Nighttime visibility projects are on an uptick for us and several examples are analyzed in this post. Close up big rig thumbnailThe most difficult issue with nighttime visibility recreations is getting the correct lighting in the animation and/or animation over video or in a video only recreation.

The lighting and visibility issues are discussed in each project. One main hurdle to overcome is the very great difference between a contemporaneous, live view of a scenario at night with the human eye and a recreation of that event as shown on a screen or monitor. Imagine bright headlights coming right at you at night. You squint and battle the glare as your eyes try to adjust to bright light, windshield glare, the contrasting darkness and other sources of ambient light. When we prepare a driver’s eye project we realize each situation is different and spend a great amount of technical time on scientific accuracy.

Nighttime visibility forensic technologies are not merely graphics or animations. The animation might be the end result but the science that goes into understanding and recreating nighttime visibility projects is evolving, improving and getting us as close as possible to complete realism.

We believe we’re on the cutting edge of nighttime visibility animations/videos and look forward to your comments and input on the three projects below:

This is a short narrated video excerpt where we worked with a team of experts from accident reconstruction, human factors, video analysis and forensic animation. In the accident, a couple crossing the street at night is hit by a private citizen in San Francisco. We analyze all factors involved: nighttime visibility, speed, traffic patterns, visual conspicuity, PRT and build a full video over video of the driver’s viewpoint. Resulting opinion is the pedestrians were clearly visible and should’ve been avoided even though they were not in the crosswalk.

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In this project we needed to safely show how a tractor/trailer pulling onto a darkened roadway at night would appear to an approaching big rig. Of course we can’t crash two semis to recreate the Truck over video thumbnailaccident. To accomplish our safety goals we took nighttime HD 5K video of the road driving at speed through the accident location. We incorporated state-of-the-art photometers to capture the visibility as would be seen by the human eye as accurately as possible. We then 3D laser scanned the truck and created a forensically accurate animation. Further, we need to know what the animated truck looks likes in the scene’s lighting conditions. So we go to a location that has the same lighting conditions, in this case, as there were no overhead lights at the scene, we went to a parking lot with no overhead lights.  We then recreate the accident second by second to take still shots and analyze the lighting.  Finally we use these stills to compare against the animation.  The theory is that if our animation matches the stills second by second then the movement in between each still is also accurate. The animation is layered over the HD video resulting in the project you see here.

A tree falls on Hwy 13 near Berkeley, California and blocks the two lane highway. A car is stopped at the fallen tree as a second car approaches at full speed from the rear. The driver of the approaching car said he could not see the stopped car or its lights as it was dark and the lights might have been hidden by the tree branches….

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