The Report – “It speaks for itself”

The creation of the Forensic Report from within Amped FIVE may only take a few mouse clicks, but it is an extremely powerful feature.

A high percentage of Forensic Video work revolves around the analysis, the processing and the output of a new exhibit. That could be a single image, a series of images or a new video.

You may need to redact certain parts or enhance others.

As a result, it important to document that you received A, you did B, and you produced C.

When using multiple open-source, freeware or consumer tools, the documenting and reporting of all the software and processes can take a long time to complete. There are also difficulties when validating the movement of files between one piece of software and another.

A recent case involving an integrated player/video executable highlighted the ease, and speed, of report generation that is available to FIVE’s users.

Image 001aThese self-running player and video executable files are becoming more and more common. They can be a blessing in certain aspects, and a complete nightmare in others! Whenever I get a player, I immediately take a look around, assessing what information and functionality the manufacturer has afforded me. Some like to tie both your hands behind your back and then blindfold you…. Luckily, this one’s not too bad!

In order to retain information about the player, I record what I’m doing. It’s really quick, and saves you having to take individual screenshots further down the line if required. It also means that the information about the player and files is retained within your FIVE project.

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I am only using the screen capture for informative purposes only, so Mjpeg compression at 15fps is more than satisfactory.

After going through the Player, the screen recording gets loaded directly into a new chain. I have then renamed this chain as Player_Analysis.

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Renaming chains and bookmarks assists to quickly identify what each one refers to. You will see also, in the Bookmarks window, that I have created my first bookmark, at frame 0, and simply called it Player Interface.

I have created two further bookmarks from this screen capture of the player interface. I found that right clicking within the players video panel, and selecting properties, produced information that I need to understand and make reference to.

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You may notice that the info says Channel: 1. But my bookmark states C2 Channel Info – I am referring to the Camera Number, as these are displayed in the Camera tree of the player interface.

It is a handy tip to always use the same type of referencing throughout your analysis. If you state C1 referring to Channel at one point and C1 referring to a Camera at another – it could get a little confusing.

Luckily, this player had a very nice and quick, native single stream export that produced two new video files; one for each camera. These were analysed to confirm that they were stream extracts and not transcodes.

I dropped both of those into FIVE, renamed the channels and then created bookmarks on Frame 0 to show camera view. Remember, the shortcut for a Bookmark is the M key.

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On both new videos, I have added the File Info and Hash Code Filters. This will ensure that these details are placed automatically into my report a little later.

Next up, as I scrub through Camera 1, I see a person of interest. As a result, I create a bookmark and rename it. I could also add in further descriptive detail. Just right click the bookmark and then either Edit Name or Edit Description… or both!

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Now, I could do everything required within this chain. I prefer to separate up my chains, though, as quite often after initial analysis I find that multiple bookmarks have been used and I am required to perform multiple processes.

By a simple click and drag of the Video Loader, a new chain is created using the same file.

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I have renamed the chain Cam 1 – Male, I have selected the same frame as the bookmark relating to my initial analysis and then I have utilized a number of filters to create my final image.  All of the filters are seen in the History Window.

After adding in some Text, I have created a Bookmark at this point called Social Media Release.

I can then complete a similar process with the other camera view.

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I concluded with the bookmark creation and exported the enhanced number plate as a new image.

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It’s now time to wrap up. Obviously, I would have initially saved the project file early on in my process and if you have FIVE’s Project Auto-Recovery option turned on (View > Program Options), it will auto-save at every step.

I can now add in some Project properties.

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The final stage is Generating the Report.

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There are a number of options in the report format to provide flexibility. To create a stand-alone document, PDF can be used. HTML is also available if you wish to provide a full interactive disk or directory. An editable Word DOC can also be created if you wish to add in other components such as an executive summary.

My standalone PDF contains everything I entered into the Project Properties, everything I have analyzed, everything I have done, and everything I have produced. It is also segmented with PDF Bookmarks.

All the names used, in both my chains and project bookmarks, are used within the report. All the bookmarks are automatically exported and placed as images into the report.

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Every detail is included, from how the video is being decoded, to what frames have been selected.

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If a filter has been used that has a scientific journal reference, then those details are also included, after the filter parameters.

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Documenting my entire workflow has taken seconds, rather than hours.

Planning ahead and considering the Amped FIVE report, and how you wish to document your process, should be made as you start your analysis. By naming your chains, naming your bookmarks, and having a structure to your process, will help you immensely when it comes to clicking that Generate Report button.