ATA Uses Software to Enhance Usage of Surveillance Video
In many cases, store video cameras are used but do not show enough angles to make your case. Obtaining precise distances, locations of where people or vehicles are located, or recreating an accurate 3-D site can be difficult. ATA Associates, using court qualified software program Input-Ace, has the capability to take raw video camera footage and obtain accurate information.
After inputting the video camera footage and a site 3-D scan image into Input-Ace, the software corrects the lens distortion from the camera. After the lens distortion is corrected, the video can now be overlaid with the 3-D image creating a live view of the video on top of the 3-D image. The live view can be matched with our 3-D software program where we can use the live footage to detect where certain objects are that are no longer at the actual site.
For example, ATA Associates had a case where a group of teenagers had a confrontation with an older male in a convenience store. They went outside of the store where shots were fired from both sides. The attorneys wanted to know who fired first. One side claimed that one of the teenagers fired first, while the opposite side claimed the off screen older male fired first. We were able to show the older male fired first, due to the fact the first shot could not have come from the direction of the teenagers.
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.
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.
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.
video and its interactivity can be greatly utilized in the areas
of courtroom demonstrative evidence.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
production personnel collaborate with our clients and consultants
during the entire production to assure the most effective presentation
of the case material.
developing a settlement brochure there are certain things to keep
in mind. These include:
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
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?
How do I get the most effective presentation within a certain
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.
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.
more information about ATA’s demonstrative presentation services
contact Ken Krueger, Video Producer, or Norm Nissen, Graphic Artist/Animator
at (281) 480-9847.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.