Pedro

Admiral
The WC videos are a vast improvement too. Ideally it would be great to get the 3DO format sorted out as that may or may not fix the compression issues with the reds of the PSX version.
I don't suppose you have any of HCl's work in progress on that front do you?
Even better than extracting the 3DO videos for me would be being able to extract the PSX color comm videos from WC3/4. I'd much rather be using those for the remaster but I'm being pulled in so many different directions on this project and don't have any experience with video encoding so I can only guess what I'm looking at. So far I still haven't even extracted the PC comm videos for WC4 (HCl's player only seems to support WC3, I think 4 is the same encoding for the comms and the movies, just without a header).
 

EmuMusicFan

Chief Petty Officer
The 3DO videos remain the dream. If any Wingnuts out there can help get them into my hands, I'd be very interested in doing remasters of the whole lot!
I just compared the WC3 ending between the PSX version (Japanese) and the 3DO version. Here are three sets of comparisons. At the top of each set is the PSX version, and at the bottom is the 3DO version. The PSX ones are from the psxvideo tool decoded no Compression AVI file, and the 3DO ones are from a YouTube video (MDhnCvcW2iY). The PSX frames are stretched from 320x160 to 960x480.
 

Attachments

ODVS

Petty Officer
I just compared the WC3 ending between the PSX version (Japanese) and the 3DO version. Here are three sets of comparisons. At the top of each set is the PSX version, and at the bottom is the 3DO version. The PSX ones are from the psxvideo tool decoded no Compression AVI file, and the 3DO ones are from a YouTube video (MDhnCvcW2iY). The PSX frames are stretched from 320x160 to 960x480.
Thanks @EmuMusicFan - very helpful! Having seen those shots, I'm not sure if there's really much in it
 

EmuMusicFan

Chief Petty Officer
Thanks @EmuMusicFan - very helpful! Having seen those shots, I'm not sure if there's really much in it
I'm glad you said that. :)

I actually think the PSX and 3DO versions each have their advantages. the PSX version has rich colors, the 3DO version has less distortion. View three comparisons:

1. Although they look similar, note the cluster of stars to the right of the sun. The PSX version has significant lossy compression distortion at the edges.

2. The PSX version has a clear advantage in color depth, but the lossy compression distortion is too obvious. See the ship in the bottom right corner, it all looks like it has a special shield around it! And in the video this "shield" is even more obvious.

3. In this comparison, the 3DO version is clearly better.

EDIT: The Japanese dub is interesting! Blair's voice is magnetic.
 
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AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
It's hard to say from a youtube video what's going on with the 3DO videos. It would be good to know how they captured them (though I suspect they probably just screencaptured an emulator). Either way in the shots, it's clear in each sample that the reds are way cleaner than the PSX version. Oddly, in the one shot of the 3DO it seems like the it's the blues that are suffering. Ideally you would be able to tell an AI to look at both versions and do it's prediction thing to meld both version and improve detail that way... Someday maybe. Without a more direct comparison looking at the source files it's hard to say for sure.

The videos can definitely be extracted. The game *can* be played in an emulator. The WC3 3DO videos are reliant on specific 3DO hardware for playback though (they aren't the same format as the WC3 3DO demo). A decoder that isn't part of an emulator is possible but I don't believe one exists yet. HCl made some progress on the format but never released any of the results.


Thank you, @AD - I really appreciate the feedback :)

There will hopefully be further improvements to the WC3 videos coming in the next couple of months. I've thus far been using the PSX rips from the CIC Holovids pages (which I believe you had a hand in? If so, thank you!). As you'll probably know, while they're great rips, they've been compressed/optimised for web deployment - and every level of compression gives the AI slightly less to work with.

After some nudging from @Pedro (and despite not having owned any gaming console myself since the Megadrive/Genesis!) I've ordered a copy of WC3 PSX on eBay. Pedro's going to assist me in applying HCl's extraction techniques to rip the videos as close to source-quality as possible. Fingers crossed it'll lead to some improvement - because if not, it's going to be a massive waste of time!

The 3DO videos remain the dream. If any Wingnuts out there can help get them into my hands, I'd be very interested in doing remasters of the whole lot!
I have all the PSX videos converted into a raw format here already... THat's probably not the best way to send them to someone but it would be pretty simple to just send the PSX video files themselves and let you convert them directly.
 

ODVS

Petty Officer
I have all the PSX videos converted into a raw format here already... THat's probably not the best way to send them to someone but it would be pretty simple to just send the PSX video files themselves and let you convert them directly.
That would be great if you could @AD - it would absolutely save trying to track them down and extract them from the PSX discs. Thank you!
 

