Wing Commander

  • 08

    Aug

    odvs_enhanced5t.jpgWe've posted a number of fancy video packages this year that feature the enhanced cutscenes ODVS has managed to create. We're careful to not refer to it as just "upscaling" since actual bits of new data are being added to create detail where none existed before. How is this accomplished and what are the limits? What do we mean by saying it's run through an AI routine? ODVS explains all this and more in a new article. You can learn about modern computerized neural networks and all the work ODVS does to manually pre-process the footage before he can turn the crank here.

    GIGO – QUALITY IS KING

    In my case, I use a Neural Net-trained application called Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI. The application has been loaded with several AI models that can be applied to source materials of various quality with varying results.

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    Almost as a case-in-point of why “Artificial Intelligence” is a misleading term, the
  • 07

    Aug

    Christian Klein posted some cool pictures of a Wing Commander box, and I thought this one was definitely worth sharing. There are many variants of the original "black box" Wing Commander, and most fans are familiar with the Deluxe Edition (with expansions) that come in a blue box. This particular copy, however, is the Software Toolworks Deluxe Edition that comes in a black box on CD! I added a copy of the blue floppy version for comparison. Most of the internal contents will be pretty familiar, but the CD holder itself is a pretty cool artifact! It's by no means the only version of the original game on CD, but many of those are part of other exotic compilations or OEM releases. Check out more of Christian's finds on Twitter.

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  • 06

    Aug

    Hi-Yo, Centurion!

    Here's a fun sketch from Simon James on Instagram. It features a bounty hunter behind the green screen of a comm VDU. It almost looks like he's artistically chosen to jazz up the eyewear as a Lone Ranger-style mask. I always figured they were just sunglasses, but either way, they're definitely there to convey a certain look! If you like this one, you can find more of his art here.

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    A quick one... portrait of a bounty hunter that'd appear in your comms in Wing Commander: Privateer - my first space game.
  • 04

    Aug

    It's been quite a while since Klavs has shown off a new Sabre, but he's back in the cockpit and taking another crack at it now. At this point the design is still in the pre-texture phase, but the spaceframe is already quite solid and the fighter is looking well equiped with its particle cannons, neutron guns and healthy complement of missiles. The nifty version with landing gear deployed also reveals several internal bays for additional ordnance!

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    Re-kajiggering a lot of the old models, to optimize things and maybe make them a bit more realistic by relying more on texturing than all the overly-chunkified modeling I did to make them look better as 3d printed models. In many cases I'm having to re-model them from scratch, but thems are the breaks. Pretty happy with the Sabre's overall configuration, and she can even carry 6 torpedoes!

    Klavs doesn't just make Wing Commander ships either. He recently put

  • 03

    Aug

  • 03

    Aug

    When we posted the first complete pack of enhanced Wing Commander 3 videos a few weeks ago, we labeled them as a "first cut" preliminary effort. They still looked great, but ODVS continues to find ways to create even more visual fidelity of the surprisingly low res/framterate originals. As he looks towards what a 2.0 update might be like, here's created a couple of test videos using more advanced AI/neural net methods to experiment with the next level of updated footage. Faces and hair look surprisingly good! Check the new samples out below.

    I've been tinkering with my workflow for remastering the WC3 PSX footage. I've introduced a new AI method for interpolating the frame rate from 15fps to 30fps (which is far more accurate than the previous method), tweaked the AI upscale model and modified my AVIsynth code. So here's another comparison video. I think this bodes well for a WC3 HD Pack V2.0 :)
  • 02

    Aug

    New this month on the Wingkipedia: high res scans of the 1999 X-Toys Wing Commander trading cards! Fans who kept their cards in the packaging could be missing out on some awesome reverse-side lore!

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    A different trading card was included with each of X-Toys' eight Wing Commander action figures in 1999. The rear card text is largely adapted from the Wing Commander Confederation Handbook.
  • 01

    Aug

    wc4_remake18t.jpgThe WC4 Fan Remake will be using ODVS' fantastic video for most cutscenes, but there are a handful of CGI sequences that would be better served with complete graphical overhauls similar to the playable parts of the game. The team has to be careful to match the visual fidelity of anything new that they create so that it doesn't feel out of step with everything else. As such, DefianceIndustries, ODVS and Pedro have published a new article titled 'Recreating Worlds' to detail this process. It's a nice thorough overview and shows that they're making great use of the new project website. There's also a quick video example as well as some screenshots behind the development curtain. Check out all the details here.

    Defiance Industries is going to create some new CGI sequences for Wing Commander IV Remastered that match the originals as closely as possible in aesthetic and quality.

    Defiance is, of course,

  • 29

    Jul

    The Los Angeles College of Music will be hosting a live stream with Wing Commander composer George Oldziey on July 31. The event will be at 4 pm Pacific / 7 pm Eastern via the LACM Facebook page. George is part of the school's faculty teaching the next generation of artists. This sounds like it'll be a fantastic discussion, so we're eager to see how it goes!

    FRIDAY - we will be going live with Composing For Visual Media Faculty GEORGE OLDZIEY, who will be giving you a behind-the-scenes look into his creative process for film scoring and orchestration! George is an award-winning composer and orchestrator who has worked on films such as 'Sin City' and 'Kill Bill Vol. 2,' and he has also scored video games such as 'Wing Commander' and 'Ultima Ascension.' This is your chance to learn all about composing and orchestrating from an industry professional!

