Separate Ways – Chapter 4 (Part 1)

Here goes another round!

Today I’m showing you the 4th chapter of Separate Ways. Since this chapter has some exclusive areas (or heavily modified areas from Leon’s campaign), I’ve split this chapter’s update into 2 parts. The first part covers rooms 512 and 513 (the destroyed road (first half) and the battleship areas).

I’m leaving the rest of the chapter for next week’s update, but if you pay close attention at the beginning of the video (and if you’ve played this game enough times), you’ll already notice something that will be different in the next area ;). Let’s see if someone figures it out!

2 remarkable upgrades are the “stars” of this post:

  • Baked textures: I’ve learned how to bake shadows into new textures and easily apply them onto the stage models. As a result we now have more realistic shadows!
  • Improved water effect: The water effect in the battleship area was terribly bad. The GC –>Wii porting team reused the PS2 water effect and it seems they didn’t notice it was way worse than the other areas’ water effects. I’ve ported several effect layers into this room and you can see the results in motion in the video. Remember that the bigger the water surface area, the more difficult it is to obtain good results, but I’d say the improvement is good enough.

Other than this, I’ve applied the usual upgrades:

  • Textures: Only a few battleship area textures were exclusive to Ada’s minigame.
  • 3D models: I couldn’t reuse Leon’s road models because they weren’t detailed enough. When you play as Leon you can’t see most of the detail at close range (he’s on the truck), which is why I didn’t upgrade some of the surrounding models. But now I’ve been forced to upgrade everything because Ada’s walking on that same road and she can see every single detail. And the battleship area needed hundreds of small (and huge) adjustments, too.
  • Lighting: The lighting in Ada’s exclusive areas is quite plain and/or a mess. There are a lot of unjustified inconsistencies, missing lights, lights coming from nowhere, the characters don’t cast shadows on the floor, light pop-in issues, etc…

And that’s it!

Please, take a look and comment on these work-in-progress pictures and video!

Have a nice weekend!

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67 Responses to Separate Ways – Chapter 4 (Part 1)

  1. NEGAARMAX says:

    Este es el que mas quería ver y realmente se ve espectacular, estos cambios aparte de que le dan mas sentido me hacen querer jugar este mini juego.
    Digo fuera de la imagenes agregaron a la armeria enemiga spectacualr maps, corriguieron el agua y el bug del barco al undirse ya quiero ver la parte 2 del cap 4

  2. Jeff R. says:

    It’s looking really good so far. Those doors and the wrapped pallets look freaking amazing! I also really like the shadows on the ladder. The only thing I noticed is that the shroud on the fluorescent lights seems a bit out of place, but you guys have creative license in my opinion to change anything you want.

    • albert says:

      Thank you! Do you mean those bars? I’ve already removed them XD
      I can’t remember the reason that made me left them… I probably reused this model from some other place and at that moment I thought the bars looked good 😛

  3. Abz786 says:

    Keep up the good work guys! Looks really beautiful. always love to see these posts. Can’t wait for next weeks post. Also, does this mean you will go back to the village and castle areas of leons campaign and apply these updates? (shadows, lighting?)

    • albert says:

      Thanks! Only in selected areas. Some of the areas already have decent shadows. And since it’s easy to do, it won’t affect the project progress pace 🙂

  4. warby says:

    how do you do the lightmaps ? is this actually a second uv set/chanel or just a small geometry shell/decal with a unique uv layout in uv chanel 1 ???

    • albert says:

      They are just a new texture applied on a new transparent 3D mesh.
      I generate source lights in the right positions in 3Dsmax and then I bake the shadows onto that new 3D mesh that covers the entire floor and some walls and big objects.
      It works exacly like the pre-existent shadows in the game. The secret is that new shadow texture 🙂

  5. Cris Without H says:

    I think the change of the lamp model in the 4th screenshot is really unnecessary. Same in other screenshots with that lamp.
    I think that in the SW4-C screenshot, the places where the bridge and the wall touch could use something to make them seem more connected, as opposed to the bridge just kinda fusing with the wall, but I don’t know if that’s possible if that texture is reused later on, which I assume is the case.
    The ladder in Sw4-P looks a bit out of place, partially because it seems a little to bright and partially because it doesn’t cast any shadow. I don’t know if any reasonably looking shadow can be added, but the texture just seems to need a little tweaking.
    In SW4-Q, items on the crates don’t cast any shadows. Same in Sw4-U.
    In Sw4-V, the rope looks too bright.
    SW4-Z Is it me, or is the typewriter levitating?
    Just giving feedback, as always. Keep up the good work.

    • UbiSergei says:

      Completely agree that the lamp model change was unnecessary.

