MVFU (Like Kung Fu.) - Nice conversion for VX/Ace assets

Ultima2876

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Hey all,

I want to make my new tool (or site) publicly available :)

This is a conversion tool for VX/Ace assets (currently character sheets and tilesets) to RPG Maker MV. You can use it here: http://www.kickbackgames.com/mvfu

It's pretty simple to use. Add files either with the 'add files' button or by dragging them onto the page. It'll upload them to the server, process them (this can take up to a couple of minutes per file depending on a few factors, so be patient!), then allow you to download the processed files.

Internally it uses Waifu2x (http://waifu2x.udp.jp) to do the base resizing which gives MUCH better results than any Photoshop method, then a bunch of tricks to clean up the output and improve it even more, plus outputs at the correct size for RMMV (Waifu itself only does 1.6x or 2x which isn't correct for RMMV). It allows you to queue up multiple files and leave them going, since processing time can be quite long.

So here are some comparison screenshots (these are all using the World tileset from RPG Maker VX Ace, with the Actor1 character set):

Photoshop Auto to 1.5x ("Best"):



Photoshop Nearest Neighbour to 1.5 (No seams, but fuzzy):



Waifu2x to 2x, then Photoshop Auto down to 0.75x (Bad seams...):



MVFU:



So while it's still not 100% perfect (I'm working on improving it over time!), I think even at this early stage it gives usable results. With a bit of manual tweaking in Photoshop or the skills of a good mapper, I think this could open up a lot of extra assets for us to use!
 
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Niten Ichi Ryu

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Thanks a lot for this. I'm so happy that MV brings talented new blood in here, who works for the community.
 

Ultima2876

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No problem. And LOL, I just realised I totally typo'd the topic title... it's meant to be "kung fu"... if I mod sees this maybe they can fix that for me? :)
 
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KisaiTenshi

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IMO... still looks terrible.


Here's what I did with one set of Ace assets. Upscaling from 2x16x16 to 3x16x16 via 512->3072->768 works fine if you use nearest-neighbor each time unless there are single-pixel details, in which case it will probably look wrong anyway. If you use nearest neighbor to upscale and then use a different algorithm to downscale, sometimes it looks okay, but mostly it always looks like trash.


I've never been terribly fond of the upscaling algorithms used by emulators or LCD screens themselves, it always makes things look like I need my glasses adjusted and the colors always end up desaturated because black pixels turn grey.


<snip>


I'm now sitting here looking at this and I'm thinking that maybe the RPG Maker VX Ace "Futuristic tilesets" might have been upscaled before. The one on the right is the Nearest Neighbor up and then back down. The tileset has a lot of transparency bits to it.
 
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Kes

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It doesn't need a mod.

Use the edit button, then choose the 'Use Full Editor' button and you can amend the title yourself.
 

Ultima2876

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IMO... still looks terrible.


Here's what I did with one set of Ace assets. Upscaling from 2x16x16 to 3x16x16 via 512->3072->768 works fine if you use nearest-neighbor each time unless there are single-pixel details, in which case it will probably look wrong anyway. If you use nearest neighbor to upscale and then use a different algorithm to downscale, sometimes it looks okay, but mostly it always looks like trash.


I've never been terribly fond of the upscaling algorithms used by emulators or LCD screens themselves, it always makes things look like I need my glasses adjusted and the colors always end up desaturated because black pixels turn grey.


<snip>


I'm now sitting here looking at this and I'm thinking that maybe the RPG Maker VX Ace "Futuristic tilesets" might have been upscaled before. The one on the right is the Nearest Neighbor up and then back down. The tileset has a lot of transparency bits to it.
 
Eh, guess it's a matter of opinion but I'm really not fond of what Nearest Neighbour does to non-exact-integer scales. For example, in what you posted, look at that cable in the middle... that's awful! Nearest Neighbour is great for 2x, 3x, 4x etc... but I'm not keen at all on that weird janky 'un-uniform' look it gives things. Some pixels end up being upscaled to 2 pixels, others to 1 and it just looks really inconsistent and dirty to me. Trust me, I'm a purist when it comes to graphics too, just in the opposite way I suppose - I feel that the art in VX Ace is closer to 'painted' style art than pixel style, so I think Waifu's anime-style scaling is superior.


Anyway, now the user has more options, so yay!

It doesn't need a mod.


Use the edit button, then choose the 'Use Full Editor' button and you can amend the title yourself.
 
Thanks! :)
 
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blazex4

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Just wondering if anyone else is having problems trying to download stuff because I'm currently unable to.
 

KisaiTenshi

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Eh, guess it's a matter of opinion but I'm really not fond of what Nearest Neighbour does to non-exact-integer scales. For example, in what you posted, look at that cable in the middle... that's awful! Nearest Neighbour is great for 2x, 3x, 4x etc... but I'm not keen at all on that weird janky 'un-uniform' look it gives things. Some pixels end up being upscaled to 2 pixels, others to 1 and it just looks really inconsistent and dirty to me. Trust me, I'm a purist when it comes to graphics too, just in the opposite way I suppose - I feel that the art in VX Ace is closer to 'painted' style art than pixel style, so I think Waifu's anime-style scaling is superior.
That's why I chose that image. Because it has that weird 1-pixel "cable" + 1pixel "shadow" that looks rather odd. But run it through the Waifu filter and it actually looks worse because the hard edges have all been erased.

Like, I guess what I'm saying is that the filter doesn't actually improve the image, and there is really no solution that isn't manual repair.
 

Ultima2876

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Just wondering if anyone else is having problems trying to download stuff because I'm currently unable to.
I'll double check it shortly. Are you having a specific issue or is the download button simply not doing anything? What browser/OS are you using?
That's why I chose that image. Because it has that weird 1-pixel "cable" + 1pixel "shadow" that looks rather odd. But run it through the Waifu filter and it actually looks worse because the hard edges have all been erased.

Like, I guess what I'm saying is that the filter doesn't actually improve the image, and there is really no solution that isn't manual repair.
Ah, I see. Well as you say, no automated method will ever be perfect! Maybe this can be a good starting point depending on people's preferences - I know I'm going to use it to begin with because I suck at pixel art! ;)
 
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blazex4

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The download button just shows a circle with a cross through it even when the bar goes orange and it browser is pale moon, the latest version.
 

Ultima2876

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Ah, wait a little longer - the orange bar means it is processing and will take a minute or so (depending on how many files are currently in the queue). The bar will turn green when it's done and the download button will become usable :)

I actually suggest queuing a few files, getting a cup of tea or working on a map or something, then checking how it's getting on after that :)
 
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PrkchpsNaplsaws

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this is going to save me so much time...thank you for sharing! btw...ultima ... as in "online"???
 

zharth

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IMO... still looks terrible.
Well, judging from the samples, I think it looks fantastic - a vast improvement over both plain Photoshop rescaling and the waifu2x mod. Thanks again, Ultima2876! I can't wait to run a few tile and character sheets through it for use in my project.
 

Ultima2876

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this is going to save me so much time...thank you for sharing! btw...ultima ... as in "online"???
No worries :) And actually the name originates from the Final Fantasy spell... but Ultima Online is cool too!

Well, judging from the samples, I think it looks fantastic - a vast improvement over both plain Photoshop rescaling and the waifu2x mod. Thanks again, Ultima2876! I can't wait to run a few tile and character sheets through it for use in my project.
Thanks for your support! :) I'll be improving it over time also. I have some good ideas!
 

blazex4

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Ah, wait a little longer - the orange bar means it is processing and will take a minute or so (depending on how many files are currently in the queue). The bar will turn green when it's done and the download button will become usable :)

I actually suggest queuing a few files, getting a cup of tea or working on a map or something, then checking how it's getting on after that :)
Not sure if it's meant to do that but it stays that way for over 10 minutes with no change.
 

Ultima2876

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Not sure if it's meant to do that but it stays that way for over 10 minutes with no change.
Oh, really? Sounds like a bug. I just tried doing one myself and it only took 5 seconds or so, so it's not like there's a massive queue or anything!

Do you happen to know how to get the developer tools (specifically the javascript debug console) up on your browser? If you can open that and let me know if there are any messages in there I'd really appreciate it (ctrl-shift-j might do it!).
 

blazex4

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The only thing that shows up is

Code:
[02:08:53.889] Use of attributes' specified attribute is deprecated. It always returns true. @ [URL="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js:29"]https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js:29[/URL]
 
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Ultima2876

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Hmm, that doesn't sound like it's the problem. I've had a look on my server logs and the only concerning thing I can see is the following:

[01-Nov-2015 10:00:21 America/New_York] PHP Warning: file_get_contents(http://waifu2x.udp.jp/api): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable

However, I've done a few more conversions and they seem to be working OK on my end - the above error indicates that Waifu's API is completely down and not working. If that were the case, it wouldn't work for me...

I'll update to report this error to the user when it occurs though, that might help to diagnose this. :)

EDIT: another thought, perhaps you could send me the png file you're using in case I can replicate the issue that way?
 
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KisaiTenshi

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Chances are you are overloading the author's front end system.
 

Tommy Gun

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Error: Incompatible file (not supported yet?)
Well, dang. Tried two character files (single and full). PNGs with transparency.
 

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