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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Science Behind Gore Optifade Marsh Camouflage

We first broke the story on the new waterfowl camouflage pattern produced by W.L. Gore and Associates when we saw it during range day at SHOT Show. Sitka had their new Waterfowl Outdoor Gear line on hand in the Optifade Marsh camouflage.

This video provided by Gore Optifade Concealment gives a great overview of the pattern and how it functions from a birds eye view. Guy Cramer who is a designer for the camouflage pattern gives insight on how the pattern was created to properly conceal hunters from their prey. It is also one of the first commercial camouflage options on the market to incorporate hexagons which creates texturing and allows the base pattern to bleed through for enhanced layering.


The Optifade patterns, while focused for hunting have seen some interest for military application. A lot of military personnel hunt in the the time that they have available to do so. You also have Guy Cramer involved who has years of experience in designing military camouflage. Combining these factors give plenty of reason to see why they would pick up on this camouflage.

While the waterfowl camouflage has a completely different focus given the flying aspect of birds, you still have some inherent factors that could make for a great overall concealment option for the right terrain. Either way it is always interesting to see the well thought out planning that goes into these designs that are definitely outside the box of your typical hunter camo.  



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2 comments:

  1. That was a superbly disingenuous, misleading video presentation.
    The video states that waterfowl have four receptors and the fourth "perceives additional colors in the blue spectrum, likely into the ultraviolet range". Not so, in Blackwell's "Understanding Avian Vision" (2002) he states "Birds, however, are considered tehachromatic and, in some species, possibly pentachromatic. In tetrachromatic vision, four primary colors should be expected: ultraviolet, blue, green, and red." There is nothing "likely" about the ultraviolet vision of waterfowl. So, the video tried to downplay the ultraviolet aspect of waterfowl vision - vision which becomes especially important at dawn and dusk (prime hunting time) when the proportion of available light is greater in the UV than any other time of day.
    The video goes on to say that since UV is not visible to humans "it is difficult to simulate". Not so, it is quite easy to simulate; however, I'll wager that a photo in the UV of their camouflage would show that they had no useful camouflage in the UV and thus were no better than any of the other patterns available.
    Using the word "Scientifically" many times does not indicate a use of the available science. JMO
    (Rant over - "Hurrmph" assumed)

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  2. How do you accurately represent the UV spectrum in video in colors that humans can see? Is it really that simple? I don't know, so I can't speak to that.
    I'm just impressed that Gore does actual scientific research into making a product do what it's supposed to do, rather than having some illustrator paint up some reeds in "HD" that look good to a human's eye -- at least in stores and marketing photos.
    I'll take a scientific approach over a marketing approach any day.

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