Drawing and Editing tools

Point icon Line icon Arc icon Polyline icon Polycurve icon Image icon Add text icon Measure tools add different shapes add surface between lines Snip lines Snap options Ortho lock Aspect lock Select Area Layers 2D View Home Reality Home Take a snapshot icon  Picture of Picture Icon Copy Snapshot to clipboard New File Save File Open File Undo
To Draw a Line
Line icon

To draw a Line :

  • 1. Under the Draw tab, select the Line tool.
  • 2. Click on the scene where you wish the line to begin.
  • 3. Click where you want the line to end.
  • 4. Once placed, it is immediately available for editing.

You may edit the Line properties by inputting values on the left Properties Panel. Always hit “enter” after entering any values, or click in another field.

Right-Click Menu

  • 1. Cut.
  • 2. Copy.
  • 3. Paste.
  • 4. Add animation path.
  • 5. Add parallel.
  • 6. Move the object in fine increments.
  • 7. Change the layer.
  • 8. Adjust print order.

Note: You must have an object selected to access the right click menu.


To Draw an Arc:

Line icon
  • 1. Under the Draw tab, select the Arc tool.
  • 2. Click on the scene where you wish the Arc to begin.
  • 3. Click where you would like the arc to end.
  • 4. Click at a point between to establish the radius.
  • 5. Once placed, it is immediately available for editing.

You may edit the Arc properties by inputting values on the left Properties Panel. Always hit “enter” after entering any values.

Arc Grips Explained

 Arc Grips

The ARAS Reality three point arc is a 3D arc. Grips appear at each end for moving the end points, and each end grip has the blue arrow grip to allow the elevation to be changed. The mid grip on the arc allows radius change, and the round grip allows rotation of the arc. Arc properties are also adjusted using the properties dialogue in the left panel.


To Draw a Polyline:

polyline icon
  • 1. Under the Draw tab, select the Polyline tool.
  • 2. Click on the scene where you wish the line to begin.
  • 3. Click where you wish each segment to end.
  • 4. Hit “ESC” or right-click and select “Finish Draw Mode” to end the Polyline.
  • 5. Once placed, it is immediately available for editing
    • You may edit the Polyline properties by inputting values on the left Properties Panel. Always hit “enter” after entering any values.

      Note: Each vertex has an elevation grip.

      Editing Vertices

      As you create your polyline, you will notice that a vertex is created at each point where you click. After creating the vertex, these are now your grips to create the exact shape that you wish.

      X,Y Horizontal editing of the vertices is managed by grip dragging. Simply place the cursor over the grip and drag the vertex in any direction to re-shape your polyline.

      Vertical editing for part of the line is done by selecting the vertex elevation grip that you wish to raise or lower. Or click on the left panel to Points and adjust individual vertex elevations by text edits.

      Closing a Polyline

      To close the Polyline simply select the line and click “Closed” on the left property panel.

      Closing a Polyline

      • 1. Cut.
      • 2. Copy.
      • 3. Paste.
      • 4. Delete.
      • 5. Break.
      • 6. Add Parallel.
      • 7. Change Layer.

To Draw a Polycurve:

polycurve icon
  • 1. Under the Draw tab, select the polycurve tool.
  • 2. Click on the screen where you wish the line to begin.
  • 3. Click where you wish each segment to end.
  • 4. Hit “ESC” or right-click and select “Finish Draw Mode” to end the Polycurve.
  • 5. It is immediately available for editing.

You may edit the Polycurve properties by inputting values on the left Properties Panel. Always click “enter” after entering any values.

Editing Vertices

As you create your polycurve, you will notice that a vertex is created at each point where you click. After creating the vertex, these are now your grips to use to create the desired shape.

X,Y Horizontal editing of the vertices can be managed by grip dragging or editing the properties values on the left. Simply place the cursor over the grip and drag the vertex in any direction to re-shape your polyline, or change the number for the X or Y value.

Vertical editing is done by selecting the vertex that you wish to raise or lower and changing its Z value.

This can be done by either:

  • 1. Moving the horizontal grip or vertical grip, or
  • 2. Opening the Points panel on the left and adjusting the x,y,z values.

Point Tool

point tool icon

To add a drawn point to the scene simply click on the Point icon on the Draw tab and click where you wish the point to appear.

To keep placing points, simply press the space bar after each one is placed on the scene.

Drawing Special Roadway Lines with Line, Arc, or Polyline Tools

When any drawing shape is selected, note the option “Convert to Lines” on the left-hand panel. Click the “more” button to see the options available to you:

Convert to line

Select the desired roadway line and then you will see the properties change to allow the editing of spacing, thickness etc.

Convert to Line options

Corner Tool

The corner tool allows you to create a roadway corner quickly and accurately.

corner tool options

It is found under the Polycurve drop down.

Click to place one on the scene. See the properties on the left panel to adjust.

You can quickly generate an intersection by right clicking and copying 3 times to create all corners and then adjust them to generate an accurate intersection.

Rough scene corner genius
Convert any Drawing Shape to a 3D Shape

  • 1. Select any drawing shape (line, arc, polyline).
  • 2. On the left-hand panel, click on the area that says “Convert to 3D Shape”.
Convert to 3D
Reality Multi-Select(Grouping)

Moving groups of items in scene is easy to do.

  • 1. Start by selecting one item with the mouse.
  • 2. Hold down the Shift key on the keyboard and continue selecting items you want in the group until you have selected them all. (Each will now have a pink box around it to show what is selected.)
  • 3. Use the grips to reposition your group in relation to the rest of the scene.
  • 4. Click anywhere on the scene to deselect the group.
  • 5. Or, use the Select Area tool at the right on the Draw tab which allows you to select all items within the selected area.

Tip : If you want to select everything on the scene, use Ctrl +A instead.

Model Grips

The unique HUD (Heads-Up Display) grip system allows users to see the orbit grips from any camera position. The star grip is for moving the object. The small blue arrow above the star allows users to change the object’s elevation.

Note: If you wish to “free” the animated model from the surface must click on an animated path, click under “Advanced Animation Properties” on the left panel and un-check “Follow Terrain.” Then, you will see vertical path grips appear.

Drawing Grips

Note: All properties that can be edited by using the grips can also be edited by direct input on the left side property panels. To edit anything, the object must be selected.

ARAS Reality has a standard set of grips for all moveable objects.

  • The star allows you to drag the entire item to the desired location.
  • Cube grips control all vertex movements in all cases.
  • Round grips always control rotation.

The blue arrow above all grips in your elevation control.

Create a Custom Dynamic Object

  • 1. Select any drawing shape (line, arc, polyline).
  • 2. In the left panel, under “Convert to Line”, select “Tiling Model” from the list.
  • 3. Click to select a model.
  • 4. Then, click on your newly created dynamic model to see its properties on the left panel.

Layers – Creating and Managing Layers

Here are the 2 basic ways to create and view layers in your scene:

  • 1. Under the View tab: Open the Layer Manager – create new layers and control visibility, order, and lock layers.
  • layer manager
  • 2. Right click on any object and click “Change Layer.”2.
  • Change layer

Note that with the Layer controls you can move layers up and down using the buttons at the bottom of the Layers panel. Click the lock icon beside the desired layer to lock or unlock the layer. Click the eye icon beside the desired layer to make the layer visible or invisible.

Note:You must always return to the Default layer while working. Standard procedure after adding an image to the scene should be to put it on a separate layer and lock that layer.

Layers and printing

There is a relationship between layers and printing. When printing: layers that appear higher on the list will be drawn on top of previous layers. You may always reorder layers to adjust the print order. Please see the image below for an example:

Printing layers on screen

You can also change the print order by right-clicking on a model on your scene. In the right-click menu there is a “Print Order” option where you may either “Send to Front” or “Send to Back”.

Ground plane

ARAS Reality lets you convert your scene surface to the color of your choice, or to a surface texture, in just a few quick steps.

To change the ground color:

  • 1. Deselect anything you might have selected.
  • 2. Click the “Ground Color” option on the left.
  • 3. Choose your desired color and click “OK.”

To remove the ground altogether:

  • 1. Deselect anything you might have selected.
  • 2. Click on “Ground Options”.
  • 3. Uncheck the “Visible” option.

To apply a texture to the ground :

  • 1. Deselect anything you might have selected.
  • 2. Click the “Texture” option on the right.
  • 3. Choose your desired texture from the texture gallery.

Surfacing (between boundaries established by drawing shapes)

You can easily fill in a surface color or texture between lines, polylines or polycurves in ARAS Reality. Here’s how:

Surface Icon
  • 1. If you don’t already have them, draw the lines you want to surface between. When your lines are ready, activate the Surface option by clicking this tool at the right on the Draw tab.

  • Surface area
  • 2. Use the mouse to select the line on each side of the area you want to fill. You should get a default surface like this:
  • 3. You will have choices on the left of the screen to adjust the surface properties such as the color, texture, and texture scale.

Note: You cannot elevate the surface if you find it is artifacting with another surface. Instead, you must elevate the boundaries and re-surface.

Drawing Tips and Tricks:

  • 1. Many items can be edited for color, thickness and other properties on the left. As always, just select the item and review your options. This can really improve visibility as well as realism in matching your scene data.
  • 2. When converting a line to an object, some selections (such as sidewalks) will center themselves on the line. Right-clicking to create a parallel or altering the line position are both options to try if the original line position was intended to be an edge.
  • 3. You can adjust the Z value for drawn items in 3D to match the elevation of the terrain. This will avoid having an object appear to fly, or sink underground.
Structure Genius

Structure Genius

Structure Genius allows Reality users to quickly and easily construct custom buildings. You can place windows and doors, and apply custom textures and images to surfaces.

Structure Genius is located on the Draw tab under either the Line tool, or the Polyline tool.


  • Click to select Structure Genius. Then, click on your scene to start the wall and click again to end the wall. If you selected the Polyline tool, hit ESC on your keyboard or right-click and select “Finish Draw Mode” to finish placing your walls.
  • When a wall is selected, the Structure Genius properties panel will appear on the left. From here you can apply windows, doors, and images. Each wall has a left and a right side so that you can apply different textures accordingly.
  • To add a second level to a structure, simply click Duplicate Walls “Above” or “Below.”
  • If you created a closed structure, you can click to add either a ceiling or a floor. Select the new ceiling or the floor to edit. You can change the material texture on both the top and the bottom.

Adding doors and Windows

To add a door or window click the Add “Door” or “Window” hypertext and then click to place it on your structure. Once a door is placed, click to select it and its grips and properties will appear.

  • Use the round, green grip to swing the door in or out.
  • door display
  • On the left-hand panel under the “Door” panel, there are options to turn the door itself off while leaving the frame in place (“Has a Door”), and to “Swap Hinge.” You can also change the color or the texture of the door itself.
  • The position and size of any element (door, window, wall), can also be editing by inputting values into the fields on the left-hand panel.
Adding Doors / Placing a Custom Image / Placing Stairs in Scene

Adding Doors and Windows

Pool hours image

To add a door or window click the Add “Door” or “Window” icon and then click to place it on your structure. Once a door is placed, click to select it and its grips and properties will appear.

  1. Use the round, green grip to swing the door in or out
  2. On the left-hand panel under the “Door” panel, there are options to turn the door itself off while leaving the frame in place (“Has a Door”), and to “Swap Hinge”. You can also change the color or the texture of the door itself.
  3. The position and size of any element (door, window, wall), can also be editing by inputting values into the fields on the left-hand panel.

Placing a Custom Image

Pool hours image

Placing a custom image allows you to import pictures taken at the scene into your Reality scene for a realistic look and feel. This is useful for creating custom wall signs, pictures, paintings, etc.

Simply click the Add “Image” hyper-text and then select an image to import. Click Ok and click anywhere on your structure to place your custom image. You can move and edit the size of your image using the grips.

Adding Stairs


Stairs can now quickly and easily be added to Structure Genius buildings by clicking the Add “Staircase” hypertext. Click to select the staircase and its properties will open on the left. You can intuitively change the step height, rise, run, and number of steps. If you would like to place stairs without using Structure Genius, the stair tool is also located under the Buildings -> Components category on the Models tab.


Creating Animations in General

To create an animation, select a model and simply click in more than one location to add animation positions. Then, to stop adding animation positions, either hit the “ESC” key or right-click and select “Finish Draw mode.”

If you wish to animate a model that is already on the scene, simply select the model, right-click, and select “Add Animation path.” Click to add animation positions, finishing as above.

As soon as you click on any part of the animation path, the animation chart will appear at the bottom of your screen.

Animation chart

Tip: Models will follow their path in the order you placed them, so remember to always start at the beginning!

Adding Animation positions to the End.

Simply click on the last path segment, right click and choose “Add positions“ and you can then add as many additional path positions as required.

Note: You cannot add animation positions between already established positions. Instead, you must add positions to the end, and move positions as required.

Animation Path Segment Editing

To adjust animation speeds and vehicle orientations, you must choose the path segment by clicking on it. This opens an Animation Properties dialogue on the left panel with several options.

Animation path setting

Allow Instant Rotation

When clicked, this option means you can have the animation rotation of the end of one path segment set to be completely different than the beginning of the next segment. However, if not checked, the program automatically sets them to be the same.

Show in Animation HUD

This option allows you to choose whether or not the selected model’s speed will be displayed in the HUD (Heads Up Display) during an animation.

Show all positions

When selected, this option sets all animation positions to visible.

Advanced Animation Properties

Advanced Animation property

Conform to Terrain

When Conform to Terrain is unchecked, the path grips will now have elevation grips and there will be no automatic control to keep the animated model path anchored to the surface.

Elevate Path grip

Using the Animation Chart

You can use the Animation Chart to control the motion of your animation. Important notes and features:

  • 1. A path segment is the path between 2 animation positions. In ARAS Reality that path segment can be controlled for acceleration, time, distance as well start and end velocity
  • 2. ARAS Reality has 2 animation positions at each location to allow instantaneous rotation. Therefore, you edit the end of one path segment rotation and edit the beginning of the next segment rotation separately.
  • 3. Therefore, you edit the end of one path segment rotation and edit the beginning of the next segment rotation separately.
  • 4. Each path segment (curve) has 2 grips to allow the shaping of the path.
  • 5. Each path segment grip also has a vertical grip to control vertical trajectories when “Conform to Terrain” is deselected under Advanced Animation Properties.
  • 6. Each path segment has properties displayed as a row in the animation chart below it.
  • 7. To activate path grips, the path segment must be selected. If you still do not see the path grips you must have “Lock Path” checked on.
  • Advanced Animation Properties
  • 8. Each animation position can be edited for yaw, pitch, and roll using the grips on-screen or the properties for Orientation in the Advanced Animation Properties panel.
  • 9. The animated model’s tires are displayed to demonstrate or simulate where the tires would appear on the ground when the vehicle is rotated.
  • 10. The animation engine calculates the acceleration based on the start and end velocities that you input. Should you have a target acceleration rate, you may enter it under the Acceleration Column in the animation chart which then requires you to make adjustments to either start or end velocity.
  • 11. The curve path distance is calculated vertically and horizontally with precision.
  • 12. Impact synchronization points are limited to 10, but 2 vehicles cannot have 2 common and consecutive synchronization points.
  • 13. The rotation point can be set by dragging the Pivot position grip on an all segment basis. To edit the Pivot point you must select the animated object – not the path.
    • Editing of Animation Properties:

      • 1. The path that is selected will highlight the correct row in the animation table at the bottom of the screen, in orange.
      • 2. You may adjust position and orientation by using the on-screen grips or by adjusting values in the appropriate fields.
      • 3. If you move a vehicle on the scene you will see the animation time, distance, and acceleration values immediately update in real time.
Creating Collision Animations

Animated car collision

  • 1. You may create the animations of the colliding models independently, and simply make sure their positions are at the correct location on the diagram (i.e. Overlapping their damage zones)..
  • 2. In the animation chart give both models the same synchronization number
  • 3. You may create additional synchronization points for multi-vehicle collisions by repeating the same procedure and simply using new synchronization numbers. For example, if the yellow vehicle in the picture above then struck another vehicle, the next animation path would begin with the synchronization number “2.” and the other colliding vehicle would be assigned “2.”
  • 4. You may create unlimited synchronization points but the same vehicles can only be synchronized with each other once, consecutively.

Adding Interim or Ghost Positions

ARAS Reality allows you to add up to 10 ghost positions between animation path segment positions.

Edit Interim Positions

To add these positions, first click “Edit Interim Positions” with the path segment selected:

  • 1. This will open the form below where you must use the Add button to create a new interim position along the selected path segment.
  • Add interim position

    Note: You may use the controls in the form, or the on-screen grips, to edit orientation and position.

    Note:Any ghost position can be removed again by clicking the Del button in the form.

Using Animation Cameras

Animation cameras are found under the Animation tab.

To use a camera and record the animation from the camera position:

  1. Click on the Animation Camera icon
  2. Animation camera icon

  3. Now you will see the Animation Camera properties on the left panel.
  4. Animation Camera

    Click “More” to get additional options.

  5. You have options that are self-explanatory but we will explain the method of placing a moving camera and a moving/tracking camera.
    • a. Under the “Looking From” dropdown menu, select “Following”.
    •  Camera following drop down options
    • b. Click on the “Select Position Follow Model” box
    • c. Click on an animated model on your scene that you want the camera to record from (it will highlight briefly).
    • d. Notice you now have x,y,z values for the camera, which are vehicle fixed values - adjust accordingly (e.g. if an animation camera is located in a car, increase the z value to move the camera up until it is looking out a window).
    • e. Under the “Looking At” panel, choose “Following” and click “Select Target Follow Model”.

    •  Camera setting looking at
    • f. This time, choose the model you wish to track (it will also highlight briefly).
    • g. Make sure the “Active” box is checked.
    • h. Click “Play” to review the outcome.
    • i. Editing is done by clicking back on the Animation camera on the Animation tab and then choosing the correct camera (cameras can be named by typing in the camera number field).
    •  Test animation cameras
Damaging Vehicles

  1. To start, select the vehicle.
  2. On the left panel, click “Damage”.
  3. At the top of the form choose Location of damage.
  4. On the damage form leave height at default.
  5. Enter total crush width and depths.
Reality damage options

Note: Once you’ve entered the damage, check the Preview Damage box. For an animation, make sure to set a sync number to match the collision sync number associated with the damage.

Crush Analysis

In the above crush form: At the bottom, click the “Crush Analysis” button and the form below will appear. Now you can enter Stiffness A and B to see the real time calculation of BEV (Barrier Equivalent Velocity) and Energy. You can also click Report on the form to get the report of crush with the math solution shown.

Reality crush options

Damage is linked to the sync number used, so damage applied at sync 2 will not appear on the model until it reaches that location, and will be added to the damage that was already at sync 1. Note in the ARAS Reality system for crush, many damage profiles can be applied on the same form and each can be given a separate sync number.

Simulation - ICATS

What is ICATS?

ICATS is essentially SMAC (Simulation Model of Automobile Collisions), but the SMAC functions are accessed in a very intuitive and interactive manner. ICATS applies the original SMAC algorithms.

What is SMAC?

SMAC is an open-source accident reconstruction program that was initially developed by Calspan Corporation for NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). SMAC uses a set of assumed or estimated parameters, including vehicle and roadway properties, to predict the outcome of a collision. Engineers have been using this simulation program to analyze both vehicle dynamics using the SMAC trajectory model, and the damage resulting from crashes using the SMAC collision model. SMAC analyzes the longitudinal and lateral movements of vehicles as well as the rotational motion about the vertical axis of vehicles on a horizontal plane. If a contact between vehicles is detected, the collision phase is analyzed. The external forces can be applied either at the tire/road interface or between the vehicles. SMAC is a time-forward analysis, meaning SMAC users must enter vehicle velocity information to begin the analysis. The subsequent analysis is compared to the real world data and then adjusted for a best fit. The data input is adjusted in terms of vehicle and environmental variables.

SMAC Architecture

The SMAC program is separated into several main parts:

  1. Input phase: This portion receives the information regarding the integration and output time steps, the vehicle parameters, state variables such as position and speed, steering, and tire torque inputs from an input file
  2. Trajectory phase: A subroutine and associated functions calculate the trajectories of the subject vehicles while the vehicles are not in a collision.
  3. Collision phase: The collision routines determine if the vehicles are in contact and calculate the contact forces and their direction, which is then used to determine the subsequent motion of the vehicles.
  4. Output phase: The states of the vehicles are displayed at specified intervals.

ICATS/SMAC Validation

There have been multiple studies and papers authored over the past four decades that compare simulation results to real world crashes. Of particular relevance are the RICSAC (Research Input for Computer Simulation of Automobile Collisions) staged crashes, referenced below. We also invite you to visit www.aras360.com to download papers which are specifically relevant to the ICATS version of SMAC as well as references to other studies and papers.

