Back to the Village for Some Fresh Air (Part III)

It’s time to go back to the Village to apply everything I’ve learned during these last months about lighting and effects!

These last 2 weeks I’ve been touching up the first Village areas (the ones already improved in the two previous “Back to the Village” posts). In the following video you’ll see a small selection of those technical improvements. They are subtle and hard to notice sometimes unless you compare side-by-side, but I think the results are worth the effort.

Also, I’ve been playing a little with the fire effects and I’m pretty satisfied with the intense look it now has in comparison with the original PC effect.

As some of you already know, there was an effect in GC/Wii version of the game that was lost during the HD Revival Selection for the PS3/X360 porting process. It was never restored in later ports (PC/PS4/XONE). This effect consists of an extra layer of intensity over almost all fires in the game. It was like a subtle bloom effect around the fire textures. This effect became a reddish / yellowish filter that engulfed the entire screen. That’s why some rooms in the PS3 and later releases of the game have a different colour compared to the original GC / Wii versions.

We’ve restored the original colours, as you know, and now I’m trying to bring back some extra intensity to some of the fires, in an effort to correct the loss of that previously mentioned effect.

I’ve also included some extra nonsense footage at the end of the video. πŸ˜›

I hope you like all the edits! Have a great weekend!!

(Please, take a look at the video. Some edits can’t be captured with simple screenshots)

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56 responses to “Back to the Village for Some Fresh Air (Part III)”

  1. Cenk says:

    Nice work! Hope you guys can correct the shader effects too and bring back the dof effects.

  2. Y.Z. says:

    I think you should add a strong light source to those fires, like you did with the blue fire candles whenever the Merchant is around; especially here:

    Even with the bloom, the dirt pile (?) and crucified corpse look flatly shaded.

    (I think you *did* add a light source to the fireplace in the video example as well, but it isn’t strong enough?)

    • albert says:

      To add stroght light sources in this room is not possible because of the lighting configuration it has.
      In fact, I already add an extra light source in that fire as you mentioned, so when Leon walks around the fire you’ll notice he’s reached by a new yellow light but it’s not as intense as I’d like it to be because of that lighting config I was talking about.
      I can change that but it would force me to redo the entire lighting of the area light source by light source and it probably would change slightly the look of the entire place.
      Anyway, I don’t think it’s a bad think all this look that black. Toasted/black things doesn’t reflect light anyway.
      Thank you for the feedback!! πŸ™‚

  3. Sergey Tokarev says:

    Hexing intensifies, huh? πŸ˜€
    Now fire looks as good as on NGC and Wii version.

  4. Alvare says:

    Thanks guys. Keep em coming. πŸ™‚

  5. Toni O. says:

    Great update! It adds much to the atmosphere. But the water looks quite strange in both versions. Can you manipulate the animation? To a very slow forward/backward movement with only a small distance? Or if it’s to much work, just disable it? In the real world, I’ve never seen water in such a small box move at all, except there was strong wind. But it looks nothing like that. A proper wind animation would be rather hard to make I suppose. It’s a stream that disappears in a narrow wall.
    No movement would be much more realistic.

    • Y.Z. says:

      I concur.

    • albert says:

      Hehe I know what you mean. This is the first I thought when I was editing this.
      This is the slowest it can be. I can change it to be completely static but… I don’t like it the static look. It looks worse, like a solid surface… humm We’ll see what can wedo about that!
      Thanks for the comments!

      • Alvare says:

        Doesn’t the lake water have the right animated dirty water texture/material?

        I have an idea that could work.
        What would happen if you added another layer that moves slowly in the opposite direction? If it obscures the layer beneath for 50% it would somewhat break the scrolling effect, I think.

        • albert says:

          Yes, that’s a good idea but I tried and it seems there is some kind of transparency conflict and only a layer is visible :/
          That texture in the lake is a exclusive texture for that room stored in that room’s pack file while the one used in main village room is another one stored in the “main ingame effect textures” pack file (that 07000000.pack file)
          I think they simply made a bad texture choice…

          • Alvare says:

            Hm that depth sorting issue again. I guess you can only solve it if it’s geometry is in another file. Later used files opverlap the older ones. It has to do with old shaders. Makes me wish re4’s transparancy was dithered.

          • albert says:

            Nope. No geometry for most effects :/ It’s based on coordinates and sizes, but not on textures applied over meshes I’m afraid

  6. Vick S. Bateman says:

    Awesome Albert, finally the GC version’s fire! At this point i really hope that, one day, you will be able to bring back the DoF again, too.
    Good work on lighting, also.
    Not a fan of the water here though, i actually prefer the “grain” one. I’m too used to it maybe, but it just look like a game version of a very dirty water to me. Your version just.. isn’t Resident Evil 4.

