4hd.com/wp-content/gallery2/0134-mercenaries-2/M-12.jpg and the edge compared to the middle part: http://www.re4hd.com/wp-content/gallery2/0134-mercenaries-2/M-10.jpg

    #2 http://www.re4hd.com/wp-content/gallery2/0134-mercenaries-2/M-6b.jpg the repetition of the red panted wood texture kind of kills the realism and immersion. I think an easy way to remove the duplicate look is to literally use ANY other texture you think would fit. At this stage, the game looks so beautiful, anything you put there will look better than having an exact double side by side. I only bring this up because I know this concept can apply to other areas of the game too, where the duplicate textures look really obvious. Just use a different texture you think fits best. Whether it’s similar or not to the original doesn’t matter as much as it looks good. It’s yours and cris’s game now, so you guys know what would look best naturally. Also, I’m not saying you shouldn’t use duplicates, I’m saying where the duplicates/repeat textures look obvious just throw something else in there.

    Again, everything looks phenomenal regardless. Just my two cents.

    • Cris says:

      Thanks for taking the time to share feedback! I agree re: the wooden floor texture not being at a high enough resolution. This is an instance where Albert found the original source texture at a higher resolution than in the game, but it’s still not at a high enough resolution for what we’re aiming for in this project. So, this texture will be re-created to match the original, but at a higher level of detail. Re: the repeated texture, I agree that this is something to avoid where possible, and I think it can be done without straying from the original. Thanks again!

  19. kaludio says:

    is this texture mapped incorrectly or is it the perspective? https://imgur.com/0x5de8M

  20. lucas says:

    Hi guys as always great job but i will make an off topic and ask you about apparently a new Easter Egg found recently by…..a guy. I’ll leave you the link to his video so you can see that texture that is suppose to be the Easter Egg.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COMSP7oVMBg

    • Cris says:

      I think it’s crazy that stuff is *still* being found in the game! And I won’t be surprised if Albert finds the person in real life and has them pose for a revised texture haha. πŸ™‚ But seriously, I love gaming easter eggs. There was a recent Twitter thread where developers shared hidden tricks they implemented to improve the user experience in their games. It was fascinating to read. Here’s the thread: https://twitter.com/Gaohmee/status/903510060197744640

  21. terminento says:

    Excellent work, as always!

    I was wondering if you know about the recently discovered Mystery Person easter egg

    • albert says:

      Thank you again!!
      Yep. I knew that since… well… a lot of years ago! XD
      I thought this was a well known easter egg because the texture has been always inside the room texture pack!

  22. sean says:

    I was looking back over the pictures and everything looks great! Just curious about a tiny detail in the clouds though…

    In this picture http://www.re4hd.com/wp-content/gallery2/0134-mercenaries-2/M-6b.jpg the clouds look great, pretty much the same but more detailed

    but then in this picture http://www.re4hd.com/wp-content/gallery2/0134-mercenaries-2/M-5.jpg it seems as though we lost a tiny bit of detail, such as the blueness of the sky and the fog just above the horizon

    • albert says:

      The reason is the sky texture is completely different. I didn’t try to be faithfull to the original this time because the original had no sense (diferent suns all around the area) So I simply re-created the sky in a way it looked more or less similar to the original. So, there are some areas of the texture that look different, but I don’t think it’s less detailed it’s just … different.

      Anyway, it will probably be different in the final version because I want to make some edits to the entire sky model and moving clouds, etc…

      Thanks again for the feedback!

    • [ROLO] says:

      I agree, in the original, the sky looks a little redish on the bottom and, in general, it’s like a gradient, while the new is more plain

      • sean says:

        yes just a slight bit of gradient-ness would be nice

        • albert says:

          The problem is if I apply that redish gradient it will be visible all around the sky even if the sun isn’t there. But there’s always a solution! By adding several sky layers with transparency just around the area the sun is, for example.
          Thanks for the ideas guys!

  23. isaac pavon says:

    keep up the good work boys!
    can’t wait to install the whole thing and enjoy RE4 like it’s supposed to be.

  24. DarkShinobu says:

    Hola Albert, q tal? y Cris tb, oye, tengo una duda, creo lo habian mencionado pero ya ahora no lo recuerdo, mi duda es. tecnicamente los modelos de enemigos de GC son de mejor pixelado por decirlo asi que las de las consecuentes versiones no? porque aun en la propia version de Steam siento que les falta “redondes”

    Y sera una adiciΓ³n del proyecto usar esos modelos de GC es asi no?

    Un saludo man y gracias por el proyecto como siempre πŸ™‚

    • albert says:

      Hola!
      No, los modelos son exactamente los mismos que los originales de Gamecube. QuizΓ‘s el efecto de que los de Gamecube eran mejores era provocado por el hecho de jugarlos en baja resoluciΓ³n. En una pantalla de PC todo se ve siempre mΓ‘s evidente, y eso incluye los polΓ­gonos.

      Pero con la mejora de las texturas y ligeros ajustes 3D la cosa mejorarΓ‘ πŸ˜‰
      Gracias a ti por seguirnos!!

      • DarkShinobu says:

        Entiendo si, debe ser la resolucion tanto de texturas como interna, por cierto, otra duda, la de GC tb usaba un filtro mas fuerte de “bloom” es asi?

        Un saludo man y de nuevo gracias por crear y continuar con el proyecto.

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