Unreal with High-resolution textures.

No normal mapping, still tiles too often, and wrapped around a very blocky, unnatural and low-poly looking environment. That's why I'm never impressed by these kinds of projects. It's like a pig with makeup. In fact, it even makes the environments look worse because it emphasizes the basic geometry, bad texture alignment, and all of its other flaws.

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Been using these for quite awhile now. They're nice, makes the outdoor areas look better.

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It's likely we'll find life on other worlds before we find a high-res texture mod with decent art direction.

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What was wrong with the original graphics?

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It's almost like Unreal wasn't designed to look this way.

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to be completely honest I'm having issues telling the difference between the normal textures and the high res ones.

I did always want to try the official high res textures that I know at least existed in Unreal Tournament but I could never get them to install right, heh.

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They don't look terrible. At least those lovely models are still there. I'm a sucker for those boxy-ish models.

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Doesn't even look like high res textures, looks like the originals with a crappy filter put over them. No purpose in stuff like this unless it's a newer game that would truly benefit from a makeover.

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Yeah, not a fan. Kind of like the high-res textures for Quake really do nothing for it.

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What I think would be a true improvement is not focusing so much on texture resolution, but rather effects. These engines are modern enough to have sourced lighting models, so stencil shadows and normal mapping (when done well) would be feasible and could make things look far better. Also replace what you can with higher poly models with less awkward animation. Lastly, maybe a subtle (emphasis on subtle) touch of bloom and a bit of motion blur, and it'd look much better than straight up using flat, non-bumpmapped texture replacements. Also, if possible, try to increase the size that the texture covers, in order to break up obvious and frequent tiling.

Even then, not much you can do about poor texture alignment and blocky geometry. :/

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Sodaholic said:

In fact, it even makes the environments look worse because it emphasizes the basic geometry, bad texture alignment, and all of its other flaws.

That's the big problem with all these high-res packs for old games.

With low-res textures, things are more grainy and the surfaces don't look so flat, the angles don't look so sharp. Any sort of curve in a polygonal engine will look bad when the texture definition exceeds the polygon density. Natural landscapes are the worst victims by far, but some architecture also suffers.

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I guess that the tiling is an issue; you would need to render the skies with larger textures to avoid that; if you used 1024*1024 textures that might look better. The Unreal engine even with default textures looks very good; but if the maps were re-made with better geometry then the whole thing would be improved.

Or re-making Unreal with the Unreal 3 engine ;).

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Sodaholic said:

It's like a pig with makeup.

The pig is what's ugly, not the makeup.

I'll concede that these "high res texture" projects are mostly failures and add nothing to the games they're made for, but the implication that they make early 3D games look worse is ridiculous to me.

It was a necessary graphical step at the time (maybe a step backwards) in order for things to get to where they are today, but games like Unreal and Quake haven't aged as well as their 2D or 2.5D predecessors in the prettiness department. It makes no difference what kind of textures are applied to to the low-poly environments which crudely represent something. In My Opinion.

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How many of you guys play Doomsday, or are planning on downloading Doom Ascension? Just wondering.

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Sodaholic said:

What I think would be a true improvement is not focusing so much on texture resolution, but rather effects. These engines are modern enough to have sourced lighting models, so stencil shadows and normal mapping (when done well) would be feasible and could make things look far better. Also replace what you can with higher poly models with less awkward animation. Lastly, maybe a subtle (emphasis on subtle) touch of bloom and a bit of motion blur, and it'd look much better than straight up using flat, non-bumpmapped texture replacements. Also, if possible, try to increase the size that the texture covers, in order to break up obvious and frequent tiling.

Even then, not much you can do about poor texture alignment and blocky geometry. :/


Which is exactly how I have Darkplaces configured - global illumination combined with the original textures (especially, in my opinion, GL_NEAREST) looks downright fantastic.

The point made about Quake and Unreal not aging well has more in my mind to do with texture filtering than the textures themselves (more in Quake's case; I always thought Unreal just had poor art). Unfiltered textures might not do as well with Unreal due to the draw distances involved, but I'm sure that's something SSAA or some other post effect could handle.

Back to the original post, I see a lot of retexturing projects fail due to inconsistent design across artists. What's worse is inconsistent resolutions, and simply hoping filters/detail textures will cover it up. In case this needed pointing out, a 512x "grit" texture over a 128x bilinear texture looks horrible.

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Unreal has aged a lot better than most (if not all?) of its contemporary 3D rivals. One of the most distinguished features was high detail textures that seamlessly faded in as you moved closer to a surface to avoid blurriness, a rare feature even to this day.

With low-res textures, things are more grainy and the surfaces don't look so flat, the angles don't look so sharp. Any sort of curve in a polygonal engine will look bad when the texture definition exceeds the polygon density. Natural landscapes are the worst victims by far, but some architecture also suffers.


I think this more comes down to the rendering resolution. Games like Unreal were typically played in 400p to 600p, which did a lot to cover up those sharp edges.

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