Jones, I., Baum, A., “Research Input for Computer Simulation of Automobile Collisions” Volume IV,
HS-805-040, Buffalo, NY 1978.

Shoemaker, N.E., “Research Input for Computer Simulation of Automobile Collisions” Volumes II - III,
DOT br />HS-805 038/DOT HS-805 039, Buffalo, NY 1978.

Getting Started with Single Vehicle Simulation

What Types of Crashes can ICATS Process?

ICATS will help reconstructionists analyze single vehicle crashes as well as two vehicle crashes. It will also simulate a vehicle’s response to barrier impacts.

Single Vehicle Simulations

Single vehicle simulations are generated from either models that are already animated, or from static models on the scene.

Single Vehicle Simulations from Animated Models

  1. Simply click on the animation path of the model you wish to simulate and then on the left panel click “Create Single Vehicle Simulation”.
  2. A Simulation Properties panel will appear on the left and you can click on the “Open Advanced Properties” button to access steering, braking, and other advanced options.
  3. Simulation Property panel
  4. Click on the Vehicle 1 steering and braking to assign appropriate values.
  5. At the bottom of the Simulation Properties dialogue, click “Update Simulation,” and then close the form.
  6. Update simulation property
  7. Click Play on the Animation tab to view the simulation.

Two Vehicle Simulations

You can simulate the interaction between any 2 vehicles in the following configurations:

  1. Head on – with one stopped or both in motion
  2. Rear end – with one stopped or both in motion.
  3. Angled collision with one stopped or both in motion.

To set up the simulation:

  1. Choose vehicles from the vehicle database under the Models tab and the vehicle specifications will automatically be passed to the simulation properties.
  2. If you are simulating large vehicles not found in the database, you will have to enter correct dimensional and inertial data in the simulation properties.
  3. Place the vehicles on the scene with both in motion, or with one stopped, and leave a space between the vehicles to allow ICATS to calculate the impact position
  4. Assign the impact or simulation start speed in the animation chart of the vehicles in motion.
  5. Select each vehicle’s animation path and on the left panel click “Add to Simulation”.
  6. Or, if one vehicle is stopped, simply click on the vehicle and on the left panel click “Add to Simulation”.
  7. The simulation dialogue will appear on the left panel, and the first run of simulation will display on the scene.
  8. To return to the simulation dialogue click on the animation path and on the left panel click “Open Simulation”.
  9. To access the advanced simulation properties, after opening the Simulation, click “Open Advanced Properties” on the left panel.
Advanced Property
Calculation for Yaw Moment of Inertia

The current default calculation for Yaw Moment of Inertia is:

yaw moment of Inertia

When changing a vehicle mass in the simulation properties, or any dimensional data, the yaw moment of inertia will not change. You must recalculate that value and enter it into the field. The above calculation can be used or any other calculation method that you choose.

Vehicle-Barrier Impacts

ICATS can be used to simulate a Vehicle-Barrier impact as well. Note, currently the barrier model must be at least half the size of the vehicle or larger.

Creating a Vehicle-Barrier impact works much the same as creating a 2 vehicle simulation.

  1. Place the vehicle model that you wish to use on the scene, with or without an animation path.
  2. Place the barrier model on the scene, without an animation path.
  3. Select the barrier model and select “Specs” on the left panel.
  4. Enter appropriate specs for the barrier model. SMAC, and therefore ICATS, expects a Wheelbase, Front Overhang and other properties to be present.
  5. Set the Weight of the barrier object sufficiently high, for example 50,000 lbs.
  6. Select the vehicle or its animation path, and click “Add to Simulation” on the left panel.
  7. Select the barrier and click “Add to Simulation” on the left panel.
  8. Click the “Open Advanced Properties” to make changes to the Load Deflection to change how the damage appears on the barrier. Also set the barrier model’s braking to 100% for all “tires”.

ARAS Reality introduces the much-anticipated automated articulation system. This tool is designed to allow users to scientifically model the vehicle behavior of articulated units.

Creating Articulated Motion

  1. 1. Place all of the models on the scene that you wish to join as one, articulated model (up to 4 models).
  2. 2. Align the models to approximately the correct position.
  3. 3. Select the lead model and then hold down the “Shift” key as you select the other models, in the order that you want them to be joined.
  4. 4. Click “Articulate Models” on the left-hand panel.

  5. Articulate Model
  6. 5. Then, click on each model to expose the grips that you will need to align with the point of articulation and the point where the model will pivot on the ground. In the case of a tractor-trailer combination unit, the trailer pivot point will be the center of the rear axles.

  7. Vehicle pivot point
  8. 6. On the left side, uncheck “Edit Configuration” and the grips will disappear.

  9. Edit Configuration
  10. 7. With the articulated unit selected right-click and choose “Add Animation Path”. As you click to place the animation positions, notice that the tire lines and trailer corners will show in relation to the animation path.
  11. 8. On the left-hand panel you have standard options to name the articulated model, ungroup them, or save the model.

Saving Articulated Models

Articulate icon

You can save your articulated model for future use by clicking Save at the bottom of the panel. By default, the model will be saved to Documents/arashd/articulated. To load the model for next use, click the “Load Model” icon located on the Models tab, and navigate to wherever you saved your articulated model.


  1. 1. The Momentum Genius tool is found on the Analysis tab. Click on either of the options available.

  2. momemtum icon

  3. 2. Assign the involved vehicles from the Vehicle Information panel on the left-hand panel.
  4. 3. Name the vehicles by clicking in the vehicle field so that the names show in the report.
  5. 4. Change the vehicle model colors to match the real vehicles.

  6. momemtum property window momemtum vehicle 2 property

  7. 5. Adjust the vehicle masses if necessary.
  8. 6. Click on the “Details” tab to access the “After Impact” panel as shown below and check the box to “Adjust for Spin”.
  9. After Impact

  10. 7. If you choose Adjust for Spin you must enter numbers that are a percentage (%) of total braking – 0 to 100. Do not enter a drag factor.
  11. 8. You must adjust the default friction to be the maximum friction on the post impact surface. The % braking is multiplied by the default friction and adjusted for its angle relative to the trajectory. See the Momentum report for all mathematical explanations and details.

  12. Vehicle friction zone settings
  13. 9.Click on “Edit Friction Zones” to set and adjust interim positions for precise rotation control as well as additional friction zones.
  14. 10.To add and delete zones use the buttons at the bottom of the form.

  15. Vehicle friction Adjustment

  16. 11. When you add more zones, an intermediate position for the vehicle will appear with a grip attached to it so that you may move the vehicle to the desired location.
  17. 12. Be sure to adjust all grips, noticing the grip movements will change calculated impact speeds on the left panel.
  18. 13. Users can now click Play to view the momentum results as a 3D animation.
SAMI (Simulated Angular Moment Interactive)


  1. 1. Use Simulated Spin Out – this tool, when applied, will simulate the amount of rotation and direction of rotation based on user specified impact configuration and damage centroid position. The purpose of this tool is simply to give the user immediate feedback on the assigned vehicle impact configuration. It is used as a tool to test the user inputs when some information about the impact configuration might be missing or insufficient.
  2. 2. Do Damage Simulation – this tool, when applied, will simulate the extent of the damage based on the momentum based impact configuration and results. When applying this tool it is very important to ensure that the A and B stiffness values are correct. The values shown in the fields above the advanced options are simply defaults and will always be incorrect until edited by the user.

