Adding native support for DDS images and other older video game images types would be very helpful since I have found converting to PNG and then back to DDS can cause issues. I love the software and hope to keep using it to enhance older games and this would greatly improve that process.
While useful for making the flow cleaner (if it preserved type of DDS) it is not going to improve quality of result.
DDS is a image compression format much like JPG that by design loses image quality to save file space and the best quality compressors take a very long time to process; while PNG is a file compression format (like a .zip file) that does not change image quality at all.
So just like any JPG to PNG to JPG conversion you will suffer decompression and recompression quality issues just as well with a DDS to TPAI to DDS flow. Since TPAI file save optimizes for saving time and file size rather than image quality, some have already complained that their saved JPG are significantly smaller and thus less quality.
The size enhancer algorithm has a slider for trying to undo compression artifacts (dither noise and blocky gradients) so is useful for DDS images, but compressing it back to DDS will just reintroduce those artifacts. That can be useful in cases where low quality fast DDS compression was done and you are replacing it with high quality slow DDS compression as well as AI resizing. It is best if modding an old video game if you can find modders resources that have the original uncompressed image formats (usually TGA/BMP). But even with that any alpha layers exist TPAI screws up those quality.
For JPG in particular, Topaz Photo AI saves JPG files at 95% quality by default, which is the highest quality that does not introduce artifacts. It’s the most space and quality efficient way to save JPG. You can increase the quality to 100% by clicking Save > Export Settings > Format > JPEG and increasing the slider to 100.
I know it has been a long time since my original post. If I had access to tga or the original files I would use those.
Having dug deeper into my issue, the problem I had with a few DDS images appear to come from the extraction process as the images are in another archive.
Yes, you are correct and it would make my workflow much faster and that is my main goal.
Interestingly on those bad DDS images when I run upscale them the contrast just turns everything jet black. I saw the beta for the lighting model and tried that and it appeared to work! When I opened the images they looked correct. However, once loading the game instead of being jet black, they were pure white. If you have any thoughts about that or how to fix please share.
Also, my process does not seem to introduce artifacts or any issues that I can see.
Still would like to be able to add DDS files directly just to save time on my process. I never thought it would add any extra quality but I appreciate your response and the useful information provided.
Or maybe I am not understanding and you are saying converting to PNG, TPAI and then back to DDS will provide better results than having native DDS support? If that is true then then I would say don’t add native DDS support.