Blog Post | Drive Your Reality/HD Animations with Virtual CRASH 3 | Part 2


Are you a die-hard fan of FARO (formerly ARAS) Reality or FARO HD, but wish there was a way to create your animations using a true 3D physics simulation tool like Virtual CRASH 3? If so, this post is for you. Here we demonstrate just how easy it is to extract the 3D simulation data from Virtual CRASH 3 and use it to define an animation path within FARO HD.  In Part 1 we discussed using Virtual CRASH 3 data to animate a rollover accident. This was a more complex task due to the fact that FARO Reality/HD define the vehicle reference point at ground level, meaning we have to perform some coordinate transformations before using the Virtual CRASH 3 data; however, in simple collisions this won't be necessary, as long as there is not an excessive amount of pitch or roll. Below we outline the simplified process for importing Virtual CRASH 3 data.

Here we see our crash scene diagram drawn in FARO HD. We ultimately want to animate our vehicles within this scene. 

First, we need create a top-down orthographic view of our scene to serve as a scale diagram to use in Virtual CRASH 3:

Using the scale tool in Virtual CRASH 3, we can properly import the diagram.

Here we see our diagram in Virtual CRASH 3. We've set up our collision so that both vehicles follow their respective paths. We used the auto-driver system to allow both vehicles to steer along their paths. In this case the blue G6 accelerates past the stop bar in order to attempt to quickly move past the red 4 Runner.

Using the report dynamics feature, we can access the (time, x, y, z, yaw, pitch, roll) data needed for our FARO HD motion paths. 

Remember, in the report above, angle - X is roll, angle - Y is pitch, and angle - Z is yaw.

The expected file format in both FARO Reality and FARO HD are: 

time (seconds), x (ft), y (ft), z (ft), roll (degrees), pitch (degrees), yaw (degrees), Vx, Vy, Vz

Vx, Vy, and Vz are not actually used, so they can be set to 0. 

First, we need to paste our data into our spreadsheet tool:

Now we'll need to reformat it to the proper format it for FARO HD:

The FARO input format expects header data in the form:
1  MAKE : Name

t[s]     x [ft]     y [ft]     z [ft]     phi1[deg]     phi2[deg]     phi3[deg]     vx[mph]     vy[mph]     vz[mph]
where phi1 is roll, phi2 is pitch, and phi3 is yaw.

It is often easiest to start from a blank template file. You can find our Template.txt file here. We find it easiest to paste data into this template file, creating one file for each vehicle. We will return to this file after we do some data additional data formatting. 

Pasting our data into our Template file, we have:

After creating both motion path files, we return to our FARO HD scene, and place our vehicles into the scene:

We'll use the "Load Animation Path From File" feature:

Because the angular orientation is the same between both the FARO HD environment and the Virtual CRASH 3 environment, no angular conversions are needed. Using the "Adjust Path To Vehicles Position" will take care of the relative placement. This is helpful if you did not take care to align the point x=0, y=0 between both environments. 

Loading the G6 data, we see:

After loading both paths, we see:

In order to account for the differences in origins (x=0,y=0) between the two environments, the fastest way to ensure your FARO HD vehicles are properly placed is to simply take a screen capture of the Virtual CRASH 3 simulation and import it into FARO HD. This allows one to properly place the vehicle initial positions. It's also possible to calculate the initial positions mathematically.

Once the initial positions are set, the image can be hidden. 

Here we have the final animation: