Page MenuHomeFeedback Tracker

PROPOSAL for Rendering of Personell camouflage at Distance: REPLACE grass layer
Reviewed, NormalPublic


[TL;DR: a completely new approach to simulating camouflage using transparency instead of sinking into the ground.]

The grass layer has always been subject of much discussion in the community. For those who do not know what it is:

Grass layer attempts to simulate Persons being hidden by surrounding Grass and Brush, by making them sink into the ground less or more depending on the amount of Grass on the spot they are hiding on. This causes a couple of problems, such as a discrepancy between observed enemy body and the position of the parts that can actually be struck by fire. The camo is also inconsistent in this way, and can completely obscure even persons who usually would be perfectly visible.

This is why am putting forward this Idea:

Assign a Camo value to a Unit via config. Assign corresponding Camo-value checks to different types of ground (based on the clutter spawned thereupon).

At a distance, make the Unit appear more or less transparent based on the average of clutter within 25 meters. Transparency decreases to 0 when the Unit moves fast, and is halved when moving slowly in upright or crouched. Transparency increases and decreases depending on height of stance. Transparency increases only outside of a set distance, depending on their camo value.

Below I am laying out my Idea of how this could work.


Legacy ID
Unable To Reproduce
Steps To Reproduce

Uniform properties:

-Base Camo Value: Defines how much the Uniform will fade as the distance increases.
-Clutter specific camo value: Defines how much Base camo is modified depending on the ground the Uniform is worn on. Can be positive or negative. This would need different types of underground to be configged into the Uniform.
-Special modifiers: Ghillie suits would receive extra camo bonuses when wearer is prone and static. Diver suits would receive camo bonuses at night and when static near the sea floor (max 1m above ground?)


White T-Shirt, Jeans: Camo values everywhere are 0. The Unit will not turn transparent at any distance, and will only increase transparency through stance and basic camo value of the surrounding clutter.

Multicam-Combat Uniform, Vest, plain ACH. Base camo 0.5, Grass, Shrub and Forest +0.1.
This Uniform would begin to turn transparent at around 75m for a static soldier when prone, and 125m for a static soldier who is standing upright. On grass, Shrub and Forest clutter undergrounds, the degree of transparency would be increased by 1 10th, and maximum transparency would be around 90% at a distance of 1km for a static soldier prone in clutter that provides a camo bonus.

Ghilliesuit with Multi-cam undersuit, chestrig, Facemask. Base camo 0.8, Grass, Shrub and Forest provide +0.1 to camo.
Special value: Ghillie-suit. This is a special modifier that applies when the unit is static and prone (should turning count as movement?) and increases base camo to 0.9. This Unit would be completely invisible when static and hidden in good terrain outside of grass rendering area. Inside of grass rendering, the suit would turn completely visible inside of about 10 meters, but with the full grass being rendered around him, the Sniper would still need to rely on his suit providing actual camo rather than artificial invisibillity.

Thermal imaging would completely negate any invisibillity, and would either require a special suit to defeat, or hard cover.

For the AI, checking for a Unit to be visible would only require minimal checks based on an average and a reference table. For example, if scanning the area where a sniper is hidden, check for camo value (static Ghilliesuit (camo 0.8) in camoflaging clutter, prone (+0.2) = total camo of 1. This means total invisibillity. Subtract from this skill level of the observing Unit and modifiers for carried optics (for example, -0.1 for every 5x of zoom on the optic, and 0.1 for every 0.25 of skill) = total camo of 0.5. Add camo modifier for distance (250 m steps up to a fixed max distance of 1500 m. Modifier goes up logarithmically at each step, to simulate the increasing difficulty of resolving detail at a distance inherent to all optical systems, such as the human eye.

Depending on the distance, the level may reach 0 again, which means the sniper cannot feasibly be spotted with optical devices. If it is any higher, the observing Unit simply checks the resulting value against a table, which states the chance of spotting the Unit. Then throw 1D100 and if the result is above the check value, reveal value increases.

For Thermal Imaging, assume a base camo value of 0 for all Units, and only modify this depending on imaging resolution and distance, and maybe place a hard cap on spotting distance to represent technological limitations.

Nightvision would also modify these spotting values, as well as having no Nightvision at night.

Above 100 meters distance, treat all Units as a single entity for spotting purposes, but keep all observed Units as individuals. More steps to reduce computing power in this solution would be appreciated to reduce load.

This is the basic Idea of my proposal, I would love to hear back from Developers and the Community, and if required I could try to write up a more detailed example in .pdf format and provide this to the development team within 4 weeks time (very busy with work and moving, so something like that would take a little time.)

