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Grim Fandango Remastered - backgrounds brightened and other stuff


TimeGentleman
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I've just started a GF replay and decided to try out the remaster rather than playing from disc via SCUMMVM/Residual.

The backgrounds didn't look as nice as I remembered. I realised that a lot of that was because they were now being placed next to hi-res character models - as soon as I flipped it back to classic rendering mode, the background looked better again! However, I checked out some comparison videos anyway (I was mostly hoping to find comparisons of the old vs new music, but couldn't immediately find any), and it seem like the backgrounds have been brightened.
The two videos I'm looking at are these:

 

The first one claims to be a comparison of the RM vs the original. The second is a playthrough of the original.
Now, you can definitely see a difference in backgrounds in the first video:
VWRmwe9.png

Backed up by the second video (though perhaps a little less so?):
d7pm6K3.png

 

The thing that's throwing me off a little here is that it seems the first video is actually just using the Remaster's different rendering modes, judging by the new UI in Don Copley's computer on both:
Q60MH6I.png

As compared to that in the second video:
HK8vPLB.png

What's weird is that when I flip between the rendering modes in RM, it doesn't affect the backgrounds at all. This YTer says in the comments that they were playing and capturing on two different laptops simultaneously, so I guess one of them might be outputting different brightness/contrast levels? I hadn't realised that was a thing. Or have they added this extra contrast themselves in post?


So, I guess my question is: has anyone noticed the backgrounds in RM being brighter? Or read anything about it? Also, is DREAMM near to supporting GF yet?!
I think I'm going to go to the effort of playing from disc, tbh, even though it means missing out on the new music (and maybe that Domino dialogue if SCUMMVM haven't fixed that bug).

Edited by TimeGentleman
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This is a thing. See below an unmodified screenshot of the original game taken 10+ years ago vs Remastered:

 

image.png

 

The lighting of the 3D models is generally softer too but I think this is preferable, causing characters and objects to blend in better with the environments. There are even fancy reflected lighting effects, such as Manny's green lockers illuminating his face slightly with green. Overall the game looks and sounds better for sure.

 

I suspect there may be a platform aspect to this. The original game shot was taken on a Windows PC, whereas the Remastered shot was taken on a Mac, which to my knowledge uses a higher gamma than Windows across the board. Indeed, the effect is that of increased gamma, as it's primarily the shadows that are affected. Gamma is pretty easy to adjust on any platform so it is possible you could just tweak that and still enjoy the Remastered edition.

 

Similarly, the Xbox is known to use a lower gamma to the PS4, leading to many a 'graphics comparison' where the Xbox version is said to have richer tone. When I played Remastered it was on PS4, and on my TV I use the film reference darker gamma, so that probably masked this issue for me if it was present on the PS4. It is more noticeable on a computer for sure.

 

As for playing the original, I think it still runs on a modern computer but it increasingly became plagued by rendering issues where the graphics technology moved on. For example, anti-aliasing started causing all sorts of bugs, and so really you could only play it by turning the nicer graphical effects off, leaving it looking more like 'Classic' mode in Remastered, even though many people would have played the original game's better-looking hardware-accelerated mode. Unfortunately I think DREAMM is targeting the inferior mode too as I imagine it'd be much more complex to emulate the graphics card, but I may be wrong.

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9 minutes ago, Laserschwert said:

Is there still no way to swap out the backgrounds in Grim Remastered? They could be upscaled quite well by now.

 

There's quite a few things that could be improved in Grim Remastered (note: whatever issues Remastered has, it's still easily the best version of the game -- the controls and the music are worth it for them alone).

 

Here's a list of improvements I made on my last playthrough of the Remastered (note: a lot of these are in the original)...

 

Year 1

Pigeon shadows next to balloon clown

Manny doesn’t smoke after Glottis talks about the “noxious fumes”

IT guy’s mouth doesn’t animate (in hallway)

IT guy’s lips anti-aliasing is off

Bread texture is too low res

No suction sound when Manny puts the balloon in the pneumatic tube

Eva gets stuck in a pose if you talk to her twice at the LSA

Spider show after it runs away from Glottis’s heart

 

Year 2

Manny’s ever glowing cigarette

Climbing into Totos Santo’s place, Manny’s animation jumps

Pixellated Gold Flakes

Gold Flakes bottle rotates when Manny drinks it

Gold Flakes is still "Golo Flakes" on the PS4 (most irritating thing ever)

Seabee: Terry’s top left arm doesn’t animate

Sea animation isn’t smooth looping

Hard edged anti-aliasing on the telescope

Membrillo - background plants in foreground (dots)

Mask clipping on lift (upper level)

Mysterious non-objects outside Maximino’s (just across from the folding bridge)

Membrillo’s fork when Manny hand’s him the metal detector

Nick’s cigarillo case doesn’t quite look right when he dropped the key. They fake front is still visible when he switches it to normal mode

Nick just disappears when he goes off to talk to Max

Kitty Cat announcer stops running

Toto Santos talking on phone drowned out by Naranja’s snoring

Naranja’s dogtags don’t match Manny’s description (“Seaman Anselmo Naranja Ensign, Third Class”)

Manny’s hand shoots out his back while he’s talking to Charlie about his suitcase

Doug’s shirt sleeves are transparent

The key uses Nick’s cigarillo box for a texture… including his initials

 

Year 3

Manny smokes underwater… At least on conveyor belt screen (idle animation)

Manny can stand on the conveyor belt without being moved by it?

