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Visual Communications

The Future of Interactivity

Nightime Photography

Settlement Brochures

Presentation Tips

Complex Issues Presented with Graphics

ATA Creates Nature Center Kiosk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Future of Interactivity

Employee training programs are produced constantly and marketed to employers to increase productivity, train new recruits, and improve safety. ATA Associates, in conjunction with some well-known publishing companies, has taken significant steps towards achieving a first class production facility capable of creating comprehensive training aides.

ATA first started creating traditional videotape presentations for trial exhibits over 20 years ago. Attention to detail is often the most critical factor when jurors are asked to view video and graphic evidence. Images must be arranged and edited to tell a story that clearly shows the events from beginning to end. Creating a video to support expert testimony can be the difference between winning and losing a case.
Videotapes are not the only medium in the marketplace today. As technology advances around the world, VHS tape has given way to CD-ROM and DVD packaged training, in addition to interactive web programs designed to challenge and test viewers. Streaming video is at the forefront of the computer-dominated workplace. Programs can be tailored for employees to answer specific review questions or choose the course of action for video scenarios. Answer choices and scores can be electronically stored for verification and completion by the employer.

Comprehensive training on subject matters ranging from sexual harassment to overhead crane safety can reduce the number of lawsuits filed against employers for negligence. Documented training programs shift responsibility for harmful behavior from the employer to the employee. Introductory videos for visitors to a controlled facility create a safe working environment for the visitors as well as the facility employees.

Additionally, video and its interactivity can be greatly utilized in the areas of courtroom demonstrative evidence.

Videos, animations, and highlighted depositions can be recorded to CD-ROM and DVD. At trial, instant access to view and review whole or part of a demonstrative program can be an invaluable tool. The trial exhibits can be organized and arranged with reference to an interactive menu system that gives the ability to show what an attorney wants, when he or she wants it. A standard CD-ROM can be played on a laptop computer with connections to either a monitor or projection system. ATA has the ability to record to a standard DVD that can be played on an DVD equipped laptop or inexpensive DVD player through similar monitor and projection systems.

ATA Associates has updated equipment, including high end digital cameras and sophisticated computer editing software. That, combined with knowledgeable technicians, creates products that meet the needs of industries worldwide. Examples of recent products can be obtained by contacting ATA Associates or visiting the website at www.ataassociates.com.

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Nighttime Photography

By Ken Krueger

When accidents occur at night, numerous questions arise. If the incident is reconstructed for presentation in a courtroom, these questions become vital to the outcome of the case. Some of these questions include- From what distance can a vehicle be seen? Was a vehicle or object illuminated? What was the effect of other light sources from behind, above or beside a vehicle? Does the subject disappear or become more difficult to see when surrounded by other lights? Does this night scene refute or substantiate witness testimony? An accurate photograph or video tape can go a long way towards answering these questions.

The goal of quality night photography is to create a photograph that reasonably represents the lighting conditions and general luminance of a scene at the time of the incident.

This article will briefly discuss the equipment required to create admissible night photographs and video footage for presentation as evidence or visual aids in the courtroom.

There are many good cameras available on the market today. Most of these are 35mm cameras made for the amateur market. Many of these cameras are fully automatic and with the proper adjustments and experience can create acceptable night photographs. However, using a medium format or large format camera has many advantages over the smaller 35mm format. Larger formats are professional grade cameras and have accessories useful in night photography. Most of these cameras have interchangeable film backs enabling use of several types of film. Specifically, a film back using Polaroid film may be used as well as standard color print film.

Proper exposure of nighttime photos involves long shutter speeds- from one second to ten seconds or more, depending on the film used. The advantage of using Polaroid film is on-the-spot confirmation of the proper exposure and lighting situation before exposing the color print film. The case expert can instantly confirm that the Polaroid exposure is representative of the scene illumination at that moment.

Taking the photo is only half the job. The resulting negatives must be printed accurately for the approval, not of the photographer, but of the expert who must testify that the resulting photo represents conditions as they were the night it was taken. Few people can accurately remember what the light and illumination levels were on a particular night. It is even more difficult to describe this information to a photographic lab printer. With an approved color Polaroid print, a printer can print a photographic proof or enlargement that reasonably matches the Polaroid.

Other equipment is also necessary to insure a good night photograph- a stable tripod, preferably with locking head movements and a bubble level to steady the cameral for long exposure times. The selection of camera lens to use is strictly a judgement of the expert or the attorney. A normal lens with a magnification of approximately 1.0 and 50 degrees of coverage is the minimum used in our night shoots.

