Night vision is unrealistic

Since the recent Insurgency Sandstorm (IS) updates till Nightfall they changed the lighting for night maps. I really like the idea, but since many like me want to emphasize on both action and realism, i looked up some scientific stuff, which i've seen in military night vision goggles during recent years.
I want to tell you that modern night vision is able to adaptively adjust brightness like most (mirrorless) DSLR cameras can nowadays. those nowadays commonly available systems adjust the brightness regionwise or even pixelwise.
For the interested of you, here a scientific paper about adaptive brightness, and how good it may look:
[](link url)
This paper even shows, how many comparable algorithms are available yet.

The Drive - This Is What Color Night Vision Looks Like And It Stands To Be A Game Changer
[](link url)
i quote "Today, the current generation of night vision optics are also able to faster and automatically account for changes in ambient light, preventing the user from getting blinded if things rapidly become brighter or losing the picture altogether, even briefly, if the available light drops."
This refers to nv goggles introduced after about 2010.
Between 2000-2010 the brightness changed slowly and only for the whole picture, but it adapted too, usually within 1-2 sec.
For a region adaptive brightness change, watch the following video at time 00:02 to 00:04
[](link url) Video is part of the article from
This looks very similar to high-resolution (mirroless) DSLR camera technology from 5 years ago, which of course use only daylight illumination and sensitivity to light (e.g. iso level). But todays night vision technology reaches that level too.

IS seems to me it uses some extended dynamic lighting intensity range in night maps, which makes gamma settings more ineffective. While this may help against gamma abuse, it simply reveals the very simple implementation of the night vision at all.
The night vision (nv) googles just plain rescale the extended intensity range and then amplify the brightness with a fixed factor, but they dont have any adaptive brightness, which gives them outdated technology (fixed amplification factor), which was obsolete in military vision systems even before the year 2000.

last edited by peasantking

Indeed. If the game engine would allow for thermal then the next option for NOD's would be to at least allow hybrid optics. The ones that highlight human shaped heat and add a bit of glow to what the device thinks is a hot body in your viewpoint.

At the very least that is a currently available night optic (at least what is commonly known). I suppose it's just up to the devs and what the game engine can handle.

But I definitely like the idea of some form of adaptive brightness. The aimpoint and holographic sights were bad when Nightfall first released since they blinded you. It's gotten a lot better though since they turned those down. Tragic that games don't let you adjust the optics in such a way to control brightness yourself. But obviously that's adding a lot of additional function to a game.

please dont mix thermal vision with night vision. thats not the same. This topic is only about night vision, it is not about thermal vision.
Regarding thermal vision i agree with you Ramble6.
But, once again, this topic is not about thermal vision. The physics behind thermal imaging sensors are pretty different from night vision image sensors. Night vision image sensors are even different from daylight sensors, but much more similar regarding their wavelength they are sensitive to. Night vision is more about signal-to-noise ratio and amplifying brightness. Since all those differences the applications each sensor can be used for differ a lot too.
Thanks for reply tho and lets hope for some improvements in either way for night or thermal vision 😉

last edited by peasantking