NTSB Animations: 2009 year in review

by on Mar.26, 2010, under Events

When:  Tuesday, March 30 from 7pm – 9pm

Where: BAE Systems, 8201 Greensboro Drive, McLean VA

On Tuesday, March 30, DC_SIGGRAPH will hear a presentation from Christy Spangler.   Christy is an animator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).  She will be talking about the 3D animations she has created this past year.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent agency charged with determining the probable cause of transportation accidents and promoting transportation safety. The improvement of safety to the nation’s transportation system requires prompt, thorough, and valid investigations of accidents, incidents, and other anomalies in order to identify issues, determine the probable cause and recommend improvements. A large volume of highly complex and diverse data can frequently obscure the relationships between vehicle performance, human operator inputs, and the traffic system. Investigators must piece together and integrate these data to understand the causes and contributing factors of the accident and then explain these facts to policy makers and the general public to promote the safety recommendations in order to improve transportation safety.

The NTSB will often integrate the accident data into 3D animations to reconstruct and illustrate accident sequences so that the audience can visualize and better understand the events leading up to the accident, the probable cause and the identification of safety issues. These animations factually and faithfully present the accident sequence based on measured, recorded, and calculated data.

In 2009, they developed nine animations, the most ever produced in one year at the NTSB. This presentation will highlight some of the animations developed for aviation and rail, and discuss the different styles and methods used to present the accident data so that the audience can visualize and better understand the events leading up to the accident, the probable cause and the identification of safety issues. Additionally, an example of an educational style of animation describing bridge structure that was produced in 2008 will be shown. Finally, Christy will discuss what’s next in 2010.

Speaker Bio:

Since 1986, Christy Spangler has worked in the creative field holding a variety of positions in digital media, graphic design, freelance art and prepress production. Employed at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in 2002, Mrs. Spangler was designing engineering, promotional and multimedia graphics. In 2004, she was involved in the development of the Animation Lab and currently serves as an Engineering Graphics Specialist responsible for developing accident reconstruction animations. Mrs. Spangler has specialized training and experience in traditional fine arts, photography, graphic design, 3D computer animation including scientific, medical and character, 2D motion graphics, multimedia design, and digital video production


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