Using Simulated Spin

  1. 1. You must first have your momentum alignment set on the scene and vehicles assigned and aligned as you believe they were at impact first contact.
  2. 2. Click on the SAMI tab on the left panel.
  3. 3. Click the checkbox to Simulate Spin
  4. 4. You will see the tire paths simulated.
  5. 5. Adjust damage centroid and vehicle alignment to generate different results.

Using Simulated Damage

  1. 1. You must first have your momentum alignment set on the scene and vehicles assigned and aligned as you believe they were at impact first contact.
  2. 2. Click on the SAMI tab on the left panel.
  3. 3. Check the A and B stiffness values and adjust to proper values using any source you feel is reliable, including the database at Aras360.com/resources (the orange “i” beside each field will launch the aras360.com stiffness database).
  4. 4. Click the checkbox to Simulate Damage.
  5. 5. Adjust damage centroid and alignment to generate different results.
Additional Tips:

In order for the simulated damage to approximately represent the real damage, you must have a good Momentum result to begin with. Questions to consider:

  1. 1. Does the Momentum based Delta V’s approximate CDR download data and crush based results?
  2. 2. Do the vehicles appear to have reached within 10% of the same separation speeds at the damage centroids?
SCMI (Simulated Collinear Momentum Interactive)

The SCMI system blends conservation momentum solutions for vehicle impact configurations that can be assumed to be head on or same direction (i.e. in-line collisions). SCMI also includes SMAC damage simulation.


SCMI is located on the Analysis tab, along with the other momentum analysis tools. Click the button below to place an SCMI system on your scene.

To generate the Collinear Momentum Report, simply click to select the SCMI system on the scene. Once the SCMI system is selected, click the Print Report link, located at the bottom of any of the left tabs. An overview of the math equations used for SCMI may be found on the reference page within the Collinear Momentum Report.

Using Models

Models Menu

The library:

  1. 1. Choose the category of model and click on the drop down arrow to view the sub categories.
  2. 2. Click on the model of your choice.
  3. 3. Click to place the model on the scene.

The database:

  1. 1. Click on the “Search Database” icon. Select the vehicle Manufacturer, Model, and Year. Click Insert.

Importing Models

Load Model icon
  1. 1. To import an ARAS Reality model, start on the model tab and click on the “Load Model” icon on the far left of the Models tab.
  2. 2. Navigate to the Reality model file (.a3xml) that you wish to import. Click Open and then click anywhere on your scene to place the model.

Road Sign Models

Load Model icon

Custom road signs can be created using the Custom Signs tool, located on the Special tab. Start by clicking on the Custom Signs button and then click anywhere on your scene to place the sign model. The default sign is a stop sign.

Click on the Image box to select a different sign face. A texture gallery will open. The sign textures are broken up into common categories. Click to select a category tab (e.g. Regulatory) and then click to select your desired image.

Models Menu

Next, click on the Shape box to change your sign shape. Choose the shape that corresponds to your sign image.

Now that you have your sign, you can adjust the dimensions, position, and orientation of the sign on the left-hand panel. If you do not want the sign to have a pole, uncheck the “Has Pole” checkbox.

Attaching Models

Aras Reality allows you to attach one model to another to create more complex scenes. To attach models, check the below steps.

  • 1. Place the models you wish to attach on the scene.
  • Attaching a Model

  • 2. Select both models by selecting one model, holding shift, and then selecting another. Make sure to select the models in order. Primary model first, then the secondary model.
  • Selecting both Models

  • 3. Click “Attach Models” on the left panel
  • Multiple selection setting

  • 4. You can edit the configuration of your attached models by clicking the primary model, then selecting “Attachments” from the left panel. From there, select the model you attached to the primary model.
  • Multiple selection setting Multiple selection setting

  • 5. By rotating your rotations and offsets you’re able to give some customized flair to your models. Attached models will move together when animated.
  • Multiple selection setting

Evidence Marker Models / Photo Link

There are some evidence marker models under the Crime Scene category on the Models tab; however, users are now able to create customer evidence marker models that are much more flexible

  • Begin by clicking the Special tab at the top of the screen. Click where you’d like to place the marker on the screen.
  • Evidence Marker sign

  • The properties for the evidence marker will appear on the left. Enter the text that you want to be displayed on the marker in the Text box. There is a maximum length of 4 characters. Click on the Color box to change the color of the evidence marker.

Photo Link

Also located under the Special tab is the Photo Link tool. The Photo Link tool allows users to display photographic evidence in relation to their overall ARAS scene. A marker is placed on the ARAS scene to represent where a photo was taken at the real-world scene. When a user hovers over that marker, the photograph that was taken at that location will be displayed.

To use the photo link tool, follow these steps:

  • When placed, this tool drops a representative camera model onto the scene. Once the camera is placed (or selected), the Photo Link properties will appear on the left panel.
  • At the top of the left panel, click to choose a photo to add to the scene. Browse to the desired photo and click Open.
  • Now, when you hover over the camera marker, that image will be displayed.
  • On the left, you may also control the color, size, and orientation of the camera marker.

Tip:If you do not want your Photo Link markers to appear in snapshots and printed images, it is a good idea to put them all on a Photo Link layer. Then, you may simply hide that layer when printing your diagram.

Traffic Light Genius

ARAS Reality includes a feature for making your own custom animated traffic lights so that you can add realism to your scenes. To place and create your own custom lights, follow the following steps:

  • 1. Click on the Traffic Light icon on the special Tab Menu.
  • Traffic Light Icon

  • 2. Click anywhere on the scene to place your traffic light model. This functions like a standard model and can be repositioned on your scene at any time.
  • 3. When selected, the traffic light options menu looks like this:
  • Traffic Light Setting

  • 4. To add light animations and adjust the look of your lights, click on “Light Boxes”.
  • Light boxes

  • 5. In the next window you’re able to add and delete lights, as well as change their name and shape, and their position on the model. You also have the option to show the light hood or not using the check box.
  • 6. Click on the “More” button under “States” to add your own custom animations.
  • Traffic Light State

  • 7. In the states menu you’re able to customize what the light will do during the duration of your animation.
  • Traffic light frequency

In the screenshot above, you will see that there are 3 light states for a red light. State one starts at 0 seconds, which means at the beginning. The state lasts for 4 seconds, and the light is off because the “On” checkbox is not checked. The second state starts at 4 seconds, and has a 15 second duration. The light is on because the “On” checkbox is checked. The third state starts at 19 seconds. Because it is the last state, its duration doesn’t matter. It will hold this state until the end of the animation. The light is off because the “On” checkbox is not checked.

The blinking checkbox will make the light blink, and the frequency of the blinking is controlled by the “Frequency” number box.

You can do this for as many lights as you’ve added to your traffic light.

