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

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...