[Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 12.07.2017, 00:30

I will! Thank you!
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon RythusOmega » 22.07.2017, 04:22

Hello Krishty, i was looking this thread every day, and im glad to see someone dedicating time to decompressing the PSX era models of Ace Combat. I really liked to see that it´s possible to get access to these models, and i have been looking the models on your tool which DragonSpike released on USEAtoday. also it´s interesting to read the posts about how to decompress the models, how the PSX VRAM works, and how to fix UV maps and converting the VRAM models into a readable format like .WRL (even for me, a noob when it comes to hex and various types of coding).

Including the AC3 models that come with Lean´s Viewer build, i see you managed to get the AC2 ones too (the Axel Bay, Comona and Anchorhead map screenshots), and i would like to know about it, how far you manage to extract the polygons of the maps, and if you already manage to extract the aircraft models? That´s all i have to say for now, also keep going on continue this thread and with the updates about the models, it´s hard to find someone with such dedication and knowledge on decompressing PSX models. Also thanks for extracting the AC3 models, my dream of seeing those models from 360º view become a reality thanks to you.
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon scheichs » 22.07.2017, 09:38

Once again a wonderful article! Thank you for investing the time, Krishty.
P.S.: I love Krishtyvision! :D
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 22.07.2017, 15:01

scheichs hat geschrieben:Once again a wonderful article! Thank you for investing the time, Krishty.
Once again, you’re welcome! I’m happy if that knowledge doesn’t get lost :)

RythusOmega hat geschrieben:Hello Krishty, i was looking this thread every day, and im glad to see someone dedicating time to decompressing the PSX era models of Ace Combat. I really liked to see that it´s possible to get access to these models, and i have been looking the models on your tool which DragonSpike released on USEAtoday. also it´s interesting to read the posts about how to decompress the models, how the PSX VRAM works, and how to fix UV maps and converting the VRAM models into a readable format like .WRL (even for me, a noob when it comes to hex and various types of coding). […] That´s all i have to say for now, also keep going on continue this thread and with the updates about the models, it´s hard to find someone with such dedication and knowledge on decompressing PSX models. Also thanks for extracting the AC3 models, my dream of seeing those models from 360º view become a reality thanks to you.
Thank you for your kind words! I’m glad you enjoy the articles and feedback like yours really keeps me going (I read your comment on USEA Today as well)!

RythusOmega hat geschrieben:Including the AC3 models that come with Lean´s Viewer build, i see you managed to get the AC2 ones too (the Axel Bay, Comona and Anchorhead map screenshots), and i would like to know about it, how far you manage to extract the polygons of the maps, and if you already manage to extract the aircraft models?
First of all, please excuse the silence over the last weeks. I’ve been busy with work, and on weekends, I’ve been helping the guys at Driver Madness with extracting Driver cities, some stuff I had promised them in spring.

  1. I can extract basic terrain features of all Ace Combat 2 levels, for better or worse. E.g. the bridge at Anchorhead is missing and so are some carriers and buildings. It all has a common cause – the way Namco placed the objects is vastly different from Ace Combat 3, and it’ll take some time to decode the correct placement.
    2017-07-22 Ace Combat 2 objects.png

  2. Furthermore, Port Edwards at Night has some serious transparency issues; probably caused by animated signal lights from skyscrapers. Figuring this out is quite painful.
    2017-07-22 Ace Combat 2 Port Edwards night glitches.png
I’m planning to release an archive with the WRL levels once these issues are fixed. I’ll start extracting the planes then.

You may remember my discovery of the ULZ compression in Ace Combat 5. I was also having a look at Air Combat, and amazingly, it shares some data structures and sound formats with the other games. Namco used many identical file structures in all their games, and I try to keep my tools as compatible as possible, so I can hopefully extract all Ace Combat games in the future.

Oh look, there are pieces of an unused F-4 skin in Air Combat:
2017-07-22 Air Combat F-4 skin.png
2017-07-22 Air Combat F-4 skin.png (4.84 KiB) 1288-mal betrachtet
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 31.07.2017, 11:36

DragonSpikeXIII ist noch lange nicht fertig mit seiner Ace Combat 3-Übersetzung. Drüben auf USEA Today schreibt er im Detail, wie es weitergehen wird – und das klingt fantastisch!
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Infrid » 04.08.2017, 18:35

wow, so many discovers, glad you found the way how models works and how they are stored in the game!

