Author Archives: David Spreadborough

The Moire Effect

I have written about this effect, and its most common cause in CCTV, many times but I think it’s necessary to take a closer look.

To start with, this is a great little video showing the effect in action….

The two pieces of mesh have the same grid pattern. As the top piece is moved, a pattern appears. This is the Moire.

I see this daily in CCTV Images that have been obtained by taking either a single image, or a video, directly from a television or monitor screen.

OK, sometimes this is required. The immediate publication of some form of imagery is often an ideal way to obtain recognition intelligence at an early stage. Especially  if the native, evidential acquisition of the visual material would delay this process.

The evidence can be recovered correctly later, and further images publicized at a later time.

Let’s now look at this image loaded into Amped FIVEImage 4 Continue reading

Chains & Filters – Using the Copy/Paste

Doing the same thing to a number of files is as simple as Copy & Paste!

It’s a simple function, but one that can dramatically speed up the processing of files in Amped FIVE. It also ensures that any configurable settings are ‘copied’ exactly. No need to write down or screenshot settings – just copy the filter!

In this example, I have three .dav files that I need to process. After dragging the first one into FIVE, the Direct Play dialogue box appears. As these are proprietary streams, they need preparing first as they have no header or index.

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Amped Training Review

It’s been a busy 6 Months!

Receiving dedicated training in our software is one of the first things that new purchasers put in place. Very often, this is taken into consideration when making the initial order.

The simplicity of installation, management and updating makes the Amped Software portfolio of products an easy solution to the challenge of Multimedia Forensics. On a personal level, it gives me so much enjoyment to help new users get to grips with the software and watch their early first steps.

Amped FIVE Training in South Africa

Amped FIVE Training in South Africa

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F3 One Day Workshop – Forensic Video Analysis

F3

On the 27th July F3 are hosting one of their annual UK workshops, this time, dedicated to Forensic Video Analysis.

The workshop will be conducted by me, David Spreadborough, the International Trainer here at Amped Software.

I will be covering topics such as:

  • Video Surveillance Systems, Storage, and Evidential Acquisition
  • Multimedia Analysis
  • Multimedia processing
  • Image and Video Enhancement

It is at the Dunchurch Park Hotel & Conference Centre, Warwickshire, UK

For more information, contact the F3 Secretary Lindy Sheppard by using the Contact Page HERE.

Amped FIVE Update 8222 – Adjustment Filters, Program Options and Much, Much More!

It’s Amped FIVE update time again!

With so much to get through, let’s start with some new and exciting filters. Not one, not two….. but six new filters in the Adjust Category. Yes – Six new filters designed specifically to restore color or illumination to an image, and improving those taken with High Dynamic Range.

Parametric Curves

This filter gives you very precise control over the four portions of the luminance range. As you adjust the sliders, the curve will move accordingly, and a shaded area will appear in the Curve graphic. This will show you the maximum or minimum adjustment available.

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Before – After

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Understanding Differences

Using the differences between images is a powerful technique to assist in processing and analysis within Amped FIVE.

There are many ways that the differences in images can be used. The first one, and probably the most common, is to remove duplicates. Understanding how the Remove Duplicates filter works is important, as it opens up other possibilities that may not be immediately obvious!

Here we have a pretty standard looking H264 Video inside the .mp4 container. Once loaded, certain information starts to raise questions.

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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.

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Using a Virtual Machine for Controlled Codec Installations

Sometimes you just have to install a proprietary codec.

It is something that we try to avoid, but the installation of a proprietary codec is sometimes the only way to play a video. Luckily these cases are reducing, as more and more manufacturers understand the importance of true integration, and use standards within their video infrastructure.

Amped FIVE’s powerful Video Engine Manager assists greatly here as you can chose either the in-built video decoding engines, or utilize others installed on your system such as Directshow or Video For Windows. Even QuickTime can be used, but let’s not go too deep into that one at the moment as using QT in Windows has hit a bit of a sticking point!

When does a codec need to be installed? Well, it all starts with your video file, and when you drop it into FIVE, you may see something like this…

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As regular readers and users of FIVE will know, after clicking YES, the Convert DVR box will appear, and you can attempt to re-wrap or transcode the video file to support playback. In this case, though, no decoding is possible.

At this point then we need to understand a little more about the file.

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Amped FIVE Walkthrough Video – The Information

Our collection of introductory videos on Amped FIVE continues to grow with the latest offering detailing ‘The Information’.

Images and Video often contain a wealth of useful metadata, that can assist in establishing a correct process path.

Understanding where all the data is held, and how it is presented, can provide Forensic Video Technicians and Analysts with powerful information to avoid mistakes in interpretation.

If you have not visited the YouTube Channel yet, or missed out on the other walkthrough videos, please go take a look when you have a few minutes…

All of these videos will form part of an ‘Introduction’ playlist. We have a few more in the pipeline so remember to subscribe to the blog, and you will be notified straight away when the next one is ready.

Amped FIVE Update 8006 – Filter Search, Case Notes and Much More

We never stand still here at Amped!

The latest update for Amped FIVE (8006) is now available to download.

I keep on saying this, but many of the updates have come directly from user suggestions. We listen to you and then put your suggestions to the test! If all goes well, then your help goes to benefit everyone. Some other points that we take seriously here at Amped are keystrokes, mouse clicks, and mouse movement. If we can find a way to reduce these then we do so… and you will see a few examples in this update.


Interface Improvements

Sometimes, finding that filter can be tricky if you can’t remember what category it’s in. We now have a Quick Search bar within the Filters Window. Start typing the name of the filter and the suggestions will be listed alphabetically.

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Case Notes, information, or any text relating to your investigation can now be entered directly into the Notes Interface.

Notes

This window can be activated by using the Menu, View > Notes. Continue reading