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Virtual Reality and 3D Animation in Forensic Visualization

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Abstract: 

Computer-generated three-dimensional (3D) animation is an ideal media to accurately visualize crime or accident scenes to the viewers and in the courtrooms. Based upon factual data, forensic animations can reproduce the scene and demonstrate the activity at various points in time. The use of computer animation techniques to reconstruct crime scenes is beginning to replace the traditional illustrations, photographs, and verbal descriptions, and is becoming popular in today’s forensics. This article integrates work in the areas of 3D graphics, computer vision, motion tracking, natural language processing, and forensic computing, to investigate the state-of-the-art in forensic visualization. It identifies and reviews areas where new applications of 3D digital technologies and artificial intelligence could be used to enhance particular phases of forensic visualization to create 3D models and animations automatically and quickly. Having discussed the relationships between major crime types and level-of-detail in corresponding forensic animations, we recognized that high level-of-detail animation involving human characters, which is appropriate for many major crime types but has had limited use in courtrooms, could be useful for crime investigation.
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Keywords: 3D animation; augmented reality; computer vision; forensic computing; forensic science; forensic visualization; motion tracking; natural language processing; scene reconstruction; virtual reality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Computing, University of Derby, Derby, U.K. 2: School of Computing & Mathematics, University of Ulster, Co. Antrim, U.K.

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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