I have a good news, I made an Ulz compressor for ace combat 3, I'll release it soon and I am starting to look to other tools for creating a suite capable of editing the game without break anything.

Krishty, could you release the source code of your unpacker? I'd like to take a look inside and make a tool for packing the BPB without problems, also I'd like to compile it under gnu/linux, so I can use it in my workflow. Don't worry if your code is not perfect, mine is messy too :)

Thanks!

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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 04.08.2017, 18:57

Of course, just let me gather the pieces. Did you see DragenSpike’s collection @ http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.p ... #msg340734 ? Yes you did, just checked your Wiki!
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 04.08.2017, 23:02

I’ve uploaded for source code for unpack_AC2 and unpack_AC3 to my original post. I’ll upload more stuff (terrain extraction etc.) when that’s finished and the tutorials are written.
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Infrid » 05.08.2017, 09:30

Thanks so much, I'll take a look to your files!

When I have some spare time I'll finish the compressor and post some results :)
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Infrid » 19.08.2017, 10:02

Here we are, I finished the compressor and it's available at https://github.com/Infrid/ac3es-tools

You need at least python 3.6 and can compress ulz v0 and v2, it analyse the files too and tells what parameter use for recompress the original files.

You can get information form iso and BPB files too, thanks to orientalcomputer_01 for that :)

The tool has been tested against my decompressor, because we didn't had time do test and debug on the game on an emulator, if you test it, please give us feedback!

Lz77 was used for compress files, but I have to optimize it, is still not efficient as the original namco's tool.
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » 11.12.2017, 23:47

DeviantArt user RauuruKun used my extracted Ace Combat 3 models for very cool wallpapers. Must-have for fans!


Furthermore, RythusOmega (who also posted here earlier) reconstructed a beta skin on his Twitter. I guess I can now just admit that
  • … I spent the year searching for betas, bootlegs and press kits to get my hands on the skin – but without any luck
  • … I’m really jealous because it looks so good :)


I’m glad my model viewer helped AC3 fans, and I hope I can resume working on the project soon …
Zuletzt geändert von Krishty am 15.12.2017, 20:18, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.
Grund: translated from German to English
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon RythusOmega » Gestern, 14:51

Wow, i was checking ZFX everyday for seeing future news about it, then those days i decided to check out and i have been suprised to see you have seen my EC-17U Model/Skin modification on my twitter during i was making the 5-view showcase of AC3 models, i just have to say, wow i very suprised to be noticed even with long time ago not talking here.

Well i gonna get a little long on this post, but considering the tutorial lengths i think it don´t mind.

About the EC-17U model i have worked, yeah, the idea have came when i was everyday looking into the AC3 models, i have used the PAL Press-Kit pictures(that ones which you have posted long time ago) from the "Beta" and the Ridge Racer Type 4 teaser(that video you have also posted along about Expo City Beta/Alpha) as references for making it. the model aside of the texture i have made some vertex tweaks with "some methods", which you can notice by EC originaly his fuselage section it´s more curvy than F/A-18I, due by because EC-17U it´s somewhat based of YF-17 Cobra(F/A-18 first prototype). also this image shows better the differences.
Bild

Also since you liked the skin work i made, this was just only half of my work, i also have made some magic things with AC3 himself with my skins works thanks by founding Umod and a EPSXE plugin called Next3D, if you are interresed i can even talk about it.


Ok, now getting into EC-17U about him from the game himself, yeah, trying to digging a beta from a game which it´s sometimes underground is hard. the only pictures of the beta we have now are the PAL Press-kit and about demos for now we only have the same various ones from US/EU which showcase the Mission Code mission(the one which also makes part of that replay of Su-37 of US/EU Version´s Music Player). about bootlegs the only AC3 bootleg CD i know it was a PS1 Collection which the AC3 of it, was the Japanese version however the hackers tried to make a hybrid of CD 1 and CD 2 in one, but the union gone wrong due by some communication interrupted warning(like Fates Interwinded, Dillema and Utopian Dreams) makes the game freezes on that screen, making you to reset it. aside of that, some music and dialog was also missing, but yeah, thanks to that disc it´s was my first contact with japanese version of AC3 from that time.