Blood Spatter Analysis

The purpose of the ARAS Reality Blood Spatter Analysis (BSA) tool is to allow a user to determine the back trajectory and possible Area of Convergence (source) of blood spatter on a wall or floor. The tool follows the published guidelines for back tracking blood droplet trajectories as follows:

Blood Splatter Analysis

The point of origin of the image is defined as the lower-left corner. Y runs vertically, X horizontally to the right.

The angle Theta (Φ) is the angle of the long axis of the ellipse. It is also the angle of the direction of travel of the droplet when it struck the surface, looking orthogonal to the surface.

Blood Splatter Analysis

The angle Phi (Φ) is the Impact angle, the angle between the direction of travel and the surface.

Impact angle calculation
Using the BSA Tool

BSA tool 1 BSA tool 2 BSA tool 3 BSA tool 4
Human Models

ARAS Reality includes a poseable human dummy. With over 20 points of articulation, the dummy can be placed on the scene and edited with ease.

To bring the poseable model into a scene:

  1. Start on the Models tab. Under the People category, select either the Male or Female subcategory. Inside either subcategory, select the dummy with the tooltip “Poseable Dummy”. Click to place the dummy on the scene.
  2. poseable human model
  3. On the left-hand panel click the “Pose Model” button.
  4. Red articulation points will appear on the poseable model. Click on whichever joint you would like to edit first. A round purple grip will appear. Right-click this grip to bring up the movement controls.
  5. Articulation Red Points

  6. Click the blue and black arrows to position the model as desired.
  7. If you make a mistake and would prefer to start over, simply click “Reset to Bind Pose” under the actions button on the left panel.
  8. When finished, uncheck the “Stop Posing” button on the left panel.

Note: If you deselect the dummy while the articulation points are visible (i.e. Pose mode is active), you must select one of the red points to re-select the model.

Using the Advanced Human Models

The Advanced Human Models in ARAS Reality are an optional add-on. In order to see the models described in this section, you would have had to have purchased the Advanced Human module. These models are poseable, layered, and anatomically correct.

Note: If you do not see these models in your menus chances are you haven’t purchased this feature, so they are disabled on your account. If you did purchase the Advanced Human Models and don’t see them in your menus, please contact ARAS support.

Importing an Advanced Human Model

There is both a female and a male Advanced Human Model. To bring one onto a scene:

  1. Start on the Models tab.
  2. Click the People category. Under either the Male or the Female subcategory, select the model with the tooltip “Advanced Male/Female Model”.
  3. Advanced Male Models
  4. Click to place the model on the scene.
  5. Click to select the model and its properties panel will appear on the left.

Posing an Advanced Human Model

Posing an Advanced Human Model is similar to posing the human dummy, as outlined on the previous page. For instructions on posing the Advanced Human Models, please see the section titled “Human Models – To bring the poseable model into a scene”.

Setting the Layers on an Advanced Human Model

Each Advanced Human Model has 8 detailed layers to choose from:

  1. The Skeleton
  2. The circulatory system
  3. The nervous system
  4. The digestive system
  5. The respiratory system
  6. Musculature
  7. a clothed view, and
  8. An unclothed view.

To edit which layers are visible, select the model, then click the “Anatomical Layers” button on the left panel. Use the checkboxes that appear to toggle the visibility of each layer.


Using Sub-Animated Models

ARAS Reality offers several sub-animated human dummy models. These are found on the Models tab, under the People category. Look for this icon for the sub-category:

Animated Human Models

Sub-animated models move their parts by default (i.e. a walking dummy moves its legs). To stop sub-animation at a specific animation position, you must click to select the animation path and then uncheck the “Sub-Animate” checkbox found in the animation chart.

Sub Animate Path

Importing Drawings

You may import drawings as either:

  1. 1. Images, or
  2. 2. .dxf drawings.

Importing Images of Drawings

  1. 1. On the Draw tab, click the dropdown arrow beside the image tool. From there, select scaled image.
  2. 2. Select an image.
  3. 3. Now locate the Scale Tool on the image.
  4. 4. Move and adjust the tool’s ends to measure a known distance.
  5. 5. On the left panel in the “Scale Tool Distance” field type in the real world, known value.
  6. 6.Click Escape to exit that mode.

Importing Drawing Files as dxf

ARAS Reality currently supports dxf drawings exported from most CAD drawing programs such as FX3, CADZone, Mapscenes, Autocad, and others. You can export the drawing shapes to import correctly, but models are different. The models may not appear if the models are truly 3D models of another file type.

To import a .dxf drawing file:

  1. 1. Click on the File menu (Reality logo in the top left) and select “Import Drawing”.
  2. 2.Select the .dxf or .dwg file you wish to import.
  3. 3.Browse to desired file – click ok.

Exporting Drawings

You may export your drawing in 3 ways:

  1. As a dxf drawing. Under the File menu (ARAS Reality icon at top left) – select “Export dxf”.
  2. Drawing as an image ( jpg ) – use the snapshot tool located in the top mini menu.
  3. As pdf drawing once the drawing has gone to Print.


The Measurements tab in Reality allows for the import of total station files and point clouds and allows for the entering of manual measurements through coordinate points and triangulation.

Measurement icon

Importing Total Station Data

Importing Measurements(Data Points)

All measurements can be imported to ARAS Reality. Methods include:

  1. Direct from total station onboard instruments.
  2. Direct from hand held data collectors (Mapscenes, Pocketzone, MFX).
  3. Points files (.csv, .raw, .sdr, .rw5 etc ).

Import Measurement

You will now see a screen like the one below and if you click Browse you can bring in points from a file on your computer or a file on your hand held data collector.

Import Measurement Log

If you are coming directly from the total station, you must click on the download button and then you will see the form below. Then you can set the communication port and baud rate to match the instrument settings.

Download From Total Station

Now you will send the data from the instrument and see it stream to this form. Once done, click Ok and plot the points on your scene. We recommend that you check the box to choose where to save the download file on your computer.

Point Cloud

Importing a Point Cloud is Simple

  • 1. Click on “Import” on the “Point Cloud” tab
  • 2. Browse to your file, and press open.
  • 3. When opened, Reality will automatically load and position all points in the point cloud. You will see a loading screen as the points are drawing that looks like this:
  • Loading Point Cloud

    Note : Loading a point cloud can take a very long time depending on the size of the file, number of points in the file, and the speed of your computer and graphics card.

Navigation a Point Cloud

You can navigate around a scene with a point cloud imported in the same way you would with around a standard scene.

Manipulating a Point Cloud

Once a point cloud is imported, a Point Cloud panel will appear on the left of the screen. From here you can change various options dealing with the point cloud.

Point Cloud Setting

1 . Mode

Changing the mode of the point cloud changes the visible display quality. Available options are Draft, Low Quality, Mid Quality and High Quality views.

  • Draft is a low quality view best used for navigating the scene and makes it easier to place models or make drawings within the point cloud.

  • Low-Quality Viewis exactly that. A low quality view of the scene that has more detail than draft mode. Best used on computers that just meets the minimum system requirements.

  • Medium-Quality View is a step above Low-Quality View.

