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Dagor Engine 6.5: Zoom in... Enhance it!
 

 

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Today we want to talk about the global graphical improvements, 4K/8K game client, and artistic neuronet.

Necessary Changes

The latest War Thunder vehicle and asset models are created in 4K, or even 8K resolutions, but textures of such sizes significantly increase the size of the game client. In addition, the game has a lot of content created with textures in 2K resolution, for example, some of the aircraft with which War Thunder began its journey back in 2012. But as time goes by, monitor resolutions, hard drive sizes and internet speeds grow, so we want to make the game look better. We are introducing a new ULTRA HD texture pack that brings a higher resolution to War Thunder that meets the standards of modern games. It's time to change for the better, and we are taking this step in the next update of the game!

Game clients to choose from

To move to the new graphics with high resolution textures, we need to rebuild all the textures in the game. Three types of game client will be available for players after the update is released: minimal (minimal size, suitable for trial playing at 720p resolution), standard, with textures of the same resolution as you see them in War Thunder now, suitable for playing at resolutions up to 1080p; and improved, which will bring textures of tanks, planes, helicopters and elements of the game environment to 4K/8K resolutions, and which is suitable for playing at Ultra-HD (1440/2160p). Unfortunately, even players who prefer to use standard or minimal clients, will have to download a rather large update once, with the release of the upcoming update. This is required for the technical features of the transition to high-resolution global rendering, as well as improved technology for creating land surfaces that also requires rebuilding most of the textures of the game environment.

 

 

 

Players who wish to upgrade to UHD textures will be prompted to download additional game data that will be installed after the standard client. The same option for selecting texture quality will be available to owners of new generation game consoles as free DLC (make sure you have enough space and 4K support). For previous generation consoles, the client with high-res textures will not be available due to lack of memory in the consoles.

Artistic neuronet

Most of the textures of ship models, tanks and up-to-date elements of the game environment do not require any modifications to go into ultra-high resolution format - they were originally created in 4K and 8K formats, and then compressed to save disk space. However, things are different with aircraft textures. The fact is that most of the War Thunder aircraft textures were created in direct relation to the dimensions of the models, which means that we do not have these files in the sizes necessary for high-quality display in high resolution. There was only one way out: redo all the textures for most of the aircraft in the game! It would take several years for our artists to complete such a task, even with the help of partner studios (one plane is at least 8 texture maps, apart from cockpit textures. Gaijin programmers came to the rescue, creating a neural network that was taught how to scale textures based on a complex analysis of the original image, and the network was trained precisely on the textures of War Thunder vehicles. The essence of the technology lies in the fact that artificial intelligence analyzes image areas and individual pixels in them and supplements the image with new pixels. The resolution increases, thus improving the quality of the final texture.

 

 

 

The neuronet processed the textures of aircraft, helicopters, instrument panels and the interior of cockpits, as well as environmental elements in the locations - the textures of buildings, rocks, sidewalks and cobblestone pavements, curbs, palisades, and many others. Artificial intelligence did an excellent job - the quality of all textures in the game has increased significantly without loss of detail. We noticed only one aspect of the neural network algorithms in the processing of the smallest technical inscriptions on the fuselages of aircraft. These service marks for ground services were not readable before, but after processing by the neuronet, their shape became bizarre, reminiscent of the Elvish script from Tolkien's works - the neural network doesn’t know specific languages. However, all more or less significant inscriptions, marks and decals on the hulls and fuselages of the vehicles remained perfectly readable, so we consider this assumption quite acceptable. together with a significantly increased quality of textures in general. Corrections of such inscriptions will require manual work, which we will be carrying out over future updates.

 

 

 

What else?

You will first meet the ultra high-quality War Thunder in the upcoming open dev testing session of the next major update. Scalable textures, new surface rendering, as well as numerous improvements and fixes will be brought to the game by the updated graphic engine; Dagor Engine v. 6.5. The Gaijin dev team are polishing them right now in order for you to have a chance to test them and leave your feedback. More devblogs about graphic features of the War Thunder major update are on the way - and you’d better not to miss them!

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