Looking for an article proving Blender is peer reviewed.

Hi Everyone,
I’m doing some forensic animation in Blender. The opposition has filed a Motion in Limine, which basically is to refuse to admit the animation into evidence.

I need to present evidence that Blender is a credible, peer reviewed software. Obviously being open source, it is heavily peer-reviewed by nature, but can anyone point me to a good article stating that?


I am not sure of any article that accredits Blender at all - only maybe case studies showing what it can do.

I think your best bet is to make a call for users who use it professionally and the blender org film projects.

But I am not sure what the reason for questioning Blender is and how that has an outcome on the animation

Probably depends on what you’re trying to (dis)prove.

If you’re trying to prove the physics of something then I’d (personally) say it isn’t admissible as evidence but as one competing interpretation of a specific event (with further evidence backing it up) then why not.

I kind of doubt you’ll find someone who will certify blender as being 100% accurate in ballistic simulations for example.

Well you are being kinda vague, and it sounds like some sort of court case!? weird… I am curious now.

The best bet for peer review would be the bullet physics engine that blender uses, and its probably the only thing that could be questioned. Ya so it depends what component/library is being questioned.

Just looking on the front page of http://bulletphysics.org/wordpress/ you’ll see its been, and used in all sorts of big budget movies, games, and probably scientific studys too.

I’m probably going to get smacked for citing wikipedia in a thread questioning whether something is peer reviewed, however I think this particular section from the Forensic Animation article will answer some of the questions people are likely to ask in this thread:

The software used for this type of animation is also the same used for major films in the movie industry. To be physically realistic, an animation needs to be created by someone with a knowledge of physics, dynamics and (preferably) engineering. When animations are used in a courtroom setting, they should be carefully scrutinized. Animation software can be easily misused, because motions which are not physically possible can be displayed. A reliable animation must be based on physical evidence and calculations which embody the laws of physics, and the animation should only be used to demonstrate in a visual fashion the underlying calculations made by the expert analyzing the case. This accurate type of software animation is called substantive animation, and is similar to that used in regards to evidence in general, in that evidence is conducted using both substantive and demonstrative evidence. Whereas a substantive animation would show that it required data to be collected and inputted into a software program, and also contained substantial research to refine its accuracy, a demonstrative animation would just work to show how something either could allegedly happen or did happen by providing the visual.

Ah right, I maybe should have been more specific. I’m using blender as a visualization tool for forensic animation- I’m not doing any physical simulation in Blender, and certainly not ballistics testing :eek:. The credibility for the animation comes from a PhD physicist. In one traffic accident case, he ran a simulation in his own software and gave me the vehicles position & rotation as a spreadsheet, and I used Blender to visualize it.

The opposition is that Blender is unknown to them, especially being a free software. They want to know the math behind it is solid and peer-reviewed, and not just doing black magic to make wildly inaccurate pretty pictures.

Basically any scholarly article stating that it’s open source and used as-is or added upon in some sort of educational, research, or commercial setting would be helpful.

Since my first post, I’ve found:

Any other ideas? Thanks!

Also, there’s certainly some resistance to free software. On my last deposition, the opposing attorney asked “So you just downloaded this software off the internet and all of a sudden you’re an animator??”

I replied: “Well… yes.” :yes:

Also, I got a Blender Python script into evidence, which was kind of interesting!

If your point is to animate the calculation you were provided by the physician than it doesn’t matter if Blender is free or not. It doesn’t matter if you animate it with Maya or Blender.

No 3D CG package is made for forensic material and realism. This argument from the opposition is not circling around Blender being credible but you being able to interpret and present the material correctly.

I could animate everything by hand differently in any application.

If you script the animation or better drive it with expressions which use Python in Blender, MEL in Maya and now also Python, then again it is not Blender that counts but the code and algorithm you scripted/wrote for the expression.

In particular when you have a spread sheet with key-frameable positions and rotations you can easily justify the animation compared to them.

Does the position really want to read the programming source code to see if in Blender they use fake math to make animation unpredictable - what a silly argument is that.

Do they wanna look up the unit system? This is pointless anyway because unites in cg programs and cad programs do not mean anything. they are virtual.

way more important is first that you can show them that the scene is modeled in proportion
cars, street and objects are correct.

then based on the spreadsheet keyframe the progress of the accident.

and present the animation in conjunction with the spreadsheet calculations.

Otherwise I think you have no way to convince them with Blender - while again that argument is silly and only a sign for a) their inability to understand how you would animate it and that the is nothing else than simple math behind it or b) they simply try to discredit you.

What’s the difference between visualizing external data with blender or using cardboard cutouts if all you’re doing is visualizing external data?

These newfangled 3d graphics have only been around for what, 50 - 60 years now?

The argument is on both points, actually. I’ve certainly done my due dilligence: everything is to scale, the data import is clean, and I’ve outlined my methodology in my report.

