Here we are again with another Amped FIVE update, full of user enhancements and product refinements, designed to help you in your analysis and forensic reporting.
Before we dive in, it’s worth saying that, here at Amped we strive to provide you with the very best product for image and video analysis, and enhancement. If you want our software to do something that it doesn’t do, just let us know. Many of the new functions in this update come directly from user feedback and requests.
Genetec File Support
Genetec is the latest surveillance system manufacturer to allow integration between the export format and forensic analysis.
Currently utilizing the .G64 and .G64X file extensions, most Genetec exports can now either be reformatted using the original H264 encoding or, when this is not possible due to the export type, transcoded into .ASF to aid in initial analysis and preview.
When you load a Genetec export into Amped FIVE, either using the loader or drag and drop, the Direct Play dialogue box will appear.
After selecting ‘Yes’ to attempt conversion, ensure that ‘Copy Stream if possible, or else Transcode’ is selected in Convert DVR.
The file will then be scanned and either reformatted or transcoded if required.
There is a new configuration tab specifically for Genetec G64 and G64X files.
If the file has not required transcoding, then it will be fully analyzable in both Basic File Info, and Advanced File Info, including Full frame and GOP Analysis.
It is worth remembering that if the export format chosen does not support reformatting into MP4, and a transcode into ASF is completed, any file information will be on the transcoded format, NOT the original.
Uncompressed AVI Exports
Many users have been scratching their heads about the uncompressed ‘black video’ error, when playing back and decoding Raw Video files in software based on QuickTime, or developed by Adobe.
The issue is caused by a difference in their understanding of the Uncompressed standard.
A consequence is that users would export, or use video writer, to create a standard, uncompressed video file from within Amped FIVE and then find the following ‘black video’ when decoding this file within software such as Adobe Premiere or Photoshop. The file itself would be fine, but the software is unable to decode it.
You can stop scratching your heads now! All uncompressed video, created in Amped FIVE, is now both standard compliant (as they have always been), AND compliant with Quicktime and Adobe based video products.
If you select Jpeg as your image format, the quality selection slider and input box will be active.
If you select any other format, such as Bitmap, the quality selection slider and input box will now be grayed out as there is no quality setting possible.
This quality setting parameter will only now appear in your forensic report if Jpeg is used. When using the other formats, such as Bitmap, the quality parameter will not be documented.
Having the ability to calculate a value of differences between images is a great way of presenting that information in a way that doesn’t involve the human visual system. The Video Mixer filter has had this for some time, under the Similarity tab.
If calculated, these values are now added automatically into the report.
Filters Panel Alignment
In the View menu, under program options, you will now find a preference selection for how the Filters Panel is viewed.
This has two options.
Align on Group is the traditional way of viewing the Filters within that group. The filter list starts adjacent to the Group name.
Align on Top is the new method, where each group is repositioned to the top of the group list.
The great thing is that changing the preference does not require you to restart the software. You can change back and forth to get comfortable with both methods and see which one is best for you.
The default is now ‘Align on Top’.
If you click a Filter Group name, such as Edit, then the Filter group list will stay active and visible until you select another group or move the mouse out of that window.
Which one to use will come down to user preference and the environment you are working in. With a large monitor, with a high resolution, where your screen space is not limited, having the filters aligned on group avoids extra mouse movement. However, if working on a laptop with limited screen space, the Filter window may be smaller. Always having the Filters aligned on top may avoid having to Scroll through the Filter group.
One of the most common tests I perform when analyzing different filter results is that of interpolation. After reviewing the standard outcomes of the Resize filter, I always compare them with the result of a Smart Resize. The Smart Resize filter can often yield much better results when performing big enlargements.
Comparing the images has often been difficult due to the position of the initial interpolation points in Smart Resize. A horizontal and vertical shift would be seen.
Those people that have been trained by me may remember this effect. I have often commented on it during Amped FIVE training.
The filter has now been reconfigured to give a result consistent with other interpolation methods.
By now, many of you may have seen the recent post on measuring a person’s height using the Measure 3d filter: The Beginners Guide to Suspect Height Calculation
It really is much more than a filter. It’s a complete tool, especially when linked with other image restoration and enhancement filters.
As more and more people are now using this in their analysis, a number of you have identified issues in certain circumstances.
- The filter would not work if one set of lines were exactly parallel (very unlikely) and thus had an infinite vanishing point.
- A space entered into the reference measure input.
These have now been fixed and, whilst doing so, our team has introduced a new formula to better calculate the error estimation.
If a specific area has been chosen with a filter, the coordinates of the selection are now easier to read.
Remember that this is the selected area. To change the selected area you need to either adjust using the mouse and cursor over the image, or for a finer control use the Selector Tool.
The filters documentation has been rewritten.
Remember that to quickly preview this information, simply click the Question mark ‘Help’ icon on the filter.
When using the Selection parameter available to many filters, and detailed above, the information is passed automatically to the report in the same format.
Compatibility has also been addressed and improved with the Report. If exporting to Microsoft Word, all versions back to Word 2007 should now be fully functioning.
The seamless workflow between the analysis of video and images within Griffeye, and then the forensic investigation of individual assets within Amped FIVE has seen various improvements.
The amount of multimedia being examined during investigations is increasing dramatically. This partnership ensures that users can work on identifying what is important, and then interrogate that information without creating extra work.
If something doesn’t work in a way that you think it should, then remember – let us know! At Amped, we are constantly striving to provide you with the best product, and part of that is fixing the little issues that creep in during intensive product development. If you find a bug, let us know and it will be squished immediately!
- Milestone Client: On slow network connections, there was a bug that caused random crashes when communicating with a Milestone server. Fixed!
- Video Mixer: When the filter was selected, under certain conditions this action would cause a crash. Fixed!
To get all these latest developments you need to…
If you have an active support plan you can update to the latest version of Amped FIVE by going into the menu “Help” > “Check for Updates Online”. If you need to renew your SMS plan please contact us or one of our authorized partners.