Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

(Shenmue I & II Re-Release Discussion)

Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby Robfozz » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:01 am

staplepuffs27 wrote:
GYO6161 wrote: Bloom can be turned off confirmed by Sega Europe
https://twitter.com/SEGA_Europe/status/ ... 1229370368
Good news. I think I’ll keep it, personally! At least for my first play through. I don’t know why anyone would want cropped, zoomed in cutscenes; that sounds terrible lol.

I don't mind Shenmue 1 sticking to 4:3 but Shenmue 2 cutscenes are letter boxed so it would make a lot of sense to zoom them in. 4:3+letterboxing is just going to make them look really small
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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby johnvivant » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:59 am

Robfozz wrote:
staplepuffs27 wrote:
GYO6161 wrote: Bloom can be turned off confirmed by Sega Europe
https://twitter.com/SEGA_Europe/status/ ... 1229370368
Good news. I think I’ll keep it, personally! At least for my first play through. I don’t know why anyone would want cropped, zoomed in cutscenes; that sounds terrible lol.

I don't mind Shenmue 1 sticking to 4:3 but Shenmue 2 cutscenes are letter boxed so it would make a lot of sense to zoom them in. 4:3+letterboxing is just going to make them look really small


i agree, having both 4:3 and leaving the old 16:9 letter boxing is a really bizarre decision. watching cinematics in a 16:9 ratio yet located in a little box in middle of the screen is going to be weird. they must have their reasons. zooming/cropping must just not have been possible.
(even sega must realize it looks bad since they cropped it in the trailer)

glad they included the option for turning on and off the various post processing, especially on console.
dc english audio quality on s1 was really bad though, japanese was much better. shame the English lossless couldn't be found. s2 audio quality for both english and japanese was really good, so no problem there.

i also like the subtle glow of the added bloom for s1.
it would be nice to get confirmation that motion blur can be turned off for fights in s2. hopefully it was been one of the post processing effects toggles.
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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby Ceej » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:53 am

Anyone who's struggling with why expanding the cutscenes from 4:3 would be so difficult should try playing with the widescreen settings in an emulated version of Shenmue for additional context.

When something isn't "on-screen" during gameplay, the game isn't fully rendering it for what I would assume are performance reasons. The textures/assets pop in as Ryo turns to them. Since the screen will literally be wider in the HD versions, you'll be able to see more of the game world at a single time.This was possible because the game is programmed to adapt to the player's actions.

Now think about cutscenes. In comparison to gameplay, these are intricately staged and the player was never meant to "see beyond" what was on the screen at a single time. For these cutscenes to properly display, d3t would need to create and stage additional assets that just aren't in the game right now. If you really think critically about this, you can see why keeping the cutscenes in 4:3 was the only feasible option.

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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby Centrale » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:47 am

Ceej wrote:Now think about cutscenes. In comparison to gameplay, these are intricately staged and the player was never meant to "see beyond" what was on the screen at a single time.


I'm reminded of something I read about the remastered versions of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. The episodes were shot on 35mm film and then edited for television to 4:3. So some fans are like, "release the remasters in widescreen!" However, since the cinematographers knew that 4:3 was the target format and they framed their shots with that in mind, the widescreen footage contains things that shouldn't be seen in frame... abrupt edges of the sets, boom microphones, crew members at work, and so on.

With Shenmue's cutscenes, of course there aren't mics or crew members, but the characters sometimes freeze immediately when going out of the 4:3 frame. Then there's the suggestion (or, for some, the furious demand) that D3T reframe the shot - somehow zoom it in until it fills the 16:9 frame. Well, this may be possible, though it's not likely to be as easy as we imagine based on the camera controls in contemporary game engines. But beyond the technical issues of working with source code from a 20-year-old game that runs on its own custom engine, changing the zoom, camera placement, lens angle or however else you would achieve the new shot, is the artistic issue of changing the director's original vision. As furious as some consumers get about not having every pixel of their widescreen TV lit up at all times, that's as uncomfortable as some creators get about having their work altered by others. Particularly in film with regards to matters of framing and cropping. And Shenmue is one of the first truly filmic games, so it's easy to imagine that Yu Suzuki would not be comfortable with handing the keys to the Ferrari over to the work-for-hire guys at D3T and allow them to make those kind of creative decisions.

