Posted on Feb. 9, 2021 by EmilyHatch

As an instructor, have you seen local environments of high crime that would make for a beneficial training scene? With VirTra’s V-Author® program, this can be easily accomplished.

In a nutshell, V-Author is an easy-to-use scenario creation tool that is capable of creating virtually unlimited custom image-based scenarios, skill drills, targeting exercises and firearms training.

Working V-Author

To begin, users can pull an image from the provided background library of specific, real-world environments or upload their own. Instructors can take panoramic photographs of local high-risk locations, scenes of previous judgmental use of force incidents or other locations around town and convert these images into a simulation-ready background through V-Author.

After selecting the background, instructors can drag-and-drop pre-filmed characters onto the environment. This is where VirTra’s technology takes police training to the next level: character assets come programmed with a variety of behaviors and reactions that instructors can program to be triggered by events initiated by the trainee. Characters can also react to each other, scene events or even instructor-driven commands in arbitrarily complex ways. This allows for a virtually unlimited set of potential scenarios, all crafted around the trainer’s need and preference.

Further Customizing Training

However, the training does not stop there. In V-Author, every character is independent and instructors can reuse them in new scenarios or modify their current behavior for a new outcome within the current, existing training scenario. As such, law enforcement trainees can learn from, communicate with and participate in scenarios that are ever-shifting. Training after this manner gives instructors the freedom to create the exact training situations needed by their department, rather than being confined to a limited list of scenarios that other training simulator companies offer.

Remember how we mentioned each character is independent? In addition to having a variety of behaviors, characters are programmed to provide separate reactions based on the hit zone location and weapon type fired by the trainee. For example, characters will respond appropriately for TASER, OC and gas reactions, then have an entirely different reaction for a shot to the limb. To further the realism, projectiles can be defined with animation effects such as TASER probe wires unfurling when fired, or gas clouds on impact of a gas grenade.

Debriefing in V-Author

Just like with all VirTra scenarios, in V-Author, debrief is completed through VOS. This allows the instructor to play the situation back at different speeds, scrub the timeline forward or backward, show the placement of shots fired and more. As a training bonus, instructors can save sessions to playback as a training tool at a later time.

This article only covers the beginnings of V-Author. This powerful training tool allows the instructor to design a training regime around local environments and department-specific training needs. For more information, watch our in-depth YouTube video or contact a VirTra Specialist.

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