  • High-Quality View is another step above Medium-Quality View and is the highest detail available for point clouds. This can be quite resource heavy on a computer, so if you’re experiencing lag or slowness while using High-Quality View, try a lower quality setting.

2. Point Style

You’re able to choose the way Reality displays your points in this menu. Available options are: Black, Color, Color – Brightness Adjusted, Color – Layers, Grey, Greyscale, Height, and White.

  • Black – Changes all the points in your point cloud to be a black color. This will make it very difficult to see on a black background.
  • Color is the default point style. Displays all points as the colors they’ve been scanned in as.
  • Color – Brightness Adjusted is the same as the above Color options, but you’re able to adjust the brightness of those colors using a slider.
  • Grey– Changes all points in the point cloud to a grey color.
  • Greyscale – Changes all points in the point cloud to a shade of grey depending on their original scan color.
  • Height– Displays the points in a greyscale with the gradient changing depending on the point height.
  • White – Changes all points in the point cloud to be white in color

3. The “Print” checkbox toggles between the point cloud being visible in print view or not.

4. The “Details” button will show details about the currently selected point cloud.

Point Cloud details

In this menu you’re able to change the point style and the point size of the selected cloud, as well as set a vertical cut off height for the point cloud in case you have points that are too high that you’d like to exclude from the point cloud.

Actions -Shows the current actions you can make.

Print Options - Allows you to adjust various options for printing the point cloud.

Print Options

  • Print Check Box toggles whether or not to add the point cloud to the print view.
  • “Pixels per Foot” changes the scaling of the point cloud in the print view.
  • Min and Max Resolution changes the diagram resolution on the print view.
Point Cloud Tab Menu

The point cloud tab menu displays the tools used for viewing and manipulating point clouds.

Point Cloud Menu

  • 1. Select Point Cloud :- Clicking this selects the current point cloud for manipulation/editing.
  • 2. Point Cloud Layers :- Clicking this will open the point cloud layers menu. Point cloud layers functions much like the standard layers for a scene, but applies only to the point cloud.
  • 3. Rectangle select tool:- This tool allows you to draw a rectangle on the point cloud, selecting all the points within that cloud.
  • 4. Polygon Select tool:- Similar to the Rectangle Select, the polygon select tool will allow you to draw a polygon and select all the points within it.
  • 5. Clear current selection:- Clicking this will unselect any points you currently have selected.
  • 6. Export:-Clicking this will let you export or save the current point cloud into AR Open Binary Point Cloud format, or .AROBPC, a format more compatible with other programs.
  • 7. Virtual survey:-Allows you to select points within your point cloud and add them to a measurement log.
  • 8. Create Surface:-After using the rectangle select tool, clicking on create surface will create a textured surface joining your points together.
  • 9. Snap to Point Cloud:- A toggle that allows objects and drawings placed on the scene to automatically snap to the point cloud, or allow free placement.
  • 10. Delete Point Cloud:-Clicking this will prompt you to delete the selected point cloud. Press yes to delete.
  • 11. Scene view icons:-
  • a) 2D/3D toggle
    b) Return to default position
    c) Layers menu

Creating a Model from a Point Cloud

Aras Reality is able to take selected points in a point cloud, and create a Point Cloud Model from them. Point Cloud Models function similarly to a standard Aras model and can be placed anywhere in a scene. Point Cloud Models can even be animated.

To Make a Point Cloud Model, follow the following steps.

  • 1. Have a point cloud file imported
  • 2. Use the rectangle select tool to draw a rectangle around the area you wish to turn into a model.
  • Select rectangle tool

  • 3. Click on “Select Points in Selection” to select the points within your selection rectangle.
  • selection rectangle

  • 4. You will see your points highlighted in blue on the scene.
  • Model Points

  • 5. Right-click on the scene to open the context menu. Select “Actions” then select “Create Point Cloud Model From Selection”.
  • Point Cloud Model

  • 6. At this point you will be prompted to save the model you’ve just created.
  • Save model

  • 7. Your point cloud model is now created. You may delete the selection rectangle. By default the model will be in the exact place you took the points from. Click that area to select your new model. Once selected you’ll see a “Point Cloud Model” panel on the left. Use this window to name your model, change its orientation, point size or add an animation path.
  • Point Cloud Model

  • 8. Use the yellow star grip on the model to reposition it on your scene.
  • Model Grip

    A few things to note about Point Cloud Models:

    Point Cloud Models do not have all of the features of our standard models like lights, rotating tires, and damage. If you need a model that has this functionality please fill out a Model Request Form found on our website and email it to support@aras360.com. When creating a Point Cloud Model, note that the points selected and converted are not removed from the original point cloud.

Advanced Measurement Data Control

If you check the” Advanced” box on the import form you will see options to re-organize the data that has come into the form. This is in case the axes are transposed due to settings on the data collector or instrument. You will also see the option to zero the origin for cases where the instrument is set for a 1000, 5000, 5000 origin offset. Forensic Mapping is normally done without an offset and if you plot your points with an offset it is much harder to manage your drawing.

Advanced Measurement Data Controls

Exporting Measurements

You may export measurements as CSV (comma separated values) files for importing into other applications.

To export your points file as a CSV you must first select the measurement set that you intend to export. On the left panel click “Actions”, then click “Export”. Click and choose the location to save your .csv file.

Action Export

Coordinate: Entering Manual Measurements

Simply click on the Measurements tab and choose the Coordinate option.

Coordination Log icon

You will then see the coordinate measurement log entry appear and all the controls you need to enter measurement points and control how they are viewed.

Measurement Log

Once the coordinate point set has been chosen you will see the baseline origin and rotation point appear on the scene with a 20-foot x axis by default.

You can then enter points by clicking in the log.

Note the properties on the Measurement Log on the left.

You may add up to 21 point sets of any type on the scene.

You may apply as many baseline measurement sets as you need on one scene. All points will be saved as part of the ARAS Reality file.

Triangulation : Entering Manual Measurements

Click on this icon to create a triangulation log:

Triangulation Log icon

To add points to the log:

  1. 1. Set the distance between the 2 triangulation reference points under the “Baseline x” field. This is the distance you measured in the field between the 2 reference-points from which all other points were measured
  2. 2. As you add points into the log, new rows will be auto-generated
  3. 3. For the new point you must enter the distance from each of the 2 reference points.
  4. 4. Remember when using triangulation that a point may be above or below the baseline (the line connecting the 2 reference points), so use the checkbox “positive“ at the right side of the log to determine which side of the baseline the points should appear.

Move and Rotate Point Set

You may move and rotate the entire point set by using the blue grip and the red round grip which appear when the triangulation point set is active.

 move triangulation points

Merging Measurement Sets

Merging measurements can be done using 2 different methods:

  1. 1. mathematical merge, or
  2. 2. Graphical merge.

Merging points mathematically

Note: You must have already imported or created at least 2 point sets on the scene and do NOT check the box to connect the points.

