Photo-simulations proved to be the best medium for accurate evaluation and for confident presentation to public. Many factors would potentially affect this location. DMU and EMU vehicles have different height profiles; EMU have the additional hardware of a catenary system adding to the visual, DMU are louder and the noise source higher on the vehicle, which translates to taller sound barriers if barriers are required.
A major visual factor was introduced by the existing landscaping along the backs of many of the residential properties. Deciduous trees at summer are tremendous view blocks but in winter they are not.
Poitra Visual's illustrations of bridges, catenary systems, additional railroad track and sound walls reassured the public that this new transit service could be an attractive addition to their communities.”
K.P., P.E. URS Corp
North Metro Project Manager
The simulation would need to reflect all of these variations including images with and without walls and with and without the POITRA model transit vehicles to show how the momentary presence of the vehicles affects the view impact.
POITRA survey photographs were made with the trees devoid of leaves to illustrate the maximum view impact. From a standpoint of creating a high quality and accurate visual simulation this presented the most difficulty. All of our new corridor elements needed to be visible through masses of bare branches making preparation of the photograph very work intensive.
POITRA artists prepared the base photograph to recieve the elements of the proposed corridor using traditional digital painting techniques. This included separating foreground elements such as the houses, trees and fences from the background material.
POITRA created a 3D model that included EMU and DMU sized sound barriers, the EMU catenary system and both types of vehicles. The model was camera matched, lighted, rendered and composited with the base photograph in numerous different combinations to cover all the possible conditions.
The finished simulations were used in meetings with Fastracks public stakeholders, on the project website, in newsletters and in the EIS document.