Orange County Branch Newsletter

March 2015


Using 3D-Hybrid Animation of XPSWMM Results as a Tool to Educate Stakeholders and Communities on Flood Hazards

By: Isamar Escobar

At the Orange County Branch EWRI February Luncheon, speakers Tom Ryan, P.E. and Mujahid Chandoo, P.E. of Michael Baker International jointly presented the use of 3D animation to convey advanced hydraulic modeling results. Two case studies were used as examples to verify the use of 3D animation. The first case study in the City of Redlands combined 1D and 2D XPSWMM models to convey 1.3 miles of urban area. The second case study of the World Trade Center in New York consisted of a 2D XPSWMM model for the surface and a 1D XPSWMM model for six levels of subsurface infrastructure. In both studies, the use of the 1D and 2D models provided all the necessary results to determine an engineering solution. However, providing the results to the client and public in a way they could understand proved to be the challenge for this project. This is where the use of 3D animation was introduced.

City of Redlands, California Case Study
World Trade Center, NY Case Study

In trying to convey results to financial decision makers or project Stakeholders, whom may not have any engineering background, 3D animation has proven to be more powerful than traditional methods such as 2D plots and graphics. 3D animation combines the 1D node and link models and the 2D surface models to produce a more visually appealing dynamic model. In both case studies, the use of 3D animation helped in convincing the public and various stakeholders to move forward with the projects.

With the growing technologies, the topic of 3D animation and modeling is becoming more important and necessary in Civil Engineering and all areas related to it. This particular presentation was successful in exposing various representatives from both public and private sectors in engineering, landscape, architecture, and planning to the power and effectiveness of 3D animation in conveying results to the general public.

Mr. Ryan presented on the use of 3D-Hybrid Animation with XPSWMM at the Floodplain Management Association (FMA) Annual Conference in 2014. This June, both he and Mr. Chandoo will be presenting at the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on the same topic.

Presenters Mujahid Chandoo, PE and Tom Ryan, PE - Michael Baker International