But then one might say, well... all the rest of the gameplay has been altered to 16:9 - isn't that changing the creator's vision? I suppose it is, in a way. But I would say there's a significant difference between a cutscene, which is fully directed to convey the story in a particular way, and gameplay in which the player has agency to choose the view (within limits).

Ultimately there's no clear solution that will satisfy everyone, so I also think there's no reason for anyone to become irate about their preference not "winning." (No reason to be furious on the internet? Yeah, right!) There are difficult technical challenges and difficult artistic decisions and it's really a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't position for the developers. So I say take a deep breath and just enjoy the games for what they are.

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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby Tosh » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:53 am

this problem with 4:3 to 16:9 reminds me of the tv show "King Of Queens".
i have all of the seasons on dvd and all of the earlier seasons and episodes were shown in 4:3 on tv
but some of them are in 16:9 on dvd and if you look closely,
you can spot actors waiting for their entry and technical staff with microphones on the left and right of the screen
because they were out of frame in the original 4:3 version
and back then it was not planned to show more than that.

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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby staplepuffs27 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:00 pm

Robfozz wrote:
staplepuffs27 wrote:
GYO6161 wrote: Bloom can be turned off confirmed by Sega Europe
https://twitter.com/SEGA_Europe/status/ ... 1229370368
Good news. I think I’ll keep it, personally! At least for my first play through. I don’t know why anyone would want cropped, zoomed in cutscenes; that sounds terrible lol.

I don't mind Shenmue 1 sticking to 4:3 but Shenmue 2 cutscenes are letter boxed so it would make a lot of sense to zoom them in. 4:3+letterboxing is just going to make them look really small
I'm confused. Why would Shenmue 1 and 2's cutscenes be different from each other?
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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby Jibby » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:08 pm

staplepuffs27 wrote:I'm confused. Why would Shenmue 1 and 2's cutscenes be different from each other?

Unlike Shenmue I, Shenmue II letterboxes its 4:3 cutscenes, simulating 16:9. That means you could zoom into them and fill up an entire 16:9 frame without losing any of the picture.
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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby staplepuffs27 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:05 pm

Jibby wrote:
staplepuffs27 wrote:I'm confused. Why would Shenmue 1 and 2's cutscenes be different from each other?

Unlike Shenmue I, Shenmue II letterboxes its 4:3 cutscenes, simulating 16:9. That means you could zoom into them and fill up an entire 16:9 frame without losing any of the picture.
Interesting. I wonder why it's letterboxed. Would it distort the image if it's zoomed in?
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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby OL » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:15 pm

Ceej wrote: Anyone who's struggling with why expanding the cutscenes from 4:3 would be so difficult should try playing with the widescreen settings in an emulated version of Shenmue for additional context.

When something isn't "on-screen" during gameplay, the game isn't fully rendering it for what I would assume are performance reasons. The textures/assets pop in as Ryo turns to them. Since the screen will literally be wider in the HD versions, you'll be able to see more of the game world at a single time.This was possible because the game is programmed to adapt to the player's actions.

Now think about cutscenes. In comparison to gameplay, these are intricately staged and the player was never meant to "see beyond" what was on the screen at a single time. For these cutscenes to properly display, d3t would need to create and stage additional assets that just aren't in the game right now. If you really think critically about this, you can see why keeping the cutscenes in 4:3 was the only feasible option.


This guy explains it perfectly. If anyone is still not understanding why they can't change it, just read that post. I'm quoting it for emphasis. Read it.

