Fat Pencil Studio’s SceneViz process can be a valuable tool to investigate and explain multiple scenarios. In this case, a digital recreation of a 1997 Rose Festival shooting was used to diagram potential bullet trajectories along a six block segment of downtown Portland. Dr. Ray Grimsbo of Intermountain Forensic Labs explains:
We created this example to illustrate a forensic investigation of how the shooter could have targeted someone across the street, but hit a victim over six blocks away. It is possible to draw a straight trajectory (laser beam) between the shooter and victim. However, a bullet affected by gravity and air resistance falls short of the end point. A third scenario was ultimately accepted by all parties: a series of “warning shots” fired upward at 18 degrees never came close to the target across the street, but proved fatal for the victim six blocks away.
An accurate topographic representation of Salmon Street, showing existing buildings and streets was created using SketchUp and Google Earth data. The “drape” function of SketchUp is very useful for projecting flat lines onto a topographic surface. Additionally, it is possible to save views as “scenes” and then export clips that animate the transition between scenes. These can be combined with still images and text in a Keynote or Powerpoint presentation to help viewers gain a better understanding of site context.