An Evening with Christy Spangler – Forensic Animator NTSB – March 27

by on Feb.26, 2014, under Events

An Evening with Christy Spangler – Forensic Animator NTSB

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 7:00 PM


US Patent & Trademark Office Headquarters – Remsen Building

600 Dulany Street

Alexandria, VA (map)




Price: $5.00/per person for non-members


On Thursday, March 27th, 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 for the National Transportation Safety Board.


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.



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 2014.



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.


4 Comments for this entry

  • Kara

    Could someone provide more details about the event on Thursday March 27 with Christy Spangler? In particular, which room is it being held in? How can we gain access to the building? I know from people who work at the USPTO that during regular work hours, security does not let people into the building unless they are accompanied by a USPTO employee. Thank you.

  • kimwallace

    The DC Chapter of ACM SIGGRAPH would like to thank Christy Spangler, an animator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), for her insightful lecture on forensics reconstruction animation. Christy discussed how she uses various data sources such as photos, diagrams, photogrammetry, and point cloud data to create forensics animations of accident scenes. Her animations are created using Autodesk Softimage, Adobe Illustrator, along with other specialized applications. Christy showed several animations from various cases she has worked on which were intriguing yet disturbing due to the nature of the events. Thanks again to Christy and we look forward to having here return in the future!

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