Just to add a little, going back and re-jiggering the cutscenes with added content around the sides wouldn't be simple at all; it would likely add months worth of legitimate development time to the project, resulting in who knows how much extra cost to it.
Likewise, for all the moaning people have done about small changes to the graphical elements, wouldn't extra content around the edges that wasn't overseen by Yu Suzuki be an even bigger trespass? Do we want it as true to the original content as possible, or do we want a bunch of no-name emulation staff to add their own original content?


staplepuffs27 wrote:
Jibby wrote:
staplepuffs27 wrote:I'm confused. Why would Shenmue 1 and 2's cutscenes be different from each other?

Unlike Shenmue I, Shenmue II letterboxes its 4:3 cutscenes, simulating 16:9. That means you could zoom into them and fill up an entire 16:9 frame without losing any of the picture.
Interesting. I wonder why it's letterboxed. Would it distort the image if it's zoomed in?


Being that the cutscenes run in real-time, no, it wouldn't. The picture would only be affected if it were a pre-rendered video. Which, if I'm not mistaken, is something Shenmue 2 has exactly zero of.
So that is the one concession I'd make to the complainers; there really isn't any reason that Shenmue 2's cutscenes can't be made to fit the screen.
Shenmue I is a different story though.
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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby ShenGCH » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:58 am

Someone on the Steam forums somehow managed to mistake Shenmue I & II HD for Shenmue III :lol:

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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby PILMAN » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:47 pm

Ceej wrote: Anyone who's struggling with why expanding the cutscenes from 4:3 would be so difficult should try playing with the widescreen settings in an emulated version of Shenmue for additional context.

When something isn't "on-screen" during gameplay, the game isn't fully rendering it for what I would assume are performance reasons. The textures/assets pop in as Ryo turns to them. Since the screen will literally be wider in the HD versions, you'll be able to see more of the game world at a single time.This was possible because the game is programmed to adapt to the player's actions.

Now think about cutscenes. In comparison to gameplay, these are intricately staged and the player was never meant to "see beyond" what was on the screen at a single time. For these cutscenes to properly display, d3t would need to create and stage additional assets that just aren't in the game right now. If you really think critically about this, you can see why keeping the cutscenes in 4:3 was the only feasible option.


Shenmue II seems to run fine in 16:9 with cutscenes via DEMUL. You can see my recording using the widescreen hack.

phpBB [video]


Shenmue I however does seem to have issues rendering in native 16:9 with cutscenes where objects disappear and reappear as the camera pans, there was a widescreen hack fix for this that eliminates most of those issues, it was a hex edit that apparently slightly fixed the camera positioning with no noticeable impact to the game and Shenmue I seems to run in 16:9 just fine. I'm just slightly surprised that the same could not be done for the re-release by SEGA. Regardless, I did preorder, but it just seems to indicate that it is possible to run the cutscenes at 16:9 with some hex editing. Maybe it will be possible to mod it in the steam release.
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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby csmakio » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:02 pm

logging into steam today I got prompted with the Shenmue 1 & 2 sale pop-up. having had steam since 2004, and growing up on the Dojo...god damn...never thought id see the day :heart: :heart: :heart:
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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby Sappharad » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:00 pm

PILMAN wrote:Shenmue I however does seem to have issues rendering in native 16:9 with cutscenes where objects disappear and reappear as the camera pans, there was a widescreen hack fix for this that eliminates most of those issues, it was a hex edit that apparently slightly fixed the camera positioning with no noticeable impact to the game and Shenmue I seems to run in 16:9 just fine. I'm just slightly surprised that the same could not be done for the re-release by SEGA. Regardless, I did preorder, but it just seems to indicate that it is possible to run the cutscenes at 16:9 with some hex editing. Maybe it will be possible to mod it in the steam release.

Pop-in is not the problem. I've explained it elsewhere but hesitated to post here because it's essentially going to provide fuel for people to complain and that's been upsetting others. The same rendering code is shared for gameplay and cutscenes, and both share the same projection matrix. There were not separate gameplay and cutscene hacks for the Dreamcast versions, the same changes affected everything. In other words, if it was a pure port, their changes would already be rendering the cutscenes in 16x9 and they needed to do extra work not to do that.

