Who is a Forensic Animator?

“A forensic animator helps an investigator by creating visuals or audio-visual recreation of events that occurred”
Photo by Sarath P Raj on Unsplash

Who can be called a Forensic Animator

Paul Wells in his book Understanding Animation explained that to animate, and the related words animation, animated and animator were all derived from the Latin word animare which means to give life. So he defined animation as “a film made by hand, frame-by-frame providing an illusion of movement which has not been recorded in the conventional photographic sense.”

Norman McLaren, an award-winning Scottish Canadian animator is also quoted to have explained that “animation is not the art of drawing that moves, but rather the art of movements that are drawn.”

Animation over the years

The use of animation has over the years evolved and it has not been limited to film-making, cartoons and video games. Core industries like medicine, entertainment, manufacturing, law, retail, marketing, science visualization, etc have also employed its use. In fact, careers are being carved out in these industries with people specializing in different aspects. One of such is the forensic animation career path carved from the criminology or criminal justice sector

Sainato et al (n.d.) in their publication “Digital Forensics and Forensic Investigations: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice seem to have seen the future of forensic animation as they stated that “strong support suggests that forensic animation is the first paradigm-shifting courtroom technology since the acceptance of photography and its distinctive characteristics and ability to vividly and powerfully present either party’s story will prove, in the long run, to be no less transformative and beneficial than the role of photography by the end of the 19th century.”

The use of digital animation technology to reproduce or replicate an event for use as probative evidence in a court case is now widely known as forensic animation, and the expert or professional who does this is referred to as a FORENSIC ANIMATOR. 

Forensic process

Gold (2002) explained that “what turns an animation into a forensic animation. is “the forensic process ” which depends on accuracy, and all objects must obey the laws of physics and conform to a set of facts that are determined by a reconstructionist or forensic expert.” In an event to recreate events involved in a case, a forensic animator works closely with parties involved in a court case to have a full understanding of what transpired. A forensic animator works with one side in a case to combine all relevant facts and views to support their claims and beliefs. Therefore they tell the story of either a plaintiff or defendant in a visually compelling narrative manner. 

Need a forensic animator for your court case? Reach out to Fox Animated Engineering here.

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