Whistler

Commodore
I have the original WC3 game for 3DO and a working FZ-1, tell me what tool I need to extract them and I'll do it myself ๐Ÿ˜
 

EmuMusicFan

Chief Petty Officer
That would be great if you could @AD - it would absolutely save trying to track them down and extract them from the PSX discs. Thank you!
The uncompressed avi is too large. Then main ending fmv is 28.5MB in wve format but 495MB as an uncompressed AVI.

Copy the LIB files to your hard drive first! Then I guess it is so easy to do the conversion:

1. Drag a LIB file on delib.exe and drop. You get lots of wve files.

2. Drag a wve on psxvideo.exe and drop, you get the uncompressed avi.
WC3 intro needs a flag, so you should use the command line "psxvideo -stereo sc_001a.wve".
 

EmuMusicFan

Chief Petty Officer
I have the original WC3 game for 3DO and a working FZ-1, tell me what tool I need to extract them and I'll do it myself ๐Ÿ˜
Wow! Great collection!

But when it comes to extracting videos, the issue can be more complicated. The 3DO's analog video output quality may not be up to the task.

But I guess you could make a comparison, for example, whether there's any difference in video playback between the real 3DO and the emulator.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I have the original WC3 game for 3DO and a working FZ-1, tell me what tool I need to extract them and I'll do it myself ๐Ÿ˜
For 3DO files, you first need to extract everything from the disks. The disks as-is and disk images aren't directly readable on a pc. You can probably make an ISO without too much issue but that still won't help you. You can extract the files to something usable with tools like unCD-ROM (I used to use version 1.4 which seems near non-existant on the internet these days) or there's an "opera decompiler" program out there that actually works really well to do the same thing. Once you do that the movies are in something similar to a tre file as they are saved in two BUN files on each disk. There's commov.bun and dis1mov.bun .

The bun files open with a "bunddir" header which I assume is an index of all the movie files. Splitting the videos into individual movie files probably isn't hard, but the roadblock will be playing the actual MOV files afterwards. Each movie file in the BUN starts with a "FILE xxx FORM xxx MOVE3DO_" type string and then a large block that seems to be specifying various palette info. The frame data seems delineated with a "INDX " tag but then the video files have several "SHOT CEL" string which my guess would be the different sections and choices for where a WC3 video might branch. A few of the "shot cel" sections have plain text language which probably corresponds to the 'inner thought' dialogue choices. such as "TEXT XXX No wonder they call you Vagabond. -Kein Wunder, daรก Ihr Spitzname Vagabond ist. ,C'est pour โ€กa qu'on vous surnomme Vagabond?"

EDIT- I should add that the hardware architecture on the 3DO is called cel, so when the chucks are calling a CEL function part of the decoding is baked into the machine an not necessarily present in the files themselves.

 
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AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Thanks @AD - requested access :)

I'll have a tinker with them once I have them. If they don't show much improvement over the Holovid vids, I'll follow @EmuMusicFan's directions once my PSX discs arrive (thanks, @EmuMusicFan!).
I may have had permissions messed up before. Try the link again. If it still won't let you, then I can try and regenerate the link.

As for the files they are the exact files you'll find in the PSX LIB files. There should be no difference than what's on your disks. You will have to use HCl's converter to make them into the raw AVI files and from there you can do your AI magic to them. You should definitely get better results than running off the holovids stuff that I converted to MP4/WEBM way back when. It won't fix the blocky reds though as that's a problem with the PSX version in general.
 

ODVS

Petty Officer
I may have had permissions messed up before. Try the link again. If it still won't let you, then I can try and regenerate the link.

As for the files they are the exact files you'll find in the PSX LIB files. There should be no difference than what's on your disks. You will have to use HCl's converter to make them into the raw AVI files and from there you can do your AI magic to them. You should definitely get better results than running off the holovids stuff that I converted to MP4/WEBM way back when. It won't fix the blocky reds though as that's a problem with the PSX version in general.
Got 'em, thank you :)
 

ODVS

Petty Officer
Well, thanks to @AD and @EmuMusicFan's help above, here's the first batch of remaster/comparison clips lifted directly from the PSX discs :)

Annoyingly, AVISynth threw a fit trying to read the uncompressed AVIs from HCl's conversion application. I managed to re-encode them as h.264 MP4 files with (I'm confident) no loss of detail though, and then I was off and running.

The overall resolution of the source material remains the same (only 160p - so this is still a 600% upscale) - but I think the increased colour depth and edge definition afforded by not using footage that had already been compressed for web deployment has yielded improved results :)

To keep things relatively consistent, I used sequences you've seen me remaster before (Hobbes greeting Blair and the first meeting with Rollins) and threw in the first meeting with Vaquero for something new.

 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
If someone wants to take a crack at making a 'de-bun' tool for WC3 3DO someone has already done a little bit of digging into explaining the format. With a debun tool I could post a few sample videos for people with real programming skills to play with instead of trying to play with a huge file.