Welcome, dear friends! During the lockdown, it may sometimes feel that all days of the week are the same… and so here we are, with our tip, to remind you that today is Tuesday! Today we’re sharing a tip for Amped Replay, which comes in very handy when you’re dealing with challenging videos. Keep reading to discover more!
If you have some experience with CCTV videos, then you know how bad their quality can be, even when you’re working on original pixels from the DVR. Sometimes things get even worse, for example when the only piece of evidence available is a very deteriorated version of the original, like in the example below:
I can almost see the horrified reaction that you had. But such a situation is not so uncommon: a shop owner, which is not a video expert, may easily decide to “save” a piece of video by playing it on their computer’s display and recording the display with a smartphone. And if the original recording is no longer available, that’s all you have.
Let’s zoom in (scrolling with the mouse, or clicking on the magnifier icon, or pressing CTRL and +) to take a close look:
Quite scary, isn’t it? But if we move frame by frame, we notice that they’re not all the same: some frames are clearly messed up, while others are slightly better, as shown below.
In cases like this, it is not uncommon that part of the object of interest (e.g., part of the license plate) becomes more visible in a frame, while another part becomes visible in a different frame. Amped Replay offers you an extremely easy way to collect useful frames and export them, that is bookmarks!
When you find an interesting frame, you can bookmark it by hitting the “M” key, or by clicking on the Add Bookmark button in Replay’s player bar:
As you can see in the image above, bookmarked frames are marked with a white vertical bar in the player, just to let you know there’s something interesting there. Actually, Amped Replay’s player bar dedicates several buttons to bookmarks:
So, let’s try and see what we can get with our video. We first use Crop to take the relevant part (i.e., the license plate) and apply a slight correction to brightness and contrast with the Light filter:
If you look just above the player bar, you’ll notice a “400%” writing in red. Amped Replay is telling us that we’re looking at enlarged pixels (four times their real size). This is OK for previewing, but we should consider using the Resize filter to obtain an interpolated version which can often improve readability. Moreover, the Sharpen tool also provides some benefits.
The frame above is pretty nice (considering what we started with), so we bookmark it and we proceed to the next ones. Every time we find a good one, we bookmark it. This process is very fast if you use keyboard shortcuts: hit “J” and “L” to move backward/forward, and “M” to add bookmarks.
After just one minute, we’ve identified five frames where the license plate is more visible. Now we can head to the Export tab and export all bookmarked images with a single click using the Export Bookmarks button. Moreover, bookmarked frames will be automatically included in the report generated by Amped Replay.
And that’s it! With Amped Replay’s bookmarks, you can rapidly triage frames and mark only the relevant ones, so you can focus your attention and help your colleagues get straight to the important information.
That’s all for today! We hope you’ve found this issue of the Video Evidence Pitfalls series interesting and useful! Stay tuned and don’t miss the next ones. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook: we’ll post a link to every new Tip Tuesday so you won’t miss any!