In many games if your camera gets too close to certain objects, or the object starts to block your screen, the game turns it transparent so you can still see.

What is the name for this effect? It is not occlusion culling. The model does not reduce its polygons, it simply just gets transparent so that you can look through it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think this has a name, I guess it's some sort of culling, but instead of cutting a model to draw less polygons, it is smoothing out it's disappearance from the screen. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 9:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Philipp Yep, wrong word. The right word for it (in OpenGL) seems to be clipping. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 9:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems like your vague description is confusing a lot of people what you actually mean. Could you maybe post a screenshot or a video which demonstrates what you mean? \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 9:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ So objects between the camera and the player are partially transparent, right? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 11:35

2 Answers 2


I'm not aware of a standard term for this.

Depending on how it's implemented, I might call it...

  • "obstacle/occluder fade-out" if the object gains transparency all-over, evenly. Or "...dither-out" if we clip out individual pixels of it in some ordered or noisy pattern while leaving the remaining pixels opaque (common when using deferred rendering and anti-aliasing filters that can smooth out the dither)

  • "...cut-out" or "...x-ray" if only part of the object is chopped away or rendered see-through, like we've done an architectural cut-away rendering or are shining an see-through beam through the center of it.

I don't have any references to cite for common terms here. The search hits I've found so far mostly describe the effect as a sentence "hide objects between the player character and camera" or "make obstacles transparent" etc.


There is also near plane clipping. Modifying the near plane can have sometimes useful effects.


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