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    An award winning composer, George joined the ranks of
  • 29

    Jul

    LYP Studios has put together a pretty neat Morningstar fighter for the Thingiverse 3D printing website. At nearly 15 inches long, it's a monster in the model fighter world and the large size allows for increased detail on the spaceframe. There's also plenty of ordnance it seems. Klavs was actually the person who spotted this and his art coincidentally served as the inspiration for this new iteration. It's been carefully designed so that the fuselage and fins can be independently printed and attached. You can download the files here. If you build one, be sure to send us pics!

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    F-95 Morningstar Heavy Fighter Variant (Wing Commander II)

    This is my rendition of the heavy fighter, at 37cm long (about 1/72 scale)It was modeled similar to Adam Burch's (Klavs81) original version, but with some of my own customization.

    The fuselage and fin parts should be printable in FDM in current orientation.However I

  • 27

    Jul

    forstchenplanet.jpgLOAF has been greatly expanding the WCPedia lately, and one of his newest pages is an exhaustive collection of William Forstchen's work. The author is well known for his six Wing Commander credits, but he's done a lot more than that over more than four decades writing professionally. A particularly cool addition to the archive are numerous scans of his submissions to Boys' Life, the magazine of Boy Scouts of America. Many have a sci-fi bent that will be familiar, even though Mr. Forstchen is more recently better known for his historical and hypothetical war dramas. Learn more and find his Boys' Life stories here!

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  • 27

    Jul

    We're excited to kick off a new week with another impressive enhanced Wing Commander 4 video release. Although at some point soon there are likely to be diminishing returns and the pace of new iterations will slow, ODVS has managed to crank out an even better looking package of the game's cutscenes. In this edition there's better character detail, improved CGI and restored audio aboard the Lexington. There's also just generally less compression visible and better handling of lower frame rate sections. All the clips are broken into two packages that are about four gigs each, and German/French versions are online too. If you're running a DVD edition of the game, such as the one available at GOG, all you have to do is unzip these in the VOB movie folder!

  • 26

    Jul

    AD has found another Argentinian magazine that celebrates a classic Wing Commander release. This one is from the Top Kids Club magazine, number 24. The copy seems dominated by Mortal Kombat stuff, but Wing Commander 4 gets a lengthy review as well. It earns a whopping 95% rating, which is great no matter where you're from. Although the spread is well endowed with flashy WC4 pics, there are also some curious WC3 Arrow press images that sneak in too. If you find the review amazing and just have to own a copy, it's for sale on Facebook Marketplace for $250. I'll probably pass, so I wanted to let you know!

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  • 25

    Jul

    It's not every day that fans open a new Wing Commander website, so we're very excited today to unveil the new site for the fan remake WC4 Remastered! Pedro and DefianceIndustries have been doing the ground work to get the game's engine and core assets together for a while now, and efforts have recently been kicked into higher gear with the addition of ODVS' talents on video enhancement and 2D art. Now everything they've been working on has been collected in one central hub. The site is nicely appointed with subsections for background info, project status, media and more. They also have an elaborate links page, which is a wonderful throwback to old webpage days. Everything even works well on mobile devices. Visit for yourself at WCRespace.com!

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    I'm proud and excited to release WCRespace.com to the web! This is the official website for the Wing Commander IV Fan Remake project. Pedro, Defiance and I
  • 24

    Jul

    Broken Circus has done a fun unboxing video for Privateer on disk, Righteous Fire and the Privateer Speech Pack. These definitely fall into the category of lesser seen packages. Privateer was a really big release on CD, so most players got these addons on disc rather than in standalone boxes. These came by way of Finland with the contents inside in multiple languages. All three are slip cover versions and the actual cardboard box has a neat form factor as well. The included discs are printed rather than labeled, which is nice too. The Priv speech pack might seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but it's an interesting addition to the franchise. Everything was rerecorded by professional voice actors for the CD, so this just includes limited voices for things like spaceflight. The local Texan accent comes through here and there! I like that he also took a peek at the contents of

  • 23

    Jul

    You can't have an arsenal of animated space fighters without an animated pilot, so DefianceIndustries got to work on creating Bob, the animated fighter jock. His most distinguishing feature might be his helmet, but he's ready to fly Hornets, Scimitars, Broadswords, Sabres and more. He's also the star of this new recruiting poster!

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    This is Bob. Bob is a background pilot. Because of this, Bob will likely get killed by a Dralthi. Don't be a Bob. Bob, however, wants you to join the animated Confed Navy.

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  • 21

    Jul

  • 20

    Jul

    Somehow we're already in the second half of the year, and longtime CIC visitors will know that that means the CIC's birthday is approaching fast. It's a little later than we'd usually confirm the date, but this is a very unusual year. Last time much of the staff was able to get together in person and host a super fun live stream. We won't be able to get together in person this year, but we will still have a very exciting party for everyone!

    We originally went live on August 10, 1998, but this year also marks the 30th birthday of the Wing Commander series itself. We've decided to combine our celebrations for these two milestones and observe the CIC birthday this year on the series' anniversary of September 26! This works out really well for us, and we hope it does for you too. The festivities will take place in #Wingnut on Discord at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT). Stay tuned for more

  • 20

    Jul