    • albert says:

      Thank you! It’s not the same fire intensity you can see in GC/Wii but it’s an improvement at least πŸ™‚
      About the water, it can be replaced easily. Now it’s just an extra texture inside the room’s pack file. I like it how it looks now actually but it’s true it looks quite different of the original. But the original was… water mixed with sand :/ To my eyes, that water ALWAYS looked cheap and wrong. I thought it was a texture bug the first time I saw it but it was just a cheap way of saving VRAM.
      Any more thoughts about the newwater?

  7. Marius Johnsen says:

    I like the change for the water and the changes done for both the lighting and the fire are really well made.
    Not really a fan of the grain in RE4 so ive removed it on pc. Love seeing every update you guys put out.

  8. LV-426 says:

    Hey just wondering… Any chance you can make some of the background objects destructible? Sort of like how you can shoot holes in doors, but maybe for chairs and walls too?

    • albert says:

      Hehe it’s possible theoretically but it would take us ages to do this with our current knowledge and tools. And this would be more Modding than Remaster ;P

  9. Palito says:

    Thank you πŸ™‚ love your work! Will try and make my first custom build in the future to play many games, this being one of them <3

  10. Frank Nitty says:

    Good job guys once again. U never cease to amaze

  11. sean says:

    The fires look nice, but to my eyes the bloom effect sort of flickers, not sure if thats what you wanted but it doesnt look right to me

    I also think the blue light from the blue flames are a bit strong, they should be a subtle effect with the blue bloom

    The lightning seems like a lot of work, are you planning on releasing a special separate mod for the rainbow color effect? I actually thought that was really cool

    • Nacery says:

      I think the flicker is made on purpose to simulate how light emited from fire moves.

      • sean says:

        yea thats what I figured but idk I think its a bit too noticeable (at least in close ups) it felt like a strobe light almost

    • albert says:

      I agree the blue light is a little too much. In fact, I already adjusted it πŸ™‚
      About the flickering, it’s intentional for the reasons Nacery said.
      Does someone else thing that effect look off? For now, all comments I received about it are about this being an improvement and it looks better and it’s a good addition to my eyes but I won’t use it everywhere with the same intensity. It can be calibrated πŸ™‚

      Hehe the rainbow effect is someone I did it manually light by light in that room. It was fast to do but it can’t be activated or deactivated. So, as you said, it should be shared a separate mod. Anyway, I don’t know if I’ll be in the mood for doing this in every single room when the project is finished XD

      Thank you for the feedback!

  12. Elfotografoalocado says:

    I would think that, as far as lighting of Leon goes, the developers were not looking for realism but for lighting that offered contrast and volume on Leon, as to render him pleasant to the eye. So lighting wouldn’t be all realistic but always look good, the same way it is done in movies or in photoshoots.

    • albert says:

      Yep, I completelly agree and that’s exactly what I thought. But this is not consistent all over the game. There are some rooms that use similar lighting and they look a lot more realistic than others.

  13. MJay says:

    Can i give a suggestion?

    Do you know the beta model for Ashley?

    My suggestion is to use the beta version on the photography that Leon shows at the beginning of the game. I feel it will take away the feeling that Ashley wears the same outfit every day.

    • albert says:

      Sorry but our main goal is to be true to the original and we can’t do such design changes if there isn’t a technical reason behind it.
      Thank you anyway and greetings!

  14. taitas says:

    Hi can you make bullets to make a hole on some Surfaces

    • albert says:

      I guess it’s possible because we can see it in some areas of the game but right now I have no idea how to do that and it’s beyond the scope of this project anyway.

  15. DarkSamus says:

    Can someone post the links for Part 1 and 2?

  16. Henry says:

    I don’t like сriticize someone else’s work but imho grain effect had sence. That was cheep way to recreate some insoluble matter of fine fraction that floats in water, few extra laters with the grain texture under water will be look better.
    However, I did not play a gamecube version so maybe my assumption is wrong

    • Alvare says:

      I have played the Gamecube version yesterday with Dolphin Emulator. I can tell the puddles and water effects look slightly better there because they actually uses screen space reflections.. yes ladies and gentleman.. the effect was used in the original release back in 2005.