Water animation looping issue (as with other screens)

Crane sound drops out if you move and stop twice

Hair curlers animation loop juddering

Ocean horizon is not flat

Level animation bad

Coral doesn’t glow (the only thing in the game which is described as glowing)

Pugsy’s hammer reappears in his hand when he laughs after throwing it at Manny

Too loud crying of the Angelitos

Meche’s skirt changes as she smokes

Chain jammed with curlers are WAY TOO LOUD

Animated mask on the chain is off on the conveyor belt

Dropping the chain into the open hole doesn’t do anything (can’t see chain — presumably you should)

Stockings texture is terrible

Bust-all texture is terrible

Meche goes through the motions every time Manny enter’s Dom’s office — bug?

Wrong flower logo on gun

End of video — when Meche gets gun — jumps terribly to back into game

No noise when Manny turns safe wheel (fixes when zoomed in once lock is exposed)

Manny’s hand goes berserk when he’s turning the wheel with one hand (zoomed in)

 

Year 4

Intro video cuts out as Glottis falls off building (Esta bien becomes Es—)

Manny’s arm texture is very blocky in the inventory

Shadows are incorrectly visible on the gondola housing room

Rubacava: Manny says the bridge “used to” fold out before he’s tried the lever, but doesn’t after he has. Bug?

Ship in a bottle texture is crappy

Eva’s head is facing the wrong way

Bowsley can has glitch on it

Sewers: Floor is in foreground

Backstage: Manny’s head goes behind background when climbing up ladder

Dialogue clipped: “Hey, get lost pal. No auto—“

Grinder disappears when it’s put back in the bigger grinder

Bone chipper creates huge shadow on the floor when it is run

No shadow on wall when Manny climbs ladder in alligator room

The bingo board goes blank on the second question (Casino)

Manny’s head goes through his caul when he jumps down off the ledge on the roof

No shadow from the headlights in The Meadow

 

 

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9 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

There's quite a few things that could be improved in Grim Remastered (note: whatever issues Remastered has, it's still easily the best version of the game -- the controls and the music are worth it for them alone).

 

Ha, funnily enough, as well as classic rendering I also switched back to tank controls! I was finding camera-relative too confusing, maybe because I've played this with tank controls so many times before...

 

Does anyone happen to have a good comparison video (or two videos/sound clips that can be compared) for the updated soundtrack?

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  • TimeGentleman changed the title to Grim Fandango Remastered - backgrounds brightened and other stuff
10 hours ago, Laserschwert said:

Is there still no way to swap out the backgrounds in Grim Remastered? They could be upscaled quite well by now.


I’ve not heard of anyone getting anywhere in earnest with the updated game, however someone did AI upscale some of the extracted backgrounds and yes it produced promising results.

 

There might be some harder work in the areas where video clips are overlaid upon the backgrounds, as they’d need to be upscaled too in a way that blends. Examples are the mail sorting room, underwater sections, Rubacava’s water, festival, etc.

 

It’s a project I’d love to see happen.

46 minutes ago, TimeGentleman said:

 

Ha, funnily enough, as well as classic rendering I also switched back to tank controls! I was finding camera-relative too confusing, maybe because I've played this with tank controls so many times before...

 

Does anyone happen to have a good comparison video (or two videos/sound clips that can be compared) for the updated soundtrack?


I found the camera-relative controls worked great on the PlayStation controller, however point ‘n’ click or tank are my favoured on computer.

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2 hours ago, TimeGentleman said:

Does anyone happen to have a good comparison video (or two videos/sound clips that can be compared) for the updated soundtrack?

 

Don't have a comparison, but you can see they got a real orchestra to record parts of it...

 

1 hour ago, Thrik said:

I’ve not heard of anyone getting anywhere in earnest with the updated game, however someone did AI upscale some of the extracted backgrounds and yes it produced promising results.

 

AI upscaled and widescreened: http://www.grimwidescreen.com/

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Used this video to compare the music in the opening cutscene, alongside that playthrough vid of the original I posted above. I had felt it was a little overbearing when I started playing a few days ago, and listening now they do seem to have overcooked it in places. They maybe could have compensated for that by having the voices a bit louder; unfortunately the player can't change that with their settings, it's just one overall volume bar for cutscenes rather than the discrete voice/sfx/music ones. (I always found Lucasarts games to have the music set too loud, it always need to come down by about 30%, so at least this fits tradition!)

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

AI upscaled and widescreened: http://www.grimwidescreen.com/


This seems interesting. I’m not sure how I’ve never come across this! Unless it’s what the upscaled BGs I’d seen turned into.


The site seems to be in a wonky state — the menu has dead links and the videos are gone too. I can’t really get a feel for what this thing is actually going to look like, so there’s no alternative, I’ll have to give it a go tonight.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/22/2022 at 12:03 PM, TimeGentleman said:

Used this video to compare the music in the opening cutscene, alongside that playthrough vid of the original I posted above.

 

I don't think you can use a video to compare. There's so many things between the original recording and you playing that video that could interfere, including your own browser/OS settings.

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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