Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Forensic Artists and Video Forensics Team Up

"We are all familiar with surveillance cameras and the role they play in solving crimes such as robbery, but all too often, video images are unclear. The poor quality of these images can be due to any number of issues, including cameras that are:
  • Not working properly
  • Pointed at an angle that makes it impossible to view a suspect’s face
  • Out of focus, causing blurry or fuzzy images
  • Set with bad lighting, causing shadows
  • Poor quality
One would think that the performance of these cameras would be tested upon installation, but that is often not the case. Excuses range from saving money by not testing to assuming the installers have run a preliminary test strip. Despite the money spent on equipment and installation, video cameras often fail to perform as expected.

Within the last decade, video enhancement tools have become very helpful for those investigating certain types of crime. Several companies offer sophisticated tools to enhance video, but sometimes a forensic artist can be used to produce the ‘enhancement.’ Forensic artists can view a film and try to produce a composite drawing that can potentially produce more leads on a case."

To read more, check out this very interesting article from Barbara A. Martin Bailey at Forensic Magazine. Their web site offers a ton of useful information, like this article on Ethics and this feature on Civilian Crime Scene workers.. Forensic Magazine even offers a free print subscription.


Getmovin said...

What forensic software is available for Mac users.

Jim Hoerricks said...

Just about all of the plug-ins described in this blog are available for mac. Photoshop, of course, is available for mac - myself being a mac user. On the capture side, you have many options as well. Actually, I think that there are more options available to mac users than there are for PC.