Computer graphics are often the instrument of choice for explaining events to a jury. Graphics are a great choice because they can show events over time by animating a situation to help clarify it. Models have their advantages as well, and will often complement the computer graphics that need to be done. One of the biggest advantages of a physical model is that it will often sit in front of a jury long after the CG has stopped playing. Depending on the size, a model can sometimes be put into a jury’s hands, which has the effect of reinforcing a point with tactile clarity. One more subtle quality of a physical model is that jury’s can see what they are looking for from different vantage points, views that the authors of the computer graphic may have missed. Computer graphics are always going to be a big part of complex court cases but models are making a resurgence as a necessary tool to help explain a scene or a medical condition to a jury. Most jury’s can instantly relate to a model on a very visceral level. I have been called to act as an expert witness but I usually don’t know anything about the case. I get deposed on the quality of the information I used to build the models and on the accuracy of the model itself. I have also sat in front of a jury to explain some of the model making processes. I figure if the legal experts can explain the case to me, I can find a way to show it to a jury. The images below show a medical model of the structure of a foot, a rollover accident model, a patent infringement model of a soda can top which is 4 feet in diameter and a model used in a mining case showing a waste cell and its component materials.

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