  1. 1. Click on the first point set under the Measurements tab or by clicking the axis or any point in the first point set on the scene.
  2. Merging two points mathematically
  3. 2. On the left panel click "Merge".
  4. Merge points property window
  5. 3. Select the second measurement log:
  6. Merge log Step 1
  7. 4. Choose the common points - 1 and 2 using the drop down list of points
  8. Merge log Step 2
    Merge log Step 3
  9. 5. Check the box that says "Delete the Second Point Set".
  10. Merge log Step 4
  11. 6. Click finish when done.

This mathematical merge is 3 dimensional and extremely accurate. Please save your work at this point.

You may now add additional point sets to that set ad infinitum.

Total Terrain (Image Draping)

Converting your image to a 3D scene is really simple. This process will allow you to combine the best features of both images and survey data.

Here’s how it works:

  1. 1. Go to the Google Earth icon (click your ground plane to bring up your Home panel) and bring in either a Google image or any other image.
  2. 2. Import your measurement and uncheck the box to connect the points with lines.
  3. 3. Now you must rotate and move the point set to align it with the image.
  4. 4. Select the point set by clicking under the Measurement tab or by selecting any point in the scene.
  5. 5. Then move the point set to align with features in the image.
  6. 6. We strongly suggest you switch to an orthogonal view while doing this to eliminate any perspective distortion. Simply click on the 2D navigation icon:
  7. 2D navigation icon

  8. 7. Then, once you have aligned the points to the image click the house on the navigation form which will take you back into a 3D view.
  9. 8. Now simply click anywhere on the image and you will see create 3D Terrain.
  10.  Create 3D Terrain

  11. 9. Now you can see the 3D scene and if you like you might increase the mesh density.  If or when you do, click “Create 3D Terrain” again.
  12. 10. Now if you wish you can connect your lines automatically by selecting your measurement set and again clicking to connect lines on the left measurement properties panel.
  13. 11. Save your project.
  14. 12. Now any model placed on your 3D terrain will automatically attach to the surface.
  15. 13. You may also enhance your scene by adding more polylines and ask the terrain system to recognize them.
  16. 14. Draw polylines to which you wish the terrain to conform.
  17. 15. Then on the left panel properties for the polyline – check the box “Use as Terrain Edge”.
  18.  Use as Terrain Edge

    You can adjust the tolerance in the field above so there are invisible points placed along the polyline at the tolerance distance you choose.

  19. 16. Click “Create 3D Terrain” again and you will see how the image has conformed to the polyline.


Measuring Scenes for Total Terrain Mapping (image draping)

Mapping Strategy

When using the Total Terrain Tool inside ARAS Reality, the user should consider the mapping strategy at the crash site. It is recommended that a field sketch be completed before mapping begins so the user can lay out what is to be measured.

 mapping terrain

In the above diagram it can be observed that the measurements are taken off to the side of the roadway, which is important when using Total Terrain. Total Terrain creates triangles between points and if the measurements are not uniform it is possible that, as an example, a centerline measurement will create a triangle with a point off of the roadway or plain that you are attempting to create which will make your surfaces uneven. This will also affect animation work as ARAS Reality has been designed to allow models to follow the terrain.

The more the change in elevation, the more shots or measurements are needed to properly model the terrain. It is recommended that the user layout the crash site prior to mapping and mark on the road edge locations for measurement. When there is a significant change in elevation, measurements should be taken no more than 50 feet apart. When the roadway and adjacent ditches, sidewalks, or other adjoining properties are relatively level then measurements can be up to 75 feet apart. Below is an example of laying-out and marking a scene to be measured for use with the Total Terrain in ARAS Reality.

 Use as Terrain Edge

Note how the user has marked evidence to map including pink marks along the fog line at 50 foot intervals. Corresponding measurements for edges of pavement, fog lines and centerlines, as well as elevation shots in the ditches should be taken in-line with the pink marks at the 50 foot intervals.

Animation Effects


To access lighting options, start by selecting a model on your scene in which you want to see the lighting options for.

On the left panel, select the “Lights” button.

Once you click on Lights the left panel shows the available options. The options below are for a vehicle.

 Model Lights  Car Lights

Check the boxes to activate the light which you’d like to use.

Shadows - you will notice the Shadows option as well. ARAS Reality displays shadows of objects based on the current sun angle. If you wish to adjust the shadows, go to the Skybox tab and adjust sun angles.


Printing your diagram

Start on the ARAS Reality Print tab.

Print tab

From left to right the Print options are:

  1. 1.Print diagram: This takes the entire diagram area to Print Preview. You will notice the print scale is automatically calculated based on paper size and scene area.
  2. Print diagram
  3. 2.Print area:This print option allows you to select the area right on the diagram and set the scale - prior to going to Print Preview. Use the yellow star grip to move the paper space to the desired position and adjust scale on the left panel to increase or decrease the print area.
  4. 3.Print Current View as an Image: this option simply takes a snapshot of whatever view is currently in the view port and sends it to Print Preview.
  5. Print view as page

Print Preview Screen

Sends the report to the printer.
Allows you to change which printer you are using.
Allows you to change Paper Size and Print Margins (Note:  Report Templates are designed to be printed at a specific paper size with specific margins).
Prints to a PDF file.
Toggles between landscape and portrait orientations.
Note: Not all report templates have a landscape version.
  Allows you to add a label
 Allows you to add a north arrow to the print job.
 Adds a title block to the print job.
Applies a template to the print job.
Allows you to name and save a completed template for future use.
Add your own logo.


There are two ways to label your diagram:

Labeling on the diagram scene

Use the text tool on the main Drawing toolbar:

Drawing toolbar

Click on the text tool and then click on the scene where you wish the text to appear.

Next, click on the text to see all of the properties on the left. Enter desired text in the box at the top where the default “text” appears.

Text tool for Label

Labelling in Print Preview

Add Label

Once the diagram is in Print Preview you can also add some 2D objects and labels there. On the tab at the top click the Label tool.


ARAS Reality allows you to generate professional-looking reports quickly and easily. To automatically insert your logo into your reports, please visit the Preferences menu under the File menu (the Reality logo in the top left). Under Printing, you can browse to the logo you would like to use.

reality logo preference printing

Momentum Report

To print a momentum report, select the momentum tool on the diagram.

On the left hand property panel is a Print Report button. Once you click that button, you can select options for which items will be included in the report and edit the Report header. Simply click in the report header to edit the fields. Use the right and left arrows to flip through the report.

momentum report

Measurement Log Report

On the diagram select the Measurement Log for which you wish to generate the report.

On the left-hand panel, locate the option to click for the Measurement Report. Functions within the Print Preview are the same for all reports.

Measurement report

Animation Report

To generate an animation report, click on the path of any animated model. You will have to do the same for each animated model to generate reports. Once the path is selected, on the left panel will be the option to “Print Animation Report”.

animation path

Once in Print Preview the functions are the same as other reports.

Saving and Copying Preview Images and Snapshots

ARAS Reality allows you to save a snapshot image of the current view, or you can use the copy command and paste them directly into applications like Word, PowerPoint, or Outlook.

This is done from the mini menu at the top that is always displayed.

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If you require any assistance, please contact support at 1.877.814.2360 or send an email to support@aras360.com.