Simulation or Animation?

As part of our range of Expert Witness services, one of our areas of specialism is collision reconstruction using computer simulation.

What is computer simulation?

Computer imagery is now commonplace in the application of Collision Reconstruction. However, it is important to understand the difference between a simulation and an animation. Although the two can sometimes be visually similar, the principles underlying each of these techniques are very different.


An animation is a visual representation of an incident based on a user defined set of parameters - e.g. the car is instructed by the investigator to move along a given trajectory at a given speed, mostly based on their interpretation of the evidential markings at the scene. Any rotations, speeds, and final resting positions are all defined by the investigator based on their understanding and experience.

This type of imagery, sometimes called a forensic animation, can provide a helpful illustration for the court and may be particularly useful in assisting an expert witness to explain complex concepts. However, care should be taken when drawing any conclusion from such simple animations - a computer can recreate any scenario, regardless how plausible in real life! 


Whilst we are able to provide our clients with forensic animations for presentation in court, our expertise lies in the application of computer simulation.

Such reconstructions, produced by experienced engineers using our advanced modelling software and methodologies, are based on the sound application of the laws of physics and long established modelling techniques from the Automotive industry. These simulations are invaluable tools assisting the investigator to determine, for example, which occupant was driving the vehicle at the time of a fatal collision, particularly when the physical evidence available is insufficient or inconclusive and when traditional forensic techniques have been exhausted.

Furthermore our techniques not only enable us to produce a model showing what has happened. By eliminating suggested scenarios that do not match with the physical evidence, we are also able to demonstrate what definitely could not have happened.


With ever increasing applications, specialised software and highly advanced methodologies; contact Advanced Simtech today to find out how we could benefit your organisation.


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