System Shock 2 High Definition Cutscenes (SS2HDC) is an attempt to bring some fidelity into aging low resolution video cutscenes of System Shock 2 game.
Original cutscenes arrived in 640×480 and 320×240 resolutions, the new HD cutscenes are all encoded at 1280×960 (4x original resolution) with special sharpening process applied that restores certain details (mostly texts and simple visual elements). It is technically impossible to obtain video quality out of thin air (except in C.S.I. TV series hehe), but this is probably the closest thing we can get with current technology and certainly far better results than with Bicubic or Lanczos resampling.
VIDEO QUALITY COMPARISON SAMPLES (click for full size)*
Left image is SD quality (original video, scaled with bicubic filter), right image is HD (optimized HD version)
*Actual in-game quality may vary due to video scaling engine used by the game as well as screen size/resolution. But if you feed it higher resolution video, it will do less of its crappy scaling… I have also done resampling test on higher resolutions, but resampling filters basically just went nuts at that point, drawing things entirely out of place because you can only interpolate image details to some extent. And 1280×960 was the sweet spot. It’s still 4 times the original resolution, so there’s that…
MORE SAMPLES (sort them by name)
.\System Shock 2\Data\cutscenes
First backup all the original videos and replace them with new HD videos. They are named the same, just overwrite them.
Latest edition of System Shock 2 is required in order to use HD cutscenes. Cutscenes were tested using GOG version. I do not own Steam version, but I’m assuming they are using the same build as GOG. Original game required Indeo video decoder which is old and crappy. New game versions feature FFmpeg decoding engine which can playback pretty much any video.
Every time someone mentions System Shock 2, it gets re-installed and replayed. This law still applies and now is a good time to do that and try out SS2HDC along with other visual enhancing mods for this game like SHTUP and Rebirth, you can find more here.
Let me know what you think about it in the comments down below and make sure you rate it 🙂