What is a Computer Animation?

Computer animation is a visual enhancement of expert testimony

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

wire mesh of crashed vehicle
Wire Mesh of Crashed Vehicle

Computer animation has been used in the forensic field for almost 40 years. The beginning was in the 80’s and, at that time, we were a pioneer in many areas of computer animation, photogrammetry, and 3D interactive animations. An animation can help in a case during court testimony to illustrate the expert’s opinions and provide scientific evidence of what happened during the accident, what went wrong and possibly how it could have been avoided. Computer animation is a visual enhancement of expert testimony that can help a jury visualize and better understand how the accident happened. It is important to note that not all animations are allowed to be presented in court. Before an animation is accepted by a court of law and before it can be presented in court, there are certain criteria that need to be met as well as challenges made. Ultimately, it is the judge who decides whether or not to allow the animation to be presented in court.


About the Author

Michael Zwarg

Mr. Zwarg joined Knott Laboratory in 2006 as IT Manager. He oversees all aspects of technology for the engineering and animation teams including workstations, servers, websites, renderfarm, software and training. Prior to joining Knott Laboratory, Mr. Zwarg worked for Moses Brown School in Providence, RI as a Senior Network Analyst and for MyHelpdesk.com in Norwood, MA as Production Systems Manager.