      • albert says:

        Really?? I can’t remember this kind of reflecting effect in GC. Could you upload some screenshot?
        AFAIK, the water looks better in GC because in HD ports of the game the specular coordinates/mapping or whatever is called in this case is completely messed up. At least this is what I’m seeing when I compare the same water effect in GC and in PC and I pay attention to their behavior and wave movement. Other than that everything else is the same. But I didn’t compare every single water effect in the game so, maybe I missed something.

        • Sergey Tokarev says:

          I once send you a picture with Del Lago scene right after you kill it.

          This is the only time I see this kind of effect working on PC like it should and it’s working only with 30 fps mode. And it’s not even there with 60 fps mode. I wonder what is causing this?

          • albert says:

            Waves and specular effect are 2 different things in water effect. I actually added waves in salazar robot room (You can see it when the platforms descend into the water… and you play at 30fps XD), but the broken specular effect is just a mess. I can somewhat conceal that by editing the water textures and hexediting the effect data but whatever caused the distortions must be coded inside the exe (I guess…).
            It’s beyond my understanding why the waves don’t work at 60fps :/

            But this screenshot doesn’t show the screen space reflection Alvare was talking about, right?
            Thanks for the screenshot!

          • Alvare says:

            The water waves could be hardcoded indeed. They might disabled the waves at 60fps for various reasons we will probably never find out. Is water actual geometry or an effect? Sorry if I forgot.

          • Sergey Tokarev says:

            “I actually added waves in salazar robot room (You can see it when the platforms descend into the water… and you play at 30fps XD)”
            That’s great)
            No, my screenshot doesn’t have the effect Alvare was talking about.

        • Alvare says:

          Its true. I can post some screenshots later to proof it. The reflections are actual copies of the screen render. Not even turned upside down in some situations/ocassions. If you force widescreen in Dolphin, the effect gets misaligned and you can see Leon being projected onto the water. Same as the final cutscene on the boat but way more noticable.

          • albert says:

            Ohh that kind of doubled image, yes, the PC also has this (those distortions around Leon and Ashley faces during the last cutscene is that copy of the image distorted by the water effect). You can clearly see that in room 103 (farm area) when you look at the drinking trough. It looks quite funny XD (I fixed that BTW :P)
            Is this what we are talking about or is some other effect?

          • Alvare says:

            Yes. Its that effect and it might be the same effect of the del lago lake. And the same effect as the hidden mask room with flooded floor. In the gc version puddles and gushing blood use that effect too. With fixed, did you mean removed the effect? I think it was meant to be clear water instead of dirty because it doesn’t use the grain texture in that location. I have to mention, the first large village section’s drinking trough looks identical in the gc version. The farm one looks way different very reflective and transparent.

            Now thinking back on this.. I totally realise the purpose of it now. Its not representing reflection but refraction of the effects. Because it wobbles/distorts the image too. Now if that screen copy was mirrored vertically it would be an accurate reflection, if not for Leon being projected.

          • albert says:

            Oh no, with “fixed” I meant relocated refraction. That effect in room 103 (farm) is somewhat off (In GC was like this too). You can clearly see the duplicated Leon model without hair XD. This bug is specific of that room only.
            I guess next update will cover the water effect. Today I managed to get excellent results in hidden mask area, swamp and lake areas!!
            It’s not perfect but if you don’t compare you won’t notice somethings wrong anymore. I even like some of the results more that the original GC πŸ˜€
            To be honest, I had no idea what exactly I was doing but it worked XD

          • Alvare says:

            Nice! Cant wait to see for myself. πŸ™‚

    • albert says:

      Don’t worry! We want feedback and we’ve already change a lot of things because of people’s comments!
      In Gamecube was exactly the same. Unfortunatelly I can’t add extra layers.
      About the grain texture used, the problem with this texture is it’s just black and white and dots. To my eyes, it’s like someone throw powdered sugar over the water XD
      Anyway I’ve already did another version of the texture to match more the original grain texture and I guess most people will be pleased with the new one because of that πŸ™‚

  17. Elfotografoalocado says:

    In the fountain in the village, the algae shouldn’t move. When there is a growth of algae in still water, they form a sort of crust, especially around the borders. So instead of scrolling they should be static, and the water should ripple a little beneath.

    • albert says:

      Thank you for the feedback!
      I agree about the movement. I tried it but it looked like a solid surface even with the ripple effect over it. But I tried something else I think most people will be pleased with.
      Keep in mind this game uses an outdated 2005 engine and it’s impossible to make everything realistic. So, we “simply” try to make things to look as good as possible within this game’s engine limitations πŸ™‚

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