How are Forensic Computer Animations Created?

Animations are created with a scientific accuracy based on compiling a lot of data, and physical evidence.

Published March 20, 2018
 Richard M. Ziernicki, Ph.D., P.E.

Computer animation wire mesh image of trailer underride


We are relying on evidence like tire marks, debris, scratch patterns, vehicle damage in cases of motor vehicle accidents.  We take all the engineering evidence and use that evidence to provide a foundation for the animation.  This foundation and the scientific method used is one of the fundamental criteria’s used by a judge to decide whether or not that animation is accepted by the courts.  It’s not just somebody else’s vision of the accident.  It is this scientific reliable data which is the foundation and base for the animation.  We use sophisticated, validated engineering programs such as PC Crash that will find the motion of the vehicles before the accident, during the accident, and after the accident.  There is a lot of science that goes into that.

About the Author

Richard Ziernicki

Dr. Ziernicki has evaluated several thousand industrial and vehicular accidents. He has presented papers and lectured at a number of technical conferences in the United States, Europe and South America. He is the author of sixty eight publications, primarily in the fields of mechanical engineering, and vehicle accident reconstruction. His accident reconstruction expertise has been featured over thirty times on local and national television...