YouTube Channel ‘Upscale’ Uses Machine Learning to Remaster Classic Video Game Intros and Cutscenes

There was a time when gamers were treated to big-budget cutscenes that looked way better than the game itself. Games like Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, and World of Warcraft have some of the best cutscenes. However, as TV technology developed, these classic cutscenes disappeared, mainly because the results were poor, such as pixel clutter, on a 4K television screen or even a 1080p monitor. But YouTube channels seem to have revived them by scaling them in resolutions up to 8K – and they pop up just like they did on old CRT TV sets, if not better.

A YouTube channel called “Upscale” uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to make these cutscenes viewable on modern television sets. For example, the intro to Kingdom Hearts by Upscale looks spectacular. In the post, the channel mentions “improvements” that have been made to the video – “improved lighting effects, improved coloring”.

Watch the video here:

Does it look good on you? Maybe you need something else to decide. This one is from World of Warcraft, and it includes a before and after comparison as well. The hair on the characters is clearly visible in the remastered version while it’s blurred in the original. The enhanced version has fine detailing of the dwarf’s beard and fur on his clothes.

The high-end describes itself as “dedicated to bringing out the best in quality” in the video game, anime, and movie scene. Video game quality is enhanced using Topaz Video Enhance AI software that uses AI and machine learning techniques, reports The Verge.

However, AI algorithms work differently based on the video art style. The same image or video can have different qualities. For example, the Kingdom Hearts intro above has been upgraded to 4K Ultra HD. The surprising part is that the remastered version, while very much in keeping with the original style, has details by AI that were previously not even obvious. It can’t revive or completely change the scene but makes minor changes that might suit this age and technology. Nonetheless, the videos on this YouTube channel are a nostalgic treat.

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