ThunderPeel

Nitpicker's Corner

88 posts in this topic

It's the latest episode of the perennial delight where I scrutinise the hard work of the Remaster team.

I've gone through (almost) every shot of the trailer, and every currently released screenshot and compared them with the original game and all I can say is WOW, I think this is going to be the most successful remaster so far -- at least in terms of taking old artwork and improving it for a higher definition. Whereas there were details in the DOTT background artwork where the remaster artist had simply drawn squiggles over squiggles, sometimes losing a sense of the object they were drawing (this happened especially on chrome and metallic objects), with Full Throttle Remastered they've faithfully copied the "squiggles" of the original artwork while keeping on eye on what they're drawing. As a result everything look much more real and solid, while also being completely faithful to the original.

Consider just how lovely Mo's shack looks in HD:

DHdxKkb.png

Look at the extra detail on the wood, and all the hard edges making it feel solid, and not just an image that's been drawn over. It's perfect! The same goes for the characters, and even the chrome objects look more real this time.

Of course the extra resolution means you have to decide where you add detail, and where you allow it to remain impressionistic. Places where your eyes are naturally drawn to look for detail (like sign posts) now have it, but perfectly blended in. They also did this with DOTT, but I think it looks even better this time, really retaining the style of the original artwork. Consider "Zach's" below:

cRwao8Q.png

There's extra detail, but not in a way that draws your eyes to it. Perfect!

With Ben they've increased the resolution of everything about him. This means we can read "Full Throttle" on the back of his jacket at all times, but that it also means other character's jackets look odd:

ZphEEAb.png

(Note: This is pre-release artwork and may not be finished. I wouldn't be surprised if the piano player's jacket wasn't more detailed in the final version, much like little details were added to DOTT between the early screenshots and actual release.)

The biggest changes were always going to be where the 3D objects were involved. We know from Tim's Tweets that they re-rendered the original models and drew over them where necessary. That now means we see more of Ben's bike than ever before, and it looks beautiful... if very different!

bfSy6xj.png

At first I was shocked at how much softer it looks compared to the original, but it didn't take long to grow on me. I love the extra detail and the general aesthetic of it... although I'm not completely sold on the brown tyres. Shouldn't they be black?

And although I LOVE the extra detail of the new look, at other times the lighting doesn't seem to match the rest of the shot, giving it a bit of a cartoony look. Consider the stark shadows on the original, compared to the Remastered:

p3hiXRb.png

I can't decide how I feel about that. The Remastered does look lovely. Maybe the team decided the new aesthetic didn't work with harsh shadows?

The new model also presents the opportunity for minor problems. Like for example when the flames drawn shooting out the back no longer line up with the exhausts (I think they cheated the model in the original):

W1rbZh5.png

A very minor problem, though, but does raise the question about how fire (and other translucent) light sources should be seen in the game. The original engine simply couldn't handle glows or alpha transparencies, so it makes me wonder if this is an opportunity to add those for the remaster, especially on the police's search lights, which always looked very rough in the original.

For me personally, the biggest upset was probably with the most iconic image of the entire game. Unlike with the other examples, the colour scheme has been changed, and a lot of detail along with it. No longer deep blue sky and rich arid red desert, the entire look has changed quite dramatically, introducing more yellow and turquoise. Also, gone are the nods towards Monument Valley in the background (something I noticed from other shots, too). I've no idea why the decision to change this came from, but for me it's the thing I liked the least, by far.

4zyGD16.png

Just looking at this image tells me that a LOT of work has gone into it, so it's not like this was done by mistake. It looks like, if anything, the sides of the road were changed to match continuity with the fight sequences, which makes sense (although, to be honest, I think I'd have preferred the fight sequences to match the original look of this shot -- but maybe there's good reasons to have the wall of boulders down the side of the road).

But that doesn't explain the changes to the mountains in the background, or the hue shift in the blues. Personally I think those Monument Valley style mountains in the background look gorgeous in the original, and I'm not sure what to make of their turquoise replacements. What does anyone else think?

Finally, I did spot one bug in the trailer, but undoubtedly this will be fixed before the final release: Todd's basement and elevator lights aren't on (pretty minor).

8OW3ieG.png

In all I'm SUPER impressed with the attention to detail on display here. For me it's precisely how a remaster should be done: Adding resolution and detail, while also retaining the original artistic vision. Well done, Team Remastered!

Makes me wish DF could re-remaster Monkey Island.

What did I miss?

Edit: Someone has pointed out in another thread that Ben's hands are behind the handlebars in the iconic road shot. Good spot on that one!

Outstanding questions: Will they make the hose a different colour? :)

Edited by ThunderPeel

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A very pastel color palette used in remastered graphics. I think the original color palette is much better.

Edited by FullGrim

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56 minutes ago, FullGrim said:

A very pastel color palette used in remastered graphics. I think the original color palette is much better.

You mean on Ben's bike?

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25 minutes ago, ThunderPeel said:

You mean on Ben's bike?

Not only for Ben's bike, for generally, like this:

 

4zyGD16.png

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That shot is extreme, but generally, as with todds trailer there, the palette is softened up and is less sharp. Its a bit of a shame but ok. But generally the backgrounds feel too photoshoppy to me. It feels like "we cant spend too much money on this so get some art interns to paint over the original pixelated backgrounds". Maybe it cant be helped, money is money.

Some of the cels look great and others look like they have gone through an automated vectorization... I wonder if that is in fact the case to be able to make it a little faster.

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Regarding the background mountains, it looks like the remastered version IS the same mountain range, but scaled differently. Look to the right of Ben, where the mountain shape looks like the one in the original, just repeated three times and scaled smaller (plus squashed vertically). Also they shouldn't show as much detail, because at that distance they would appear almost monochromatic, like they do in the original.

I do prefer the general new look of the bike though, as the new toon shaded style matches the style of the character much better. But I agree that contrast and lighting on the model could and should be matched to the backgrounds better, especially since the bike is rendered separately for each background it appears in anyway (if I'm not mistaken). To be fair, even the bike in the original didn't match the background color-wise, but at least the contrast matched and the lighting worked a bit better.

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You're right, there's some weird correlation between the old and new mountains. They've lost every ounce of their beauty in the translation though :(

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My one nitpick is that, iirc, that sign to the right of the Kickstand exterior should read Proto-Cola. Perhaps this has been changed for legal reasons?

EDIT: with a quick check it seems that I was always just assuming it was another Proto-Cola sign to match the one in the Destruction Derby, due to the colour scheme and design (unless there's a wide shot of it that I can't find at the moment).

Edited by TimeGentleman

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Wow. Good catch. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be the same logo, though. It's definitely almost identical, but also different enough that someone could argue it's something else:

Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 21.49.12.png

 

Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 21.53.59.png

Fun fact: Proto-Cola is a reference to the ill-fated Defenders of Dynatron City.

Edited by ThunderPeel

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Thanks for the comments, Thunderpeel!

Glad to see we are headed down the right path with only a handful of items that need another few passes to get right. The sorting and cutoff issues will be addressed, of course. But it is all of those art direction decisions we are making now that everything is being created fresh at 4K that could be interpreted a bunch of different ways. The idea right now is to get the entire game done with a 1st pass at art, the we will be going back over everything again with a fine tooth comb to sort out all of the polish that the art will need. This game might be short, but it is MUCH more complex and detailed when compared to DOTT. The art and FMV pipeline came online a few weeks ago, so there are still a lot of rough bits that need that extra few passes of polish. I look forward to sharing more work with you guys so you can see how things look as we refine our process.

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I'm SO impressed with what I've seen!

I'm interested to hear why the mountains have changed, though? They were the one connection with DOTT :) I wonder if Tim has mandated that the game look less desolate? There were always rumours that the idea of post-apocalyptic world wasn't what he wanted, and the mountains seem either, very deliberately changed, or just perhaps are just an early version? Just curious!

 

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On 12/10/2016 at 1:07 PM, ThunderPeel said:

I'm interested to hear why the mountains have changed, though? They were the one connection with DOTT :) 

Wait, what? Has that been confirmed? If so, that's awesome.

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To be honest I hope dubble fine could turn the in game screen saver into something windows could use 

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10 hours ago, cavefish said:

Wait, what? Has that been confirmed? If so, that's awesome.

No. It's just the one thing that came close to connecting them. The real connection is that Ben (Ruben) and Hoagie are brothers.

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7 hours ago, ThunderPeel said:

No. It's just the one thing that came close to connecting them. The real connection is that Ben (Ruben) and Hoagie are brothers.

Yeah, that's a fun bit of trivia.

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Meh. That's tounge-in-cheek at best, IMO. Like the "fact" that BJ Blazkowicz, Commander Keen, and the Doom Marine are all related.

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Things like that changed only because the artist creating the new art didn't know there was something significant about how they were originally depicted.

Once we get a first pass of everything, we will be going back through looking for things like that to change to be closer to the original art.

 

 

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16 hours ago, matthansen said:

Things like that changed only because the artist creating the new art didn't know there was something significant about how they were originally depicted.

Once we get a first pass of everything, we will be going back through looking for things like that to change to be closer to the original art.

 

 

That's wonderful!

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This might not quite be the correct thread for this, but it feels too minor for the wishlist thread.

I just watched that mini making of, and one thing I hope the team gets time to do is differentiate the bikers on that one long tracking shot where the camera weaves through them from behind, before doing a 180 and framing Ben for the title shot. It seems like a wasted opportunity to keep them as clones as in the original.

And speaking of that camera move, I really hope they replicate it as it sweeps past the limousine, gets low to the road and then slows/pulls back slightly as it crosses to the left lane before speeding up again. I always loved that, it showed such attention to detail and gave it a real biker movie feel, like there was some guy hanging out a vehicle with a camera having to get these shots.

 

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The 4k resolution makes the Ben clones stand out way more. This needs to be addressed. Just the back of each biker's head needs to be remodeled. That shouldn't be hard.

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Everything Ben (TimeGentleman) said. The opening is so iconic. It needs to be perfect!

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I don't know if this has been said before, but I was just watching the making of video again, and in the last minute or so a shot from the intro is played.
In the shot we see the camera move through all the polecats, but it's really clear that it's just the Ben model repeated every time.
I think it becomes apparent due to the upscaling, but it definitely needs to be redone in the Remastered version.

 

EDIT: Just saw that someone already noticed this. Anyway, don't shoot me, I've got screenshots!

FullThrottle_Benhead.jpg

Edited by Joop

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On 12/14/2016 at 0:00 PM, TimeGentleman said:

I hope the team gets time to do is differentiate the bikers on that one long tracking shot where the camera weaves through them from behind, before doing a 180 and framing Ben for the title shot. It seems like a wasted opportunity to keep them as clones as in the original.

 

Haha, yeah. We just ran out of time for getting that done for the trailer. It will be addressed before we ship.

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It's looking badass. I do miss the blacks and starker contrast on the bike, in the shots compared in the first post, though, especially when those blacks exist in the background. My overwhelming response to the trailer is excitement for the release, though!

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