Through the Crowd: 3D Animation with Bullet Trajectory

3D Animation still image shows police offer firing gun at a vehicle as a crowd of people are seen walking in the background

Hugh Borbidge, BSME, Director of Engineering Animations

DJS was tasked with creating an animation depicting a tragic incident that unfolded in August of 2021. The incident involved the shooting of an 8-year-old girl, resulting from law enforcement’s response to gunfire at the conclusion of a high school football game. The animation project encompassed various components, including a laser-scanned 3D environment, to-scale representations of vehicles and people, the portrayal of a densely populated area, simulated gunshots, and the incorporation of sound effects. The following breakdown of these key elements reveals DJS’ innovative approaches.

Simulating a large crowd posed a significant challenge, prompting experimentation with different methods to achieve the desired results. This involved creating a diverse group of people with varying heights and walking speeds, with control over their walking areas and travel directions. These efforts translated into a realistic depiction of intricate crowd dynamics in the animation produced.

The gunshots simulated in the animation totaled 25 shots from 3 individual police officers, each necessitating the creation of a muzzle flash. This was accomplished by modeling a miniature explosion located at the muzzle exit of each gun, introducing light and glow effects at precise moments. The officers’ motions were meticulously planned using animation layers for nuanced portrayal of their actions, including the recoil after each shot and the tracking of each officer so they were aiming towards the approaching vehicle as it passed by,

While sound is typically omitted from DJS’ animations, an exception was made in this case to enhance the storytelling. Background crowd noises were incorporated, and each of the 25 shots fired was paired with a corresponding “pop” noise. The synchronization of these sounds enriched the overall narrative with an additional layer of realism.

At its core, the animation aimed to narrate the story of the tragic incident. Sound effects, particularly the synchronized “pop” noises, played a crucial role in conveying the unfolding events. The animation not only provided a visual representation of the incident, but also added a compelling dimension to the analytical aspect of the project.

Visit the DJS YouTube channel to watch more 3D Engineering Animations!

Categories: 3D Animation | Courtroom Animation | Engineering Animation | Hugh Borbidge, BSME

Tags: 3D Environment | 3D Laser Scanning | 3D Tracking | Event Safety | Forensic Animation | Gunshots | Shooting


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