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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:23 pm Post subject:  High Quality Townmaps
 
Another big improvement!

I've always felt that townmaps (maps for local areas) were poorly done. Indeed, they were downscaled with nearest neighbor type resampling, the most primitive technique, thus they looked jagged and pixelated.

Finally, I devised a more complex way of generating townmaps, and I've regenerated them all using bilinear resampling (probably the best resampling method that doesn't cause any artifacts).

Here's a side-by-side comparison of old and new townmaps, just three examples.
Image

Now they look much better!

Townmaps take a plenty of space, so this won't be included in the UAP, but will be a separate download. And it's already available!

DOWNLOAD (112 Mb):
Mirror 1 (courtesy of Terra-Arcanum.com)
Mirror 2 (courtesy of ComputerGames.ro)
Mirror 3 (courtesy of Patches-Scrolls.de)
Mirror 4 (Megaupload)

P.S. Since it's just a graphics change, it won't cause any incompatibility issues. It also fixes the missing "K'na Tha 2" townmap and many other inconsistencies (they never bothered to update some townmaps, so they had old graphics/objects/layout/etc). All in all, there's absolutely no reason to not use this pack.


Last edited by Drog Black Tooth on Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:48 pm Post subject: 
 
Obey your Master
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Why did Troika hire a whole team, when all they would have needed was one Drog?

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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:43 pm Post subject: 
 
Never in doubt
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On a side note, I have implemented a general kernel-based filtering class, and several filter kernels (bell, box, cubic /including cubic b-spline and catmull-rom/, gaussian, hermite, lanczos, linear, sinc and sink), as well as 2x1D resampling, radial resampling and bilateral filtering. I can help if mathematically precise resampling is needed.

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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:38 pm Post subject: 
 
Lord
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Wow! I'm speechless.

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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:59 pm Post subject: 
 
Master
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... how in the heck did you manage that?


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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:10 pm Post subject: 
 
Expert

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Posts: 74
I'm incredibly impressed.

Perhaps you could inform us as to how you went about doing this?


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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:12 pm Post subject: 
 
Obey your Master
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Are there any noticeable differences in performance? Not that I expect there to be any, but for the poor people out there on low-end machines...

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Zanza wrote:
Yeah she can transform into a few different forms. There are things you can do with her afterwards too. Things TDC!


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 PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:00 am Post subject: 
 
Alchemistæ Metallum Magnus
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Joined: Oct 14, 2006
Posts: 3310
What the four posters above me said.

Nice work!

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 PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:19 pm Post subject: 
 
Journeyman
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Looks absolutely amazing.


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 PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:03 pm Post subject: 
 
10th level Paladin
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Wow...very good work.

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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:42 am Post subject: 
 
Nasrudin's Apprentice
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Location: Down by the campfire light with the ghost of old Tom Joad
It does give them a nice, polished look, especially the sprites of light sources in dark environments.

[Offtopic] I just noticed...is Drog's avatar the bartender from Bloodlines?[/Offtopic]

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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:57 pm Post subject: 
 
Water Merchant
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One word: DAMM!


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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:10 pm Post subject: 
 
Epic Flail
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GrimmHatter wrote:
[Offtopic] I just noticed...is Drog's avatar the bartender from Bloodlines?[/Offtopic]


I've always thought so.


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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:20 pm Post subject: 
 
Obey your Master
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Yup, that's the fat, ugly vampire at the Asylum.

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Zanza wrote:
Yeah she can transform into a few different forms. There are things you can do with her afterwards too. Things TDC!


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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:54 pm Post subject: 
 
Lord
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Damned Bloodlines and their bugs. It never worked properly for me. :( Laggy 'n' shit!

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perhaps I may become a highwayman again
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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:59 pm Post subject: 
 
Obey your Master
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The only problem I've ever had with Bloodlines is the ridiculous black screen you get if you're above 60 hz. Have you installed the patch?

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Zanza wrote:
Yeah she can transform into a few different forms. There are things you can do with her afterwards too. Things TDC!


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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:31 pm Post subject: 
 
Lord
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Dark Elf wrote:
The only problem I've ever had with Bloodlines is the ridiculous black screen you get if you're above 60 hz. Have you installed the patch?


Never got the black screen. I've installed the patch. I've even installed the unofficial patches. I never got very far, since it was even worse on my old PC, which I had a couple of years ago when I bought the game. And even that one exceeded some of the requirements.

