Watch this video to see what we added to the latest version of Amped FIVE (Update 12727) that includes Timeline, Multiview, HEIC support and more!
We’re here with another update for Amped DVRConv, one of the fastest ways to cleanly convert multiple video files.
Amped DVRConv remains one of the top go-to tools for practitioners who need to convert video quickly, cleanly and easily. It’s my first choice when I have a large amount of video files that I need playable – I simply drag and drop my files into Amped DVRConv and it does the work for me in the background, while I am free to work on other processing!
It’s also great if you are out in the field and need to convert video on the go, ready for when you return to the lab for input into Amped FIVE or to pass onto colleagues or other agencies. The great thing is, the original files are always preserved and log files created with each conversion, meaning your original video evidence is always kept secure.
We know how many different standard and proprietary video formats are out there and how frustrating it can be to come across a new format that you just can’t seem to do anything with.
For this reason, we are constantly working to add support for more formats that you send to us and in this update, we’ve done just that!
With the new year comes a new update to Amped FIVE with some exciting new features and a couple of brand new filters!
If one of your regular tasks is producing video for presentation purposes, you’ll be excited to know that there is now the option in Amped FIVE to combine multiple video chains together in our new Timeline filter, found under the Link group of filters.
The festive season is right around the corner and this is one of our busiest times of the year! Despite this, we’re here with another update to Amped Authenticate just in time for the holidays!
While we’ve included the ability to generate batch processing reports for a while, we’re now introducing an exciting new reporting method designed to make it quicker and easier to report relevant filters.
Yes, you heard correctly – we’re here with yet another update! We’ve added some highly sought-after features to Amped DVRConv, the fastest and easiest way to convert proprietary video formats.
Settings Lock Down Option
Sometