The lower resolution background images for the game are upscaled with Magnific AI to massive 4k+ resolution.
The upscaling method
The tool used for these upscales is called Magnific. We actually started using the tool before it had a name. Back in August I was contacted by Javi Lopen, who was telling me he was working on some crazy upscaling tech. He volunteered to process the location graphics I had already used in the game for me. The kitchen location used as an example in this blog post is his upscale.
The image remains nearly the same. These upscaled images are a simple drag and drop update for the textures on the 3D meshes: they match so well. Everything stays the same, yet everything is completely recreated.
The results blew my mind. There was so much more fidelity to the images, but I did not even have to edit my scenes or 3D meshes at all, the upscaled image was a perfect drop in replacement! For quite a while we had this clunky back and forth where I sent him low res images and he sent me upscaled images back. But finally their tool, which now had gained a name, Magnific, is available for anyone, including me, to use in their projects!
Magnific AI user interface
Magnific Ai îs very simple to use. Which I like a lot. You start by uploading the input image. At the moment magnetic only supports around 4400×4400 px output size, so your input image max width or height should generally be under 2200px.
At the moment of writing, the tool only supports 2X upscaling, but you can perform it twice to get to 4x. I generally think that 4x upscaling is when the images actually pop into life. The details suddenly all make sense and weird AI hallucinations are brought to the absolute minimum.
There is also an “Optimised for” selection that tries to optimise the image generation algorithm to match the source footage. The possible “styles” so far are Standard, Portraits, Art & Illustration, nature & Landscapes, Films & Photography, 3d Renders, Science Fiction & Horror. For my project, I have been using Art & Illustrations & Video Game Assets quite interchangeably.
Because Magnific is doing generative upscale, where it is clearly using a diffusion model to come up with more detail to the image, you need to provide it with a prompt as well. I always provide the original prompt used in Midjourney, for example. If the input image is a composite of multiple different generations, like it often is, I just put on the prompt used to create the majority of the image.
You can guide the upscaling process with a descriptive prompt. If the image you’re upscaling is AI-generated, reusing the original prompt here can greatly improve the upscaling quality. To weigh specific parts of the prompt more heavily, you can include a number in parentheses between 1 and 1.4, like “(beautiful green eyes:1.3)”.
Allows the AI to “hallucinate” additional details, achieving greater realism at the cost of moving further away from the original image. Here’s where Magnific’s magic shines! But be careful: really high values can lead to some pretty strange results.
Increases definition and detail, though very high values can result in images with an artificial appearance or blotches.
(Advanced) Increasing this value will make the generation more closely resemble the original image, but very high values can result in blotches or a dirtier look. Lower values give more freedom to the generation at the cost of moving further away from the original image.
(Advanced) A parameter that should be mastered through experimentation. For most situations, we recommend setting it to “Automatic.” However, if you want to delve into really wild experiments and master Magnific, feel free to play with the Engine.
The last bit you need to do is to select the Engine and Click Upscale.
An example image upscale twice:
For Echoes of Somewhere, this means that every piece of art seen on the screen is highly likely to have been created in Magnific based on Midjourney / Stable Diffusion (Scenario or Leonardo) generation.
It greatly helps me blend in art from different sources as they share the final step.
Upscaling UV unwrapped textures
I also tested if Magnific could upscale character UV maps. And it actually did a pretty good job with it!
The UV texture got a lot more detailed than it used to be. A lot sharper. I used the term “UV texture” in the prompt to give some context for Magnific.
And as said, all of the art of the game has been upscaled using this tool for months already, so the trailer and 18 previous blog posts feature images upscaled (generated) with Magnific!