Thursday, October 20, 2011

Accident Reconstruction Software

As a 3D animator for a litigation and consulting firm, my perspective on presentations of legal evidence has changed greatly. When considering the amount of detail that undoubtedly has to go into each and every area of a case in order to create an admissible presentation, I find it quite perplexing when I hear about methods of creating these accident/scene recreations by cutting corners.

One example found here: shows how a pre-scripted computer program collects data entered by a user and can recreate an accident that has already happened. My interpretation is that these types of software programs leave out a lot of details. This immediately sets off giant flashing red lights in my head in terms of the accuracy of an incident because of the possibilities of there being other factors that the program may not be accounting for. Especially when they are using 3D cars in 2D space, it can lack necessary environmental detail.

For instance, what about visual obstructions such as signs or other objects on the sides of roads or when coming around a turn? How about weather changes such as rain, wind, or glare that cause the driver to not be able to see as easily or react as quickly.

My inclination is that this software cannot completely take over for a human animator when there are just way too many other things to consider. In order for there to be a fair and accurate representation of a reconstruction, all the relevant information needs to be included. There are just some aspects to a case that cannot possibly be figured out without actually drawing the scenarios out by hand (or computer). In my opinion, an animator will always be necessary to ensure complete accuracy.

Check out an example of what appears to be a combination accident reconstruction software program that incorporates human modeling and design.

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