    • albert says:

      Thanks for the feedback!
      – I already removed those lamp bars 😉
      – Yes, that texture is used all over the room.
      – Yes, it looks brighter on purpose the same way the chains in El Gigante path are also brighter: The player will notice it easier. But it also cast shadows but they are thin because the ladder is thin
      – About items no casting shadows over other objects: This is something I already thought about while doing the new shadows. The baked textures are applied only on floors, walls and certain big objects but it is needed a new 3D mesh that is placed onto the other stage models. Those objects are no plain cubes anymore, so, It would require a looot of extra polygons to get baked shadows over them. It probably would push to the limits certain areas and I didn’t want to get too obssesed with the baked textures. But it’s possible to add selected shadows in certain places if the lack of shadow is really noticeable and distracting during a regular playthrough! 🙂 I’m leaving that for a future revision.
      – Ropes: Yes, the texture is too bright!
      – No, the typewriter is in the right position. It must be an optical illusion hehe

  6. sean says:

    The amount of detail is crazy, the water and shadows look really great! does that mean you will go back and redo other shadows? The cage around the lights looks fine, but was that changed to match leons campaign? I’ve played the game 30+ times but I cant remember every little detail 😛

    • albert says:

      Thank you!
      We’ll probably adjust the shadows in certain areas. Some of them already have decent shadows. But it won’t take too much time 🙂
      And I already removed those bars. Leon’s campaign doesn’t have them because those small rooms at the road sides doesn’t exist in Leon’s stage. So there was no reference. But I probably took those lamps from some other area and I thought they look ok XD

  7. Alvare says:

    Wow. The shadowing and lighting improved dramatically. Every aspect of the original is magnified in beauty.

    • albert says:

      Thanks! This is what happens when you remaster PS2 assets XD These areas are terribly poor in every way but the baked shadows made the difference I guess 🙂

  8. Leonardo Oliveira says:

    Great work, guys!

  9. GuitarPlayer says:

    For God sake Capcom watch this !!!

  10. Ribbercage says:

    This is incredible work! I can not wait for another for release. what will the next release be? The Island or Seperate Ways? I’ll continue to contribute, what I’ve played through to the island was incredible, it looks better than RE7! Crazy details!!

    • albert says:

      Heheh thanks! I’m not sure if this looks better than re7 XD But at least we can bring a real HD experience 🙂
      Next update will be chapter 4 part 2

  11. Sharif says:

    Amazing work as usual.

    I know it’s a rather early implementation, but it seems like the shadow baking in the bridge screenshot only affects the walls and not the bridge model. As a result the bridge feels out of place due to the underside of the bridge not matching with the surrounding lighting.

    Otherwise, fantastic update!

  12. WAHID 87 says:

    good work keep going

  13. hound says:

    Hey Albert, really great work as usual. Have you considered complete texture baking instead of just the shadows? It’s a big undertaking that might be beyond the scope of your project, but it can elevate the look of the game a generation or two, so it’s definitely a thing to consider especially for a perfectionist like you. Example:

    • albert says:

      I’m afraid that’s impossible. It would generate HUGE texture pack for every area of the game. (Almost as huge as the ammount of time it woudl need XD)
      That would be possible only if the texture size is small but everything would look blurry…. :/
      Also it would look weird perfect stage shadows while the rest of elements of the game (dynamic 3D models, characters, enemies, etc) would stay looking the same.
      But thank you for the idea anyway 🙂
      Maybe someday Capcom creates a good HD remaster of this game with next-gen lighting!

  14. Marcus Albertsson says:

    Looking awesome as always! Just curious about the choice of writing Peligro = Danger on the sign instead of “Warning”, which seems to be the original text. I guess it makes somewhat sense based on the fact that the story seems to be set in a fictional part of Spain., hence spanish is more appropriate for the setting.

    • albert says:

      Yes, we’ve changed a lot of text plates because of that 🙂 I live in Spain and it’s reaaaly strange to find only English writen warning plates (if not impossible, unless it’s imported material of course XD)
      Also, a lot of warning signals doesn’t make sense at all, they are just random plates here and there and it’s not important what’s written on them.

  15. mofail says:

    Real progress & its all amazing quality, I tried recently to redo the 2007 re4 game OPTION screen background but the tool (game graphic studio) I used wont let me see the image clearly. Its a shame because I always hated that red background. Its great to see it in HD here let me tell ya lol I still managed to change the background but its a mess. This separate ways area is so intense I never really looked around properly so i never noticed the water at all, it will be really interesting to explore this section after release, good luck & best wishes.

    • albert says:

      Thank you! If I recall correctly, it was quite difficult to change certain textures in that port unless they keep the original resolution. So, it’s possible to change then for modding purposes but the menus textures can’t be changed to higher resolution textures unless you use some external software running at the same time with the game. Am I right?