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Settlement Brochures

ATA Associates offers a variety of video, photographic and graphic services to clients and consultants. In formulating presentation strategies, we want you to consider all of your various options. One option you may not have considered is a settlement brochure.

ATA's computer graphic and video editing professionals, working closely with our clients and case consultants, can create powerful video settlement brochures. Many ATA clients have attributed favorable settlement of their cases directly to the presentation of the video settlement brochure in mediation.

Settlement brochures consist of consultants' analyses and findings, case related video and still images, computer animations, graphics, charts, graphs and a voiceover script that ties together all the elements of the production.

Settlement brochures present a complete case package. They are designed to inform, educate and show the viewer the essential elements of a case. Settlement brochures follow a case from start to finish.

ATA production personnel collaborate with our clients and consultants during the entire production to assure the most effective presentation of the case material.

In developing a settlement brochure there are certain things to keep in mind. These include:

Available material- What concept or ideas would you like to present? How much information do you have and how can it be best presented? What sequence best demonstrates the value of your case? Who is your audience? What response would you like to elicit

Timeline- When do I need my final product? How long will it take to analyze the materials? Gather the photographs and video? Approve the script for production? Secure a final product?

Budget- How do I get the most effective presentation within a certain budget?

ATA staff can assist in answering these important questions. We want you to have the highest quality product we can deliver. By working directly with clients, the myriad of details can be addressed.

Typically, once the material is collected and organized, ATA staff will develop a story board and script for initial approval. The evaluation and revision process continues until a final version is accepted.

For more information about ATA’s demonstrative presentation services contact Ken Krueger, Video Producer, or Norm Nissen, Graphic Artist/Animator at (281) 480-9847.

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Presentation Tips

The graphics and production professionals at ATA Associates have compiled a tip sheet, as part of an idea kit available to our experts and clients, containing suggestions for mediation and courtroom presentations.

Some of the tips include:

1. Don’t wait until the last minute. Give your graphics producer plenty of time to create thvisualaids and demonstrative evidence you need. Good graphics need accurate information to be effective and believable. Animations must be based on the findings of the consultant to be admitted as evidence.

2. Use good presentation equipment. Don’t rely on the court to supply reliable equipment. Have enough quality monitors for everyone who needs to see your evidence.

3. Present your video in the best format possible. Have the proper equipment to match the video format. The better the format, the better the image on the monitor! Don’t use VHS copies of original tapes if at all possible. VHS videos do not copy well.

4. Practice! Practice! Practice! Be familiar with your equipment. Don’t fumble with unfamiliar or unreliable equipment in front of a jury.

5. Contact Ken Krueger at (281) 480-9847 for more information.


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COMPLEX ISSUES PRESENTED WITH GRAPHICS

ATA Associates recently reconstructed and analyzed a rollover accident involving a popular make SUV. The driver made a quick maneuver and rolled over on a Texas freeway resulting in a fatality and injuries.

ATA used a specifically configured exemplar vehicle outfitted with anti-roll outrigger devices and loads to simulate the weights of the occupants. The SUV was also fitted with video cameras and sophisticated data-gathering devices. “J” turns and slalom tests were conducted to establish the stability characteristics of the vehicle. Three-time Indy winner and ATA consultant, Bobby Unser, drove the vehicle through an extensive array of testing runs to collect the critical data.

Upon completion of the tests, the resulting complex data was analyzed by the engineering staff at ATA. The graphics department of ATA then accepted the challenge of simplifying and presenting the complicated material. The graphics team created simple, yet precise graphics, animations and split-screen video clips to accurately explain and demonstrate the results of this complex testing.

 

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ATA Creates Nature Center Kiosk

The ATA Graphics Department assisted Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center in developing a stand alone touch screen system visitors could operate to learn about the many aspects of the park and its plants and animals. In 2001, product research led the staff at Jones Park to purchase a kiosk system, which was coined a “naturalist in a box” by Dennis Johnston, director of the park. The ease of the touch screen system is ideal for all visitors. The system is an especially important tool on weekends when volunteers assist the parks weekend staff at the information and reception desks. The kiosk can answer often asked questions concerning the features of the park, maps of trails, activities and wildlife, and give the staff control of the content so that no inappropriate material can be viewed by visitors of any age.

ATA’s graphics professionals added an on-camera interview of Commissioner Jerry Eversole; redesigned the park logo; added a voice-over by local celebrity, Jan Glenn; videotaped the scenes used in the program; and created the touch screen actuated program in Macromedia Flash and Macromedia Director software.

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