Dazzle-type camo used to disguise features on in-testing cars from photographers.
If you’ve spent even a smidgen of time on our Auto News page then you’ve probably seen one of our spy photo stories. A recurring trend in these stories is the bizarre magic-eye look on the prototype vehicles that our spies track down.
The truth is that car companies deliberately make their cars look that way so that when and if these prototype cars get snapped by a photographer, certain incriminating details are not visible.
Also, it’s worth noting that the look isn’t even a paintjob at all, but a vinyl application. The pattern on the application is perfect at tricking even the most advanced auto focus system on a camera. That’s because a camera’s auto focus system uses a subject’s colors to figure out its focus.
Dan Suszko from Graphik Concepts sells these vinyl wraps and confirms that it really works wonders to hide body work in photographs. “Car companies want to put an end to one person exposing their product to the world” Suszko said. “It really hides the way things look in low-res images,” he added.
Some cameras auto focus by using something like SONAR, but instead of sound, using infrared light. The infrared bounces back to the camera and the camera’s computers calculate the difference in time, and focus accordingly. However, if the subject is painted black, it could absorb the infrared light that the camera uses, and makes it harder for the camera to calculate the autofocus.