  16. Thomas says:

    I’ve been following your progress updates for almost two years and I am really happy with it. Just wondering whether the Castle Release will be done this year? Also I would like to ask, if the progress summary is up to date.
    Are you planning to implement gore/blood anytime soon? Will you move on to another project after you’ve finished your work? What do you think when you are completely done with everything?

    Keep up the great work! Both of you guys are doing a great job!

    • albert says:

      Hello Thomas and thanks for your patience and support!
      The Castle pack was already released a few months ago
      But it’s not the final version

      We’ll keep the level of “gore” of the game but we’ll improve the blood textures of course.
      About future projects… I have no idea right now XD
      We are focussed just on this one 🙂

      • E.P.D. Gaffney. says:

        I have no doubt that Cris and yourself will be moving onto another project after this one, even if there’s a break in between. Perhaps you should come up with a company name or something now so that visitors to this site will start to associate their appreciation of this project with your company, effectively ensuring you a decent fanbase as soon as you begin your next project. Unless of course you plan to focus primarily on retexturing other games and only intend to do this as a hobby. Just a thought anyway.

        • albert says:

          Hehe who knows! Life is full of surprises…

          • Diego Libe says:

            If you one day move to another project, I highly vote for Doom 3… This game has high polygon objects with ultra low quality textures mixed with some svg elements…

            So playing at 1080p, let’s say, gives you a super weird ambient with some high quality stuff mixed with ultra low stuff.

            Like this:
            See in fullscreen the last pic and compare the phone to the notebook’s screen…
            The good side, is that exists source-ports of this game that makes use of soft-shadows, so not even messing around with shadows would be needed.

  17. Frank Nitty says:

    Nice work yet again

  18. Nacery says:

    Otstanding job! Just one question, regarding weapons texures are you planning to use capcom textures or will you improve them too? I’ve alwayes thougth that in terms of polycount exaamine models are great but the texture quality leavesa lot to be desired, a lot of handguns have really grany textures or very compressed color palettes.

    • albert says:

      Yep, we’ll redo all those grainy textures. They are certainly ugly when you see them at short range!
      I’d say the 3D models are “final” the way they look now unless someone finds some bug.

  19. therealest says:

    Wow. Everything looks MARVELOUS. You guys are doing God’s work. 10/10.
    A few small tweaks:
    #1. In general, the big boxes look a bit repetitive. Every box, has every side having the same exact paper pattern. When it was blurry in the GC/PS2 version it wasn’t really noticeable, but now in HD it kinda stands out awkwardly. I’m thinking maybe you should randomize it A LITTLE bit, in the sense of having 3-5 different paper layouts for boxes, only have it on one side, and just alternate from those. The thinner boxes stacked and wrapped in the same room have the amount of randomization I’m talking about.
    #2. The doorknobs look nice, but are gigantic. They’re literally as big as her shoulder.
    #3. Is there anyway you could move or get rid of that stick that’s under the ladder’s foot? It really looks out of place/like a glitch in the art design.
    Again, everything look amazing. Just some tweaks to consider.

    • therealest says:

      I meant “different paper layouts for boxes, only have it on one or a few sides, and just alternate from those.” It depends on how you distribute the label/papers on the different sides, for each style. Whether you use the same paper labels or some different ones with different placement, etc.

    • albert says:

      Hello again! And thank you for the feedback as usual!
      1. Hummm let’s see if I find an easy and effective way of fixing this repetitive effect. I’m sure it can be improved somehow.
      2. Hehe maybe you are right but did you grab your own shoulder? It’s not that big (unless you are really muscular :P) But I see what you mean. I can make them smaller it’s really easy.
      3. Oh I didn’t notice that. Yep, it should be relocated 🙂

  20. Y.Z. says:

    Just out of curiosity: Are you planing on back-porting your higher-detailed road/tunnel for Ada’s room(s) to Leon’s corresponding room(s)?

    • Y.Z. says:

      Also, a suggestion for certain 3D objects that are “underwater”: either extend the “submerged” meshes until the reach the very “depths” of the “pool”, or make them gradually fade into transparency, like so:

      Unless doing this would constitute as another potential “neverending spiral of perfectionism” cycle, I feel it’d look less awkward that way.

      • Alvare says:

        Never ending spiral of perfectionism? More likely a suggestion from someone who doesn’t see things from an graphics design artists’ perspective, at all. Just think about what it is you’re asking. How is that even possible without having an advanced water shader replace the original water’s one? Not to mention it is very likely not worth the hassle let alone worth a single shot to have that achieved.

        As for the higher detailed tunnel. I think they already did replace the mesh.

