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Fan-Made Software Learns to HD Remaster Final Fantasy VII

As technology improves and allows us to do greater things, the desire for older games to be remastered and remade has increased drastically. One of the main issues is up-scaling visuals, as many times it needs to manually be done, adding to the workload and most importantly, the cost. A remake that many gamers have been clamoring for is the beloved Final Fantasy VII, especially after its arguably premature announcement at 2015’s E3. While this remake is still in development, it’s unclear when we will see it come to fruition. In the meantime, a fan-made piece of software called A.I. Gigapixel might hold us over until FFVII Remake’s release.

A.I. Gigapixel could help overcome one of the major hurdles of remastering Final Fantasy VII: The backgrounds. Back in the day, the original assets for the backgrounds were lost, so upscaling them in modern iterations has proven to be an arduous task. It’s doable, but with the help of A.I. Gigapixel, this task could be made significantly easier. The software can learn what a proper upscaling looks like, based on developers feeding it thousands of images. Using an algorithm, it can learn to do all the hard work, instead of countless modders upscaling assets by hand, usually unpaid.

After discovering this software, modders began working on new assets for the game’s backgrounds. By working with A.I. Gigapixel, it not only upscales the assets, but it increases them, bringing the pixels to 400 times original in some cases—sometimes more. The program is not without its issues, though, as this kind of computing takes time. In some cases, lots of time. In some examples, it took over four million calculations just to enlarge one pixel, so imagine how long an entire background would take.

In the video above, you can see how the modding community is taking advantage of the software, despite how much computing it needs to do. Over time, it’s possible that A.I. Gigapixel could learn to enlarge pixels even faster. As it stands, many members of the community are hard at work on the Final Fantasy VII mod and it looks absolutely stunning.

Since the team at Square Enix is remaking Final Fantasy VII from the ground up, this software might not be as useful for them. But to those who just want to play a more visually appealing version of the game with everything else untouched, A.I. Gigapixel is definitely going to come in handy. What do you think of this? Are you savvy with modding? Let us know!

[Source: Topaz Labs]