Additional Information (Necessary for calculating distance modifiers.) (May be interesting for constructing modifiers for Optical devices used for spotting.)

I am also searching for material that at least approximates scientific validity for how camouflage works on brain and retina, and how to reproduce these effects in the limited frame that can be made up in the RV engine.

This new approach would have its own problems, for example, Units should not turn transparent when skylining themselves to the player. How to handle lightsources as well as muzzleflash and muzzlesmoke for detection would also be need to be resolved.

Event Timeline

InstaGoat edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
InstaGoat set Category to Visual-Characters.
InstaGoat set Reproducibility to Unable To Reproduce.
InstaGoat set Severity to Feature.
InstaGoat set Resolution to Open.
InstaGoat set Legacy ID to 3003407535.May 7 2016, 1:02 PM
Uziyahu added a subscriber: Uziyahu.May 7 2016, 1:02 PM

I had an idea along these lines for A.I., comparing the average RGB values of a uniform texture to the average RGB values of the background.

Are you saying that the player would see a soldier with something like Predator (the movie) camo in some cases?

Note also that black is not really the best camo for night-time. Usually the best camo during daylight is also the best at night. Viewing through night-vision is another matter, because some excellent daylight camo patterns turn to solid bright colors when viewed through night vision because of the fabric's reflective qualities.

I agree that the current solution is lacking and BIS should look into it, however I think turning players transparent would also be quite lacking and is just another half-measure. I've seen another solution elsewhere that would actually render grass on the image of a soldier in the grass instead of them sinking into the ground that would be much, much better solution, and the status is "assigned" so hopefully something good will come of it.

I have seen that other suggestion, and I like it. Both that and my solution make some sense, however my suggestion is also concerned with attempting to make AI spotting at distances more realistic.

That is why I made a seperate ticket.

I like your idea. It's well thought out and reasonable. Voting for the attention of BIS.

Sounds better then the 'grass' idea that was proposed in an other ticket. The problem with the grass solution is that MP missions will then always need to have grass enabled, while the players with a lighter PC would really like to disable grass. This idea solves that and causes no extra stress on performance.

tyl3r99 added a subscriber: tyl3r99.May 7 2016, 1:02 PM

if bis didnt choose to do this approach could this be a possible Addon? or something?

Bohemia added a subscriber: Bohemia.May 7 2016, 1:02 PM

bootsy, you're a moron. that other idea also doesn't need grass enabled. also servers can force enable grass.

i voted up for both this and the other ticket, this is just to say that this issue has much needed attention.

As far as the description goes, all is fantastic, and I am completely in favour of it, even thought of it almost exactly before. but I always came to one issue, which i did not notice you countered. What if at a distance where player is transparent, he is on top of a hill, and there is only a blue sky behind him? he cannot be transparent then.

So this should not just apply to what texture/terrain the player is on and based on the camo he is wearing, but also how 5 other players will percieve him at different angles.

I figure a much more efficient way to do this would simply be to simplify.

Character models seem to be too detailed in both complexity and texture at long range, and the terrain texture at long range really just are poor, see ticket, hopefully they work on that too.

But anyway, the contrast between model detail and texture compared to the terrain makes the model stand out like a sore thumb, so what devs need to do is to simplify the player model with less LOD complexity, as well as drop the texture resolution of model to that of the terrain, an you will find that the player model will easily blend in with the terrain. so much simpler and not so resource hungry.

also as a side note, when scoping in on said character (sniping or binocs) grass should be able to be rendered perhaps, since the FOV decreases when zooming in, less grass should be visually generated, which too will not eat so much resources. I have seen this being used alot before, one example was ye ol farcry (the first original one) if you looked into the distance, you would have flat textures, but if you used binocs to zoom in, grass would be generated, this worked fairly nice without any overhead on performance and could work in ArmA3 just as nice.

Voted down, would like to see the (already assigned) #3505

Hanz added a subscriber: Hanz.May 7 2016, 1:02 PM
Hanz added a comment.May 23 2013, 11:49 AM

This suggestion was processed by our team and will be looked into. We thank you for your feedback.

cychou added a subscriber: cychou.May 7 2016, 1:02 PM

transparency effect would not be realistic in several cases :

IRL when looking at someone 1km away using powerful scope you could see him as if he would be at only 50m from you.

the only solution to really simulate degree of dissimulation ingame is to make a more detailed ground with better grass textures. it's the grass itself that must cover you, and not your body to become transparent.

StJimmy added a subscriber: StJimmy.May 7 2016, 1:02 PM

But the game can't render grass and cover you so it needs to be simulated so the player is somewhat transparent.