      • albert says:

        This one is easy to fix! Good eyes! Thanks 🙂

    • albert says:

      I’m not sure if that’s possible because of polygon limitations. That Leon’s area is huge (in PS2 port it was splitted into 2 areas) But we’ll do our best!

  21. E.P.D. Gaffney. says:

    Loving everything, as I always do. Especially how fast we got our Separate Ways content preview after the last update. I never even noticed that this was the same area as Leon’s game, funny enough, but now that I know that, it’s really obvious.

    Anyway, if I had one complaint, it’s one I see here from a few other people, and that’s the bridge model that appears o be next to the wall, or even existing through the wall, but doesn’t appear to be realistically connected to it. It’s a big peeve of mine in games ever since we’ve had the technology to include all the necessary trims and shadows and all that. It’s possible that a fix isn’t really available to you, as I don’t know how modding this engine works, but if I were faced with this situation in my own game, I would just model something that bolts it to the wall, kind of like this:

    I actually didn’t mind that ‘cage’ round the lights, from a visual perspective, but I’m glad that you’ve removed it, as maintaining your faithfulness to the original design is in my opiniuon most important; it can settle disputes and keep an artist grounded very easily. To quote Stravinsky, ‘The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self of the chains that shackle the spirit.’

    • albert says:

      I’m sure it would look gorgeous but if we start doing thing like this here… well you know… it should be applied in the entire game. In my opinion, this level of detail should be applied only in obvious locations the player can stand in front of that.
      This is a good case of “neverending spiral of perfectionism” I’m always mentioning XD
      And there’s also the polygon limitations. It would be possible to do it in certain places but other areas already reached the limit :/
      But I’m taking that into consideration in case I find a pipe conection to the wall or floor in a poor way in front on the player nose 🙂

      • E.P.D. Gaffney. says:

        When all’s said and done, I don’t think anything at this point could detract from how excited I am about the rest of the ‘remastering’, and I know about your neverending spiral of perfectionism, so now that I know you’re aware of it, I trust your judgement to do whatever best serves the project (and maybe keeps you sane, if that’s a concern).

    • sean says:

      I never even noticed that this was the same area as Leon’s game, funny enough, but now that I know that, it’s really obvious.

      I thought the same thing, I’ve only played Separate Ways a few times (didnt have it back on gamecube) but when I played through the UHD version last year I remember getting to that point in the game and thinking “where is she?” I still dont get where all the boats and canons come from lol, but thanks to albert I now can see that this is where Leon crashes the bulldozer xD

      • E.P.D. Gaffney. says:

        Isn’t that weird? I’ve played Separate Ways many times actually, and I still never caught it. When my girlfriend played, she was asking where was this bit meant to take place and I was getting annoyed, saying things like, ‘What’s the difference where it is; just play; these guys are trying to kill you,’ and so on, and then she said something like, ‘No, I’ve definitely seen this place,’ and I think I successfully assured her that she hadn’t. Turns out she was right the whole time. I can’t wait to see what happens when I tell her.

      • albert says:

        Yes, and this make me think that battleship area always looked somehow out of place to my eyes or somewhat unnaturaly placed at least, but after thinking it a little it makes sense because they are in an island after all.

  22. Jacob Rosa says:

    i know this is random and off topic, but i figure maybe you guys would know if anything. is there any way to safely uncap the 60fps cap lock to 120fps? i remember doing it months and months ago, but cant remember how i did it. the game was flawlessly smooth.

    • albert says:

      Uhmm I’m sorry but I don’t have the answer for this. Maybe Cris or someone else here could help. But I’m sure you’ll find the answer if you ask the RE moding forums or even the Steam forums 🙂

  23. Nozomi Tojo says:
    Is possible for the last step of the ladder to cast a shadow on the floor? I know, I’m such a nitpicker!
    If it is not possible by any means, don’t worry, it’s almost unnoticeable. Thanks in advance.

    • Nozomi Tojo says:

      By “cast a shadow on the floor” I mean that the shadow on the wall looks kinda “cropped”.

      • albert says:

        Oh I know what you mean now. That last ladder step shadow ends precisely where the wall meets the floor. So, yes, a “piece” of the shadow is missing. Good eye! 🙂 Easy to fix Thanks!

  24. Max says:

    2 Question
    1: Is the Castle Update not fully complete yet or am i seeing something?
    2:Do you have to recreate new model such as a new lamp on the recently released blog post on Ada chapter 4 part 1 post?

    • albert says:

      Hi Max!
      Sorry, I think I forgot to answer you the first time.
      1. There’s still some texture/3D upgrades to be done in the latests areas of the Castle section. And probably we’ll revise some minor things here and there. All the new revisions will be included only in the final release.
      2. I’ve removed the bars of the ceiling lamps but that’s it 🙂

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