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Night Vision Image Effect in Unity 3D


In this tutorial I will be showing how to create a night vision effect in Unity 3D.

For demonstration purposes I will be using a Small Cave Kit from the Asset Store which is available for free.

Small Cave Kit

Let's begin!

Step 1: Create the Image Effect Shader

The image effect itself is done by using a post-processing Shader.

  • Create new Shader (Create -> Shader -> Image Effect Shader) and name it "NightVisionShader"

  • Remove everything inside it then paste the code below:


Shader "Hidden/Night Vision" {
	Properties {
		_MainTex ("Base (RGB)", RECT) = "white" {}
	SubShader {
		Pass {
			ZTest Always Cull Off ZWrite Off
			Fog { Mode off }
				#pragma vertex vert_img
				#pragma fragment frag
				#pragma fragmentoption ARB_precision_hint_fastest 
				#include "UnityCG.cginc"
				// frag shaders data
				uniform sampler2D _MainTex;
				uniform float4 _Luminance;
				uniform float _LensRadius;
				// frag shader
				float4 frag (v2f_img i) : COLOR
					float4 col = tex2D(_MainTex, i.uv);
					//obtain luminance value
					col = dot(col, _Luminance);
					//add lens circle effect
					//(could be optimised by using texture)
					float dist = distance(i.uv, float2(0.5, 0.5));
					col *= smoothstep( _LensRadius,  _LensRadius - 0.34, dist);
					//add rb to the brightest pixels
					col.r = max (col.r - 0.75, 0) * 4;
					// return col pixel	
					return col;
	Fallback off

Step 2: Create the Post-Processing Script

Post-processing script will use Unity's OnRenderImage function to get the RenderTexture of the Screen, then feed it into material that will use a NightVision Shader.

  • Create a new script and name it "NightVisionImageEffect"
  • Paste the code below inside it:


using UnityEngine;


public class NightVisionImageEffect : MonoBehaviour
    // Public data
    public Shader shader;
    [Range(0f, 1f)]
    public float luminance = 0.44f;
    [Range(0.5f, 1f)]
    public float lensRadius = 0.84f;
    // Private data
    Material material;

    // Called by Camera to apply image effect
    void OnRenderImage(RenderTexture source, RenderTexture destination)
        if (shader != null)
            if (!material)
                material = new Material(shader);
            material.SetVector("_Luminance", new Vector4(luminance, luminance, luminance, luminance));
            material.SetFloat("_LensRadius", lensRadius);
            Graphics.Blit(source, destination, material);
            Graphics.Blit(source, destination);
  • Attach NightVisionImageEffect script to any Camera
  • Assign Shader variable with a newly created NightVision Shader

Tip: Tweak the Luminance and Lens Radius sliders to achieve the desired effect

The Night Vision Image Effect is now ready let's test it:



Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Night Vision

Everything works as expected.