Q: Why use Forensic Animation?
A: The answer to this one is simple: Win More Cases and elicit far better settlement offers. Here are just a few of the reasons Forensic Animation is so incredibly powerful in the courtroom:
Forensic Animation has the unique ability to bring a clarity to, and an understanding of an event unlike any other medium with the possible exception of an actual eyewitness video. It can vicariously take your jury to the scene of the event as it unfolds, effectively making them your own eyewitnesses. For example, through Superman-like x-ray vision they can peer inside a complex piece of equipment and see exactly how a critical mechanical component failed and how it resulted in an accident; They can sit in the driver’s seat of a vehicle about to collide with a truck at an approaching intersection; They can can sit in the driver’s seat of that very same truck and see what that driver could see; They can stand on the sidewalk and view the same accident from the perspective of an eyewitness who saw the entire event unfold before her, or watch the event again from an overhead bird’s eye view.
A forensic reconstruction can also bring together complex issues, concepts and expert opinions into one clearly understandable visualization of an event. For example, in an aviation accident case you might have several experts from various specific disciplines: meteorologists; radar experts; engine and maintenance experts; pilot experts; airframe experts; metallurgists, etc. A forensic animation can be produced that incorporates the opinions of all these experts into a single event reconstruction. Each expert, during their testimony, can then refer to that element of the animation that relates specifically to his or her area of expertise. This powerful capability allows the jurors to see exactly how all these different elements came together to result in the accident case before them. And, just as importantly, because of the compelling nature of animation and the concise clarity of a visualization, they will all understand the event and your argument in exactly the same way despite their varied backgrounds.
To quote Confucius, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember.”
Forensic animation also has the benefit of not only being a compelling visual experience for the jury but one which can be shown multiple times throughout the trial further implanting your theory of the case in their minds. The three principal elements of memory retention are: Primacy, frequency and recency. Stated another way: “Opening statement; expert testimony, expert testimony, expert testimony; closing argument.” Each of these is an opportunity to have the jury view your animated reconstruction again and again.
If “A picture is worth a thousand words”, just imagine how many words an animated reconstruction is worth!
Q: Why choose Eyewitness Animations as your Forensic Animation provider?
A: Two Reasons:
1.) Experience: Eyewitness Animations was one of original founders of this great technology and responsible for the development of many of the techniques` and processes used today in courts around world. Over the past 24 years we have produced over a thousand animations for litigation and settlement purposes, including the first to result in appellate level case law (State of FL vs. Kenneth Pierce) back in 1992. In the entire 24 year history of the firm we have NEVER had an animation rejected by the court for inaccuracy or issues of undue prejudice.
2.) Success: Eyewitness Animations’ reconstructions have played a key roll in numerous record breaking cases over the last two decades including the largest single U.S. Environmental Settlement in history worth $4.6 Billon dollars and the recent $177 Million dollar jury award in the crash of a helicopter transporting a number of fire fighters in the northern mountains of California.
Q: How much does an animation cost?
A: Animation productions can start as low as $5,000. Actual production costs vary widely based on several factors: Complexity of the event and scene; level of required detail; organic (human or animal) motion programing; length of production and inclusion of special effects, i.e. rain, snow, fog, fire etc.
Q: How long does it take to produce an animation?
A: Production time usually runs from 6 to 12 weeks depending upon the complexity and length of the animation. This allows enough time to provide our clients with an animation proof and to make any necessary changes or modifications before final production begins. Depending on our production demands shorter turn times may be possible. When it comes to commissioning an animation production... "THE SOONER THE BETTER". An animated reconstruction is a process, not a product and requires adequate time for development, modification and refinement. In order to provide the most compelling and effective production possible allow sufficient time. Keep in mind also, that often the most effective use of an animation can be in negotiations and mediation, long before trial.
Q: Is an animation admissible?
A: Normally, yes. Having said that, as we all know, every judge is different and may have his or her own opinions on issues of admissibility. The important thing to understand is that these animations are usually submitted as demonstrative exhibits and as long as they present a fair and accurate representation of an expert's opinion or findings they should be admissible. They should be considered to be nothing more than a visualization of your expert's opinion, not unlike any other drawing, illustration or photo.
Q: What is the animation based on?
A: These productions are generally based on physical evidence as well as information, data, observations, findings and opinions of your experts and eyewitness observations. The virtual scenes and objects are modeled from the drawings, charts and photographs provided by your experts in a case, ie. accident reconstructionists, engineers, physicians, etc.
Q: What is the process for producing an animation?
- First, a phone conference or meeting with one of our representatives to discuss a case and the issues involved. We can generally give you a rough estimate of cost at that time.
- Send us a package containing, for example; any police reports; scene drawings or diagrams produced by your experts; photographs of the scene, event or failure any reports prepared by your experts and finally any relevant depositions.
- We'll have a preliminary meeting with the experts who will be providing the basis of the animation segments to discuss elements of their work in more detail. Telephonic or video conferences with the experts normally are sufficient. The necessity of actual physical meetings is unlikely. At that time we will provide you with a firm estimate of production costs.
- As the scene and/or equipment are modeled proofs will be provided to you and your experts for approval and to discuss any required changes.
- Upon completion of the modeling, the animation programing will begin. Proofs will then be rendered and provided once again to you and your experts for your review and approval. If any changes or modifications are required they will then be accomplished.
- Upon your approval of the proof, the final production is rendered and post-produced in the format of your choice.
Q: What does the typical animation consist of?
A: The following list is just a sampling of the possible segments or scenarios which could be included in an animated production:
- Reconstruction of the actual accident, event or failure.
- Depiction of how the accident or failure might have been prevented.
- Views from the pilot's, drivers or eyewitnesses perspective.
- In the case of Eminent Domain litigation, the "before", "after" and possible "cure" scenarios.
- "See-through" or "exploded" depiction of product design, construction and operation.
- Animated medical illustrations and procedures or injuries.
- In aviation cases the reconstruction of an event or accident from Flight Data Recorder information including synched audio from the cockpit voice recorder, radio communications with the ground, FAA radar data and inclusion of dynamic Doppler weather imagery.
Eyewitness Animations (954) 941-2356