We present results from an observer based photosimulation study of generic camouflage patterns, intended for military uniforms, where three near-identical patterns have been compared. All the patterns were prepared with similar effective color, but were different in how the individual pattern patches were distributed throughout the target. We did this in order to test if high contrast (black) patches along the outline of the target would enhance the survivability when exposed to human observers. In the recent years it has been shown that disruptive coloration in the form of high contrast patches are capable of disturbing an observer by creating false edges of the target and consequently enhance target survivability. This effect has been shown in different forms in the Animal Kingdom, but not to the same extent in camouflaged military targets. The three patterns in this study were i) with no disruptive preference, ii) with a disruptive patch along the outline of the head and iii) with a disruptive patch on the outline of one of the shoulders. We used a high number of human observers to assess the three targets in 16 natural (woodland) backgrounds by showing images of one of the targets at the time on a high definition pc screen. We found that the two patterns that were thought to have a minor disruptive preference to the remaining pattern were more difficult to detect in some (though not all) of the 16 scenes and were also better in overall performance when all the scenes were accounted for.
Gorm K. Selj and Daniela H. Heinrich, "Disruptive coloration in woodland camouflage: evaluation of camouflage effectiveness due to minor disruptive patches," Proc. SPIE 9997, Target and Background Signatures II, 99970A (Presented at SPIE Security + Defence: September 26, 2016; Published: 24 October 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2241991.
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