SUV v. Gas Station Engineering Animation

Hugh Borbidge, BSME, Director of Engineering Animation

 

 

Synopsis: Engineering animations are an important and useful tool to help explain issues to a jury. This is especially true when there may be a language barrier. For this case, DJS was tasked with completing an engineering animation to demonstrate an incident that occurred when an SUV reversed and struck a gas station attendant.
Scene photographs provided points of rest and a trail of damage left from the event. Witness testimony contributed approximate initial positions of the SUV and attendant with regard to the fuel pumps.
To-scale computer models were built of the SUV, gas station attendant, and the gas station itself. With the available data, we reconstructed the sequence of events and created animation clips showing what had happened. After the motion was finalized, the incident could be viewed from any vantage point. The client utilized two perspective views for this case.
Result: Case settled out of court.
Hugh Borbidge, BSME, Director of Engineering Animation with DJS Associates, Inc., can be reached via email at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.

Engineering Animation: Steering Mechanism – Tie Rod Failure

Hugh Borbidge, BSME, Director of Engineering Animations
This animation illustrates a basic configuration of the linkages that steer the wheels when the steering wheel is turned. The steering wheel essentially controls one wheel. The second wheel is connected to the first by a tie rod. This tie rod allows both wheels to steer the vehicle. Should the tie rod fail, the steering wheel would only be able to continue to control one wheel, while the second wheel would be uncontrollable. At high speeds this could have tragic consequences.

 

 

Hugh Borbidge, BSME, Director of Engineering Animations with DJS Associates, Inc., can be reached via email at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.

Motorcycle vs Pothole

Hugh B. Borbidge, BSME, Director of Engineering Animations

 

 

Potholes are formed when water beneath the roadway expands and contracts, weakening the roadway material. Additionally, vehicles traveling over these spots assist in breaking down and displacing the weakened areas, eventually resulting in roadway imperfections.
Potholes are a natural enemy of the motorcycle operator. One unseen or unavoidable pothole can turn a joyride into a tragic event. This 3D engineering animation illustrates an example of one such scenario where a motorcycle operator could not avoid the pothole, resulting in a loss of control. Continue reading “Motorcycle vs Pothole”

Where the Lamp-Post Falls

Laurence R. Penn, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist ::::

 

An old residential lamp post, weakened by a recent storm, fell unexpectedly and damaged two vehicles parked below. The owner of one of the vehicles claimed to have sustained injuries from the falling lamp post while entering her vehicle. The actual lamp-head was the part identified as the culprit for the injury.
However, the vehicles’ orientation and proximity to the post made the story difficult to comprehend. Three scene photos were camera-matched using photogrammetry, and as part of the process, the approximate position of the fallen post and lamp-head were calculated. The results were imported into 3D software and the arc of the falling lamp post was established.
When viewed from multiple angles, the reconstructed scene showed that the plaintiff was likely not in a position to be injured by the lamp-head, as described in the testimony.
Laurence R. Penn, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist at DJS Associates, can be reached via email at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.

3D Collision Reconstruction – A Dashcam Video Case Study Breakdown

Laurence R. Penn, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist ::::
Thanks to powerful software, forensic video specialists at DJS Associates are able to analyze surveillance and dashcam video footage in three dimensions, with high levels of accuracy, in order to reconstruct the circumstances of an accident. Although multiple factors may complicate the process, tenacity and an eye for detail can yield rewarding results. In this case study, the original dashcam video footage showed evidence of lens distortion which needed to be corrected in order to proceed with detailed videogrammetric analysis. After a few phases of lens correction, environment features represented by the red crosses were placed in the undistorted video frame and matched to their locations in the 3D scan data. Once refined the virtual camera is placed accurately within the 3D environment. Trackers represented by the green and yellow crosses were placed on features of the vehicles for each frame in the video. Again, these positions were matched to their relative locations on the 3D vehicle scan data. The final analysis allows 3D vehicles to be placed in the 3D environment spatially and temporally in order to view the circumstances from alternate angles, and even from the operators or eye witness point of view.
Laurence R. Penn, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist at DJS Associates, can be reached via email at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.

3D Animation: Difficulties in Transport

3D Courtroom Animation

Hugh Borbidge, BSME, Director of Engineering Animations ::::
At the request of our client, DJS Associates was asked to demonstrate the spatial relationships between a worker and a vehicle. Specifically, DJS Associates was asked to show, to-scale and in 3D, how a telehandler (vehicle) came into contact with a tagline worker who was part of a two-man crew helping to transport a 40-foot steel column.
In this case, the telehandler vehicle had to stop quickly which resulted in added forward motion to the 40-foot column being transported. As a result of the added forward motion to the transported column, the rear tagline worker was pulled forward into the path of the telehandler vehicle. The to-scale, 3D demonstrative exhibit demonstrated that as the telehandler vehicle resumed its forward motion, the front right tire contacted the tagline worker before he had a chance to clear the hazard area.


For additional information on DJS Engineering Animations, please contact Hugh Borbidge, BSME, Director of Engineering Animations at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.

Understanding Train Accidents Through Engineering Animations

3d-engineering-animation-train-accident

Hugh B. Borbidge, BSME, Director of Engineering Animations ::::
Lately, it seems that the news has reported on an increase in train accidents. They can be classified into two main categories; operator avoidance and train speed. Operator avoidance deals with the train operator being able to recognize hazards ahead of him and being able to react in enough time to slow to avoid. Train speed can contribute to driver reaction time and the distance needed to slow to avoid. Train speed also contributes to train derailments. Trains have a maximum speed, not to exceed, for every curve. Derailments occur when this speed is exceeded, and the train is unable to stay on the tracks.
DJS approaches train involved accidents in much the same way as vehicle involved accidents. Every accident has 3 factors; operator, train, and rail surface. Many times, there is surveillance video of the train operator, as well as video looking forward of the train. Typically, an analysis of these videos will be conducted to ascertain when the driver reacted to a hazard as well as the train’s view of the approaching hazard. On-board data recordings of train speeds are also utilized. Continue reading “Understanding Train Accidents Through Engineering Animations”

Applying Photography, Video, 3D and other Expertise to Forensic Analysis

3D Camera Matching in Engineering Animations

Laurence R. Penn, 3D Animations/Technical Assistant ::::
At DJS Associates, we are often called upon to analyze surveillance videos to make a region of interest easier to identify or to re-create the recorded scenario entirely. What may seem like a simple task actually relies on thorough review and consideration of many factors within the footage. Often these factors are subtle and only an experienced technician can identify the clues provided in the images.
With 3D camera matching, evidence and surveillance imagery can be digitally processed and spatially analyzed to reconstruct a scene. Continue reading “Applying Photography, Video, 3D and other Expertise to Forensic Analysis”

Engineering Animation: Watch How Workers Could Have Come in Direct Contact With A Moving Trailer

Laser scans of the environment and vehicles were utilized to demonstrate how workers could have come in direct contact with a moving trailer. The laser scan of the environment included important information such as the curvature of the roadway, and the curb-to-curb width of the street. Laser scans of construction vehicles allowed DJS to properly place the vehicles on the roadway. With the remaining space, DJS prepared a to-scale pickup and trailer and had it move, according to the laws of physics, and witness testimony. To-scale workers were also placed according to witness testimony. Once all contributing factors to the accident were in place, DJS was able to illustrate, with a reasonable degree of engineering certainty, how the off-tracking movement of the trailer could have contacted the workers, standing nearby.
For additional information on DJS Associates’ engineering animations, please contact Hugh Borbidge, BSME or Laurence Penn at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.