The problem is entirely down to the content of the cutscenes themselves. There is at least one instance that has been pointed out (the Goro harassment cutscene on disc 2) where characters that are normally out frame are seen just standing there motionless while the action occurs in the normally visible area. There could be a few more, but nobody's done that analysis, as far as I know. Rather than reviewing every single scene in the game and trying to adjust the affected ones (adjusting them would be a lot more work) or just capping borders on those, they made the decision to keep the original framing intact for every single scene whether that be for consistency or budget reasons. This isn't a remaster, it's a $15/ea port of both games and for that budget they're not going to be able to afford much in the way of content changes.

There's a whole bunch of "it would be nice if..." for this, but this is actually consistent with the other similar priced ports that Sega has done of Dreamcast games like Jet Set Radio and Sonic Adventure 2.

Ultimately, I think they made the right choice to target this price point despite the limitations that come with it. There are a lot of people elsewhere who have said they're only giving it a try because of the $30 price tag, and this may have been the right budget based on their hesitations regarding the series.

But they really shouldn't have zoomed the trailers if that doesn't accurately represent what the games can do. I'm still under the impression that it was a mis-communication and Shenmue 2 is not double-letterboxed if you pick 16x9. I've been trying to get them to comment on that for a few days now, no luck yet.

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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby PILMAN » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:40 pm

Sappharad wrote:
PILMAN wrote:Shenmue I however does seem to have issues rendering in native 16:9 with cutscenes where objects disappear and reappear as the camera pans, there was a widescreen hack fix for this that eliminates most of those issues, it was a hex edit that apparently slightly fixed the camera positioning with no noticeable impact to the game and Shenmue I seems to run in 16:9 just fine. I'm just slightly surprised that the same could not be done for the re-release by SEGA. Regardless, I did preorder, but it just seems to indicate that it is possible to run the cutscenes at 16:9 with some hex editing. Maybe it will be possible to mod it in the steam release.

Pop-in is not the problem. I've explained it elsewhere but hesitated to post here because it's essentially going to provide fuel for people to complain and that's been upsetting others. The same rendering code is shared for gameplay and cutscenes, and both share the same projection matrix. There were not separate gameplay and cutscene hacks for the Dreamcast versions, the same changes affected everything. In other words, if it was a pure port, their changes would already be rendering the cutscenes in 16x9 and they needed to do extra work not to do that.

The problem is entirely down to the content of the cutscenes themselves. There is at least one instance that has been pointed out (the Goro harassment cutscene on disc 2) where characters that are normally out frame are seen just standing there motionless while the action occurs in the normally visible area. There could be a few more, but nobody's done that analysis, as far as I know. Rather than reviewing every single scene in the game and trying to adjust the affected ones (adjusting them would be a lot more work) or just capping borders on those, they made the decision to keep the original framing intact for every single scene whether that be for consistency or budget reasons. This isn't a remaster, it's a $15/ea port of both games and for that budget they're not going to be able to afford much in the way of content changes.

There's a whole bunch of "it would be nice if..." for this, but this is actually consistent with the other similar priced ports that Sega has done of Dreamcast games like Jet Set Radio and Sonic Adventure 2.

Ultimately, I think they made the right choice to target this price point despite the limitations that come with it. There are a lot of people elsewhere who have said they're only giving it a try because of the $30 price tag, and this may have been the right budget based on their hesitations regarding the series.

But they really shouldn't have zoomed the trailers if that doesn't accurately represent what the games can do. I'm still under the impression that it was a mis-communication and Shenmue 2 is not double-letterboxed if you pick 16x9. I've been trying to get them to comment on that for a few days now, no luck yet.


is this the part you are referencing?

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Re: Random Shenmue HD Thoughts

Postby Sappharad » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:35 pm

PILMAN wrote:is this the part you are referencing?

phpBB [video]

Yeah, that's the one that has been pointed out in the past. You can see the guys off to the side awkwardly standing around doing nothing, and then when the kid runs off the screen you can see him freeze in place at the end of the animation because he would have been off screen already.

I haven't actually played through the game in 16x9 outside of the beginning, so I'm not a good source of information as to what other cutscenes are messed up.
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