Author Archives: David Spreadborough

The Beginner’s Guide to Suspect Height Calculation from CCTV

Otherwise known as ‘The Science of Single View Metrology’

The first common question asked to a forensic video analyst is, “Can you tell me what that license plate is?”. The second question is, “What is the height of that person?”.

It is then the forensic video analyst’s responsibility to analyze the video, assess its suitability to answer the question, process and prepare the images, and then finally use science to provide the answer, based on facts.

Taking a ‘workflow’ approach can often safeguard the user from missing vital information that may be relevant further along in the process.

There are a few different methods to attempt an answer to this height question, with different constraints, reliability, and drawbacks. In this post I will be taking an in-depth look at the technique built into Amped FIVE, using the filter Measure 3d.

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What monitor to use?

It’s a common question during training – “What Monitor to use?”

One of the many reasons why people start using software like Amped FIVE is that it installs and runs on any modern Windows PC. There is no need to have huge amounts of hardware or specific configurations. A good, stable setup will work perfectly well.

One of the key purchasing decisions though, when updating or designing a new workstation is the monitor. Some of you may remember that I briefly mentioned monitors in last year’s Advent Calendar: useful tips and tricks in Amped FIVE blog post.

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Learning & Development

I’m at Schiphol again!

For those unaware, this is the airport in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

I’m often here as I use this airport as a layover for many international flights when I can’t get one from my local airport in the UK.

This time though I have stayed here, in the Netherlands, delivering more Amped FIVE training.

It’s an easy airport to find a quiet spot to type!

I haven’t been able to blog as much as I would like over the past few months as I have been running many different training sessions and workshops. During these, I have noticed an emerging trend but never made the connection until this week.

To lay the foundations for this subject, let’s look at how a large law enforcement agency or a country made up with smaller agencies are commonly organised. I know there are many, many configurations but you should get the picture!!

First, we have a Regional Police Force.

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Understanding how online services change images

During a recent workshop on image authentication, I ran a few practical sessions. One concentrated on the changes that online services and social media platforms make to the images that we upload. It turned out to be an interesting experiment that has had some structured research over the past few years.

These are excellent starting resources when developing any internal Standard Operating Procedure:

A Classification Engine for Image Ballistics of Social Data: https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.06347

A Forensic Analysis of Images on Online Social Networks: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6132891/

Why is this important?

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Amped FIVE Update 9223: New Hikvision Loader, New Tool, New Functions

It’s a crazy busy time here at Amped Software, but that doesn’t stop development. Yes, it’s time for another update to Amped FIVE.

The craziness has meant that I have been a little quiet on here and I apologize for that. I really enjoy reaching out to you via the medium of this blog, so I do feel it when I don’t have the time to do so. Conferences, training, workshops, seminars and exhibitions—it’s fantastic that more and more people are seeing how Amped Authenticate, Amped DVRConv, and Amped FIVE can help them solve their video and image challenges.

With this latest update to Amped FIVE, more help is available today!

Let’s start things off with a big one! One that we have been working on for a while and one that shows the true power of partnerships really working…

Hikvision Video Loader

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Is that image authentic?

With digital images, people are starting to ask the question – “is it authentic?”

My first digital camera was probably around 1997/8 – that’s nearly 20 years ago! It was a Canon and stored its tiny images on a CF Card. It was pretty heavy and bulky, but a huge step up from the first Kodak prototypes of the 1970’s.

Those had to store an image onto a cassette tape!

In 1990, a few years before my first adventures into digital imaging, Adobe released Photoshop for the Mac.

Take a look at the digital photography timeline to learn more:

http://www.practicalphotographytips.com/practicalphotographytips/history-of-digital-photography.html

This little trip down memory lane has revealed that for over 25 years, people have been able to easily capture and edit digital images. We have reached a point where high-quality images can be captured quickly, edited, and then shared within a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a screen. It’s no wonder then, that during this digital generation, people have also learned how easy it is to change that picture for unlawful reasons.

You are, most likely, from within the investigative community, so you can probably think of many different reasons why someone would want to, ‘tell a different story’. A digital image can be manipulated to reinforce that story, and up until now, many people have trusted that image as being a true and accurate representation. Continue reading

Advanced File Information – A Closer Look!

In the recent Amped FIVE Update (Rev. 9010), there were some big additions to the advanced “File Info”.

The updated tool has already received high praise from regular users who can now do all their frame, stream, hex and format analysis from within the same application – Amped FIVE!

It’s time therefore to take a much closer look at this new and powerful functionality.

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Amped FIVE Update 9010 Part 2: Filter Updates and Interface Enhancements… too much for one post!

Amped FIVE Update 9010 continues…this is the second post relating to our very big Amped FIVE update launched a few days ago. In case you missed Part 1, click here.

Filter Updates

Measure 3d

When setting a reference measurement, the most common mistake is to get your line in the wrong direction! This then reverses the measure result.

Under the “Reference” tab, we have made things easy for you.

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Amped FIVE Update 9010 Part 1: Resize 1:1, Perspective Aligner, Block Difference, Frame Analysis

Many months of filter development and product expansion have resulted in a very big update to Amped FIVE!

As a result, we created two blog posts on this update. This is the first post. The second will come soon…

I have said it before, and I’ll say it to you again now… most of these development ideas have come from you, the user. If you suggest an idea, it goes onto the list. That list drives the updates. We are committed to providing you with the most advanced software for all of your needs in image and video forensics.

New Filters

Resize 1:1

Calibrating an object to a known scale is important in fingerprint, footwear mark and other analysis and comparison tasks. “Resize 1:1”, located under the “Edit” category, now enables you to use the scale shown in the image to present the image at the actual size.

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Training – We also come to you!

Many of you will have seen the recent Amped Training schedule, detailing some of the training events at our HQ in Trieste, Italy, and also at the Henderson training facility in the USA.

As we mentioned, we also come to you… and this is important in a number of ways.

Forensic Video Analysis and the enhancement of Digital Images and Video, is a relatively small sector in Forensic Science. However, the input, (the amount of product being acquired), and the output, (the amount of images and video presented as evidence), is huge.

As a result, those people doing the job are very, very busy people… but if you are one of those people – you don’t need us to tell you that!

At Amped Software, we understand this. That’s why, whenever possible – we will come to you… wherever you are!

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