Dear Amped friends, welcome to this week’s tip! Another release of Amped FIVE has just been published, and we want to take this opportunity to make a special Tip Tuesday: with some examples, we’ll show you why you should keep your Amped products updated! We’ll do it in a comparative fashion, showing the best you could achieve with an older version vs what you can get with the latest releases. Keep reading, you’ll have fun!
Amped FIVE, Amped’s flagship product improves so much with every release that it would take pages to show all the benefits you get with each update. To keep things easy, we’ll use one simple case and focus on a filter introduced not too long ago, Perspective Super Resolution. We’re given this video where the back of a car is recorded for a few seconds by a running individual (click on the link to download the file)
A bit of zoom helps to realize how low the resolution is of the license plate (and we’re showing the best frame):
This is a case where we need a boost in resolution. Now, let’s see what we could obtain using Amped FIVE prior to the release of the Perspective Super Resolution filter. We could have used the Super Resolution filter (which of course is still available today). The video moves a lot, so we’d help by adding a Local Stabilization before, but still, this is what we obtain:
Better than the original, but not very useful. The reason is that the change in perspective is very strong, so the tracking system of the algorithm struggles to align pixels properly, thus leading to a blurred reconstruction. That motivated Amped engineers to develop the Perspective Registration and Perspective Super Resolution filters. Applied to this case, they produce this result:
Of course, it’s not crystal-clear, but we can read several of the characters now, and make a good guess about some others. Remember we started with a license plate that was 5 pixels high! Time for a side-by-side comparison (credits to the Video Mixer filter):
The image above speaks for itself: don’t miss the benefits of new software updates!
Amped Authenticate also advances quite fast. The Smart Report, the improvements to the PRNU Identification filter, and the introduction of the JPEG Dimples filter are all pretty recent. The latter filter we’ve mentioned is a good one for the sake of this tip. The “JPEG Dimples” artifact was discovered and presented to the scientific community in late 2017. A few months later, it was made available as part of Amped Authenticate. It turns out that this filter can reveal forgeries that were not detected before, like the following one (which is available in your local Samples folder, that you can open from the Help menu):
After being forged, this image was saved as a PNG file, so many of the powerful tools dedicated to JPEG images won’t work here. Analyzing this image was quite hard with older versions of Authenticate. You could get some useful hints with the Correlation Map filter, but that required quite a lot of interpretation and still left you with some doubts about which guy was pasted in, or if the picturesque image background was authentic.
Now, the JPEG Dimples filter doesn’t care about the current format of the image… and here, it works pretty well.
The JPEG Dimples artifact is found consistently everywhere in the image, with the exception of the guy on the left, so there’s virtually no doubt at all: he’s the one pasted in, and the rest of the picture can be positively marked as authentic (including the background).
With the impressive pace at which new image processing algorithms evolve, it’s fundamental for us to keep updating Authenticate… and for you, to make sure you get the updates!
Despite being rather new, also Amped Replay has evolved a lot! Here the easiest example is given by annotation tracking: when it was released, Replay allowed to place an annotation (e.g., pixelate one subject, or zoom in over a region) and keep it for multiple frames, but statically so. Instead, newer versions allow your annotations to track the annotated objects through several frames, just by dragging the mouse.
That means being able to hide a subject’s face as he’s walking:
And it also means you can zoom in over a moving object, just as easily:
With its ability to convert huge amounts of videos in batch, Amped DVRConv can save you a lot of time. The most important thing you get when you update is support for more and more proprietary video formats. Release after release, Amped has been constantly increasing the number of supported video formats, sometimes adding more than 10 new formats in a single shot, reaching hundreds of them (for the full list, see the Supported Format table, available in the program’s Help menu).
The comparison here is very easy: there are videos that you couldn’t convert with older versions, but they are easily converted now. And there’s more than that: recently we’ve added the possibility to split converted files in chunks of custom size, as well as the possibility to concatenate output files into a single one, and the possibility for an administrator to lock settings (to avoid accidental modifications by the users).
That’s not all, folks!
We’ve been providing just a few examples to show the impact of updates. You can get a better feeling of how Amped products grow in time by clicking on the Help menu, then choose About and click on the “Changes History” button. You’ll be impressed! So this week’s tip is: don’t delay, update today! Video and image forensics is already difficult, make sure you have the best tools to tackle the challenge.
If you have an active support plan you can update straight away by going into the menu About > Check for Updates within your Amped product. If you need to renew your SMS plan, please contact us or one of our authorized partners. And remember that you can always manage your license and requests from the customer support portal.
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 so you won’t miss any!