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BioWare is the latest studio to turn to AI to help resurrect a game based on old technology. The studio revealed to media that it used AI to upscale all of textures in the upcoming Mass Effect: Legendary Edition bundle. This is only one small part in the remastering process, but it’s one that helped the development team create a strong foundation to work from.
“We knew we wanted to increase the resolution on all the textures across the trilogy,” environment and character director Kevin Meek said during a roundtable with press. “So that means all of the visual effects, the user interface, the environment art, the character art — every single texture we hit right away with two main changes. First, we increased cap that the engine places on the texture sizes. And secondly, we ran all the original, uncompressed source art through an AI up-res program along with some other custom batch tools.”
BioWare did this to every single texture in all three games. This was a massive undertaking — although it was more automated than some of the later touch-up stages.
“So across the entire trilogy, we’re talking tens of thousands of textures with a resolution increased at least four-times — if not 16-times,” said Meek.
This technique isn’t new, but it’s finally catching on with the big publishers. Prior to this, Nvidia upscaled The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for Nvidia Shield. And fans used AI tools to upscale assets in PlayStation classics like Final Fantasy VII. And now, one of the biggest publishers is using the same concept to remaster one of its biggest franchises.
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