The thing is none of these attorneys know anything about CG. If I used a software they’re not familiar with- no matter if it’s Blender, Max, or Maya- I need to prove it’s not just a magic box.

Yes, the fake math argument is completely silly, but they need to know it is peer reviewed to be sure that’s not happening. An article from an accident reconstruction expert on Blender’s use in visualization would be ideal, but showing Blender is open source would be fine too.

If they really wanted to, they could hire an expert to go over Blender’s source code. Ridiculous? Absolutely!! But it satisfies the peer review requirement very nicely. The attorney I’m working with actually suggested we print out the source code until I told him how much paper that’d use :wink:

The difference is everyone is already familiar with cardboard. 3d animation in the legal field is still new enough (at least in my region) that it can be met with skepticism.

Anyways, thanks for the replies!

Their argument holds no value and if it does it would exclude the use of all 3d software for visualizations especially proprietary software as the methods they use are hidden. Its not the visualization that matters its the data that is used for it, and that data comes from this PhD physicist. If they want to question the evidence give them the PhD physicist’s calculations and let them have their own PhD physicist see if the data is correct or better yet give them Blenders source code too and let them go over it. Tell them Blender doesn’t generate the data it, it makes a visualization just like a graph. I watch Law and Order so I know what I am talking about :slight_smile:

also how would they even know it was made in Blender?

edit: why is the burden of proof on you to prove it is legit? (Law and Order didn’t cover this)


if you want to project blender as a software used by professionals,there are some links in thread started by endi


i though i read some where that blender is used in medical and research organization maybe this can be given as a credibility prove ???

The academic and research forum at blender.org?


Hi Everyone, about forensic animation in Blender, it is difficult if we find them intact, may need some resources to be able to combine them, try this site by bisnis online

Hi Everyone, about forensic animation in Blender, it is difficult if we find them intact, may need some resources to be able to combine them, try this site by bisnis online

This might be interesting. At the end it reads:

Accident prevention should not be limited to the presentation of
error consequences but it should also show how to deal with
job procedures correctly, this includes emergency situations.
Further works connected with accidents prevention is aimed at
creating interactive simulator of production processes whose
principle of operation will be similar to 3D games. This simulator
will be used for teaching how to deal with job procedures safely
in both typical and unplanned situations. Currently, work is being
carried out on the development of a module for the creation of 3d
models for visualization of industry accidents. The rendering
engine from the open source Blender Modeling [Roosendaal and
Selleri 2004] system is being adapted to fit the needs of the
simulator .

[PDF] Computer visualization in accident prevention in industry

I use Blender for accident reconstruction as well and have had several of exhibits go to court. I have never had an attorney question the software used to make the animation but I have probably just been lucky. For simulation I use HVE which is peer reviewed, and then I export the data 30fps to Blender for aesthetic reasons. HVE can produce animation but it looks like basic OpenGL renders. One approach might be to overlay the graphical output from the sim with your animation in Blender to show there are no geometrical differences.
Also, I believe there were some NASA guys at Siggraph last year who were using Blender in some vis application as well as MBDyn (a multiphysics module inside Blender) which was being used in some US Army project. I don’t know if that would be helpful or not.
I have a very keen interest in you surviving this motion as I use Blender, Gimp and other open source software in my work.

Does a camera need to be peer reviewed and credited? because thats basically what you are using blender for, a camera that shows the data from the OTHER program.
Basically, if something needs to be “credited and peer reviewed”, its the program that gave you the data, not the program thats displaying the data.

I can just imagine someone invalidating my argument because the word processor i wrote it in is not “credited and peer reviewed.”

Here are some examples of biomedical research using Blender, published in peer-reviewed journals.

  1. Pyka M, Hertog M, Fernandez R, Hauke S, Heider D, Dannlowski U, Konrad C.
    fMRI data visualization with BrainBlend and Blender.
    Neuroinformatics. 2010 Mar;8(1):21-31.
    PMID: 20033355 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

2.Cassola VF, Lima VJ, Kramer R, Khoury HJ.
FASH and MASH: female and male adult human phantoms based on polygon mesh surfaces: I. Development of the anatomy.
Phys Med Biol. 2010 Jan 7;55(1):133-62.
PMID: 20009183 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

  1. Czech J, Dittrich M, Stiles JR.
    Rapid creation, Monte Carlo simulation, and visualization of realistic 3D cell models.
    Methods Mol Biol. 2009;500:237-87.
    PMID: 19399426 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

  2. Riva G, Gaggioli A, Villani D, Preziosa A, Morganti F, Corsi R, Faletti G, Vezzadini L.
    NeuroVR: an open source virtual reality platform for clinical psychology and behavioral neurosciences.
    Stud Health Technol Inform. 2007;125:394-9.
    PMID: 17377310 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

PMID = PubMed identification number from EntrezPubmed