Trying every tweak and advice posted on the internet, I've managed to reduce the lag, but it still annoys the shit out of me.

I'm planning on buying a new PC this winter, maybe ridiculously new technology like Quad core processors will be able to handle it, but I doubt it.

A question for all of you native English speakers... Is the phrase planning on buying a correct and existing phrase in the language? I've written it a few sentences back, but since my English is degenerating rapidly from not speaking it, I'm generally insecure in my knowledge of English grammar.

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and when I reach the other side
I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
perhaps I may become a highwayman again
or I may simply be a single drop of rain
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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:34 pm Post subject: 
 
Please stay on topic.


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 PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:58 am Post subject: 
 
Lord
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Joined: Dec 24, 2007
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Location: me was going Bwackroooot
Sorry, got carried away. :teeth:

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I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
perhaps I may become a highwayman again
or I may simply be a single drop of rain
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 PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:54 am Post subject: 
 
Technological Marvel
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Thanks for the continuing improvements, Mr Black Tooth. Am I the only one who thinks the new townmaps now look like the sims 1's neighborhood veiw?

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 PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:27 pm Post subject: 
 
Journeyman
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Joined: Oct 1, 2008
Posts: 29
Thanks for spoiling Bloodlines for me guys. Appreciated.

These textures, while much less intense (which means so much easier on the eyes and the brain), the bilinear filtering looks really blurry and dull, almost sterile. Hmm... have you tried trilinear filtering, using the as original map as the second mip map? Might make it appear slightly sharper (worth a try at least). Or maybe not. In fact, unless you're into graphics yourself, Drog, I think you should pick up Frigo on his offer. Maybe he's got suggestions on a sharper and better filtering method? Don't you, Frigo?

Still, splendid work as usual Drog! Were you in any way affiliated with Troika or the (official) development of Arcanum at any time?

Frigo, I can nothing but agree with your avatar. These are worrying times, the future even more.


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 PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:52 pm Post subject: 
 
Never in doubt
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I don't know what program Drog used, but most of them are bugged in some way or other, so I think those artifacts were the result of these bugs, not the properties of the filters themselves.

Irfanview, for example, has a COMPLETELY bugged Lanczos downsampling algorithm that's more like nearest neighbor filtering. Especially visible with sharp, small-scale contrasts (I've noticed it at the clothes of the "barbara" image). Probably the result of the miscalculation of the filter radius or the inverse projected boundaries.

Photofiltre shrinks and darkens resized images, probably the result of faulty coordinate calculations, and neglecting the division by the sum of the sampled values of the filter.

Xnview was doing fine as far as I've tested it.

Paint Shop Pro is also bugged as I hear, taking random noise from outside of the boundaries of the image.



I usually use Lanczos, and "sink", my own FFT-derived filter, with a filter radius of 3.0. They're general use, medium speed, sharp, and their artifacts are noticable only in extreme conditions, like in the case of long filter radius, high upsampling ratio, or excessive edges.

If Drog provides me an example image he had trouble with (preferably in 24 bit PNG), I can show the results of the various resizing filters, and give him a simple resizer program he can use.

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 PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:24 pm Post subject: 
 
Townmaps are generated by WorldEd. It takes screenshots of a map in small chunks, each being 256x128 pixels. Each chunk is downscaled to 64x32 with nearest neighbor resampling and saved. 8 bit bitmaps are used. That's what the game uses, 64x32 sized 8 bit bitmaps.

To generate high quality townmaps, I made a hacked version of WorldEd that outputs full size pixel perfect (1:1) townmap images, each chunk being 256x128.

This way, all images can be processed with a 3rd party program. These new townmaps were batch converted by Photoshop. Basically, you have to convert each image from indexed to RGB color, then downscale it to 64x32 and convert it back to indexed.

Bilinear was used since it doesn't cause artifacts, e.g. bicubic produces a light outline on an image, and since townmaps consist of small tiles, it would be very noticeable.

I don't really think you can produce much better results than this pack, since sharpening will just distort the original images. But feel free to try. Here's a full size townmap for Qintarra, you can try processing it with your filters. When done, create a 'townmap' folder in your "modules\arcanum" folder and put it there to check the results in-game.


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 PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:15 pm Post subject: 
 
Never in doubt
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The 8-bit causes some inconvenience, but I'll give it a try.

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 PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:59 pm Post subject: 
 
Expert
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Location: Lithuania
Umm...I...WOW!!

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