Now about the Beta of AC3, the only clues i have found about it, the first one, on the AC3 title menu textures, you can notice a Tokyo Game Show 99 title which probably was planned to be used on a AC3 demo, at least, the TGS 99 demo which was featured on TGS 99 event on japan. however the only images i have seen of the event, and considering it was already on the year which AC3 was planned to be released, the TGS 99 demo i think it don´t have some drastic differences and maybe it was more next to the final game. but i think founding a AC3 beta it´s still a possible thing in the future, like some people of the arcade game scenario managed to found very rare betas and cancelled games with their boards, which they managed to get in some junk shops or even entering in contact the a employer of the company to get a copy of it(by money).
Bild

Also, another thing which have a little connection to the tutorials and AC3 resources, i managed to found a alternative easy way to decompress PS1 ADPCM using PSsound, which if you don´t mind i can share if possible here?, for now i managed to get already some of AC3 audios, fixing their KHz bitrate and found some interresing things. but for some reason sometimes i feeling that it missing something(like some SFX, example : some missle sounds, OSL fire sound) i don´t know why, the sounds you already managed to extract was all from the game, or they are still some missing files which needs to be decompressed?
Bild


Well, thats for all i have to said, once more again i would like to thank you very much for dedicating to extracting PS1 Ace Combat resources, which with the knowledge of it can lead to extracting other namco games with the same code but some modifications(like Rage Racer, Time Crisis) and even the other Ace Combat games resources by the extensions and file structures. also if you are interresed, i can help a little if you want, i managed to get already the file containers of Ace Combat X, Ace Combat X2/Joint Assault(the PSP ones), Ace Combat Xi(the X spinoff for Iphone) and Ace Combat 3D Cross Rumble/Assault Horizon Legacy(the remake of AC2 for 3DS). i can send the files on your PM inbox for you give a look when you have some free-time, because the PS2 era games they can been a little hard like you said, but i don´t know if the PSP/3DS era games can been easy or hard to decompress. well that´s all i have to say for now, i will be on the wait for more updates, and also take your time, people need to dedicate to their jobs first most importantly. : )
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Re: [Projekt] Extracting Ace Combat

Beitragvon Krishty » Gestern, 20:48

First of all, sorry for falling back to German in my post above. It was late in the evening :)


RythusOmega hat geschrieben:i just have to say, wow i very suprised to be noticed even with long time ago not talking here.
I’m always looking for cool Ace Combat content :)


RythusOmega hat geschrieben:Well i gonna get a little long on this post, but considering the tutorial lengths i think it don´t mind.
thanks by founding Umod and a EPSXE plugin called Next3D, if you are interresed i can even talk about it.
i managed to found a alternative easy way to decompress PS1 ADPCM using PSsound, which if you don´t mind i can share if possible here?
All links are welcome (unless it’s piracy), and we’re always glad to have interesting posts here. So go ahead and post/link whatever you like!


Thanks a lot for the EC-17U / F/A-18I overlay! I didn’t realize you modified the vertices, but it’s very clear now. I was having a similar idea and gathered some screenshots from said video, but I never had the time to realize it. Very good job! Same with the UMod skins!


Also, thank you for information on the beta. (I was asking a similar question on USEA Today, but it looks like DragonSpike lost the comments section, or like he’s rearranging it.) At this point, I don’t have much hope to ever find a AC3 beta/leak, which is pretty sad. PSX leaks are very rare. One last chance might be the Internet Archive – Jason Scott is currently ripping and scanning thousands of CDs that were sent to him, and there was also at least one rare press release of some classic game. I guess we should check the Internet Archive once or twice a year, maybe we’re lucky one day.

Did you ever get your hands on the Chinese AC3 version? I know there are people out there who have it (one or two users on ROMHacking), but I never found it in the wild.

A little off-topic: Acepedia states that Ace Combat 1, in very early versions, had a realistic setting where NATO & Co. were explicitly mentioned in the story. I downloaded every copy I could, even the Russian ones, but I never found one. Is there any proof it exists, or is it just fake news in the Acepedia?


@Tokyo Game show clues: I also found very minor differences between the official release and the PAL demo (which was released later):
  • the PAL demo, in its font, has the letter i at a slightly different position.
  • also, the plane selection screen has a slightly different resolution.
I’m always wondering whether there was a Japanese demo?


Considering the sounds: The ADPCM data I extracted is packed with some kind of dictionary. I have not yet decoded it. If PSound just performs a brute-force search over the data, some sounds could be lost in its heuristics. I’ll improve my sound processing some time later in hopes of extracting everything.


Send me all the Ace Combat resources you got. I’m very busy with my job now, but when I find time to get back to Ace Combat extraction, the data will very likely help me!
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