One year ago I started the Warcraft Adventures Cutscenes Remaster Project with the intention of adding sound effects to all cutscenes. Since then much has happened and this project has grown quite a bit. In order to celebrate it’s first anniversary, I am working on the next beta, 1.3. Among other improvements (look at the progress page for more details) I am repainting a few scenes in Mix_complete22. But, see for yourself.
There is one problem, though: the orc on the left is Hellscream and I repainted him according to the original video. But, if I am not mistaken, Hellscream has been captured at this point in the game’s story. So, what is he doing here and…what should I do about it? Replace him with another character? Leave him like this, knowing that it’s a continuity error? Suggestions are welcome.
It is time for another beta release! The latest beta 1.2 includes 3 updated cutscenes with reduced compression artifacts. Additionally a few scenes in Mix_complete17 have been redrawn by hand to restore lost details due to previous filtering (read my previous postings for additional informations). Last but not least several color palette errors have been fixed. So, download it while it’s hot:
- improved image quality – numerous compression artifacts have been removed by hand (Mix_complete08, Mix_complete09, Mix_complete10)
- improved image quality – numerous scenes haven been redrawn by hand (Mix_complete17)
- fixed audio – synced a word from Hellscream to the correct mouth movement (Mix_complete08)
- fixed wrong color palette – a color palette error has been fixed (Mix_complete09, Mix_complete24, CS25_A)
Have a look at the new FAQ section in case of any questions you might have!
This project isn’t about just adding sounds any more. In the past few months I have removed a lot of compression artifacts and animations errors. I even repainted a few frames here and there. Therefore the name “Cutscenes Sound Project” didn’t seem to fit any more. Taking this change of plans for the project into consideration, I decided to rename the project to Warcraft Adventures – Cutscenes Remaster Project.
Once again it’s time for a small teaser for the next beta. I’m still working on repainting those scenes of Mix_complete17 that suffered the most during the filtering process.
After finishing Mix_copmplete08 it’s time to have a another look at two problematic cutscenes: Mix_complete17 and 22 were missing in the original leak and had been found later on. Being filmed from a TV screen they were lacking in quality. I used deflickering filters and a waifu upscaling process to improve them. Still, there were scenes I wasn’t satisfied with. So right now I am redrawing certain elements and the difference is quite noticable…
As I’ve previously said, my spare time is rather limited at the moment, but, as you can see, work continues. From time to time, after a demanding day, I just edit a few frames as some form of relaxation. The relaxation part doesn’t always work but at least there will be a Beta 1.2 in the foreseeable future.
Working on Mix_complete08 is no real fun at all. Every 12 frames the video gets pixelated and only improves a little bit between them. So I have to edit most of them in Photoshop. Being one of the longer cutscenes (2123 frames) this one really takes it’s time. Fortunately, most of the remaining cutscenes are much shorter.
I am still working on the project from time to time but, as predicted, progress is slow. While doing my latest playthrough I found a few little bugs which I’ve already fixed. I also removed a few more compression artifacts in Mix_complete09. But other than that there’s not much to tell right now.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve found a better ddraw wrapper for the game. In the past I’ve recommended dgvoodoo, which is still doing a fine job. But, at least on my system, it displayed the cutscenes with sporadic white flashing artifacts. So I searched for an alternative and I’ve found it: DXGL is a relatively new replacement for the Windows ddraw.dll library, running on OpenGL and at least on my system leads to better results. So maybe you’d like to give it a try. In order to make it work you have to install it and remove the ddraw.dll from the Warcraft Adventures game folder. Enjoy 🙂
There’s good news and bad news! The good news first: BETA 1.1 has just been released, so go get it by clicking on the nice big green banner. Besides fixing a continuity error and an out of sync audio fragment, BETA 1.1 introduces 3 updated cutscenes with far less compression artifacts. I revised them by hand in a lenghty process in Photoshop. This being so time consuming is the reason for BETA 1.1: Improving all cutscenes will take a while and I wanted to publish all the stuff that’s already finished.
So what about the bad news? Well, as I’ve mentioned, it will take a while for all the cutscenes to be improved in this manner and I won’t be able to work much on the project within the next few month. This project is far from dead and I will start working on it again once I’ve got more free time.
Still, right now Warcraft Adentures is perfectly playable from start to finish without getting the feeling that something’s missing. And that’s something, isn’t it?
- fixed audio – I had synced a short sentence from Thrall to the wrong mouth movement which is fixed in Beta 1.1 (Mix_complete27).
- fixed continuity error – Thrall’s Frostwolf clan flag has been fixed. It now retains it’s blue color in all scenes (Mix_complete27).
- improved image quality – numerous compression artifacts have been removed by hand (Mix_complete03, 11 and 24).
WHY ARE THE NEW FILES BIGGER THAN THE ORIGNAL ONES?
Reencoding video files always reduces image quality, but at least modern codecs can handle it. In this case I have to use an old compression format, smacker, which makes it far worse. In order to prevent this, I generated the new cutscenes without any (video)compression applied. I’m still using losless audio compression, though.
MY GAME WON’T WORK WITH THE NEW CUTSCENES! WHAT’S WRONG?
The new cutscenes need a newer smacker dll than the one the game originally came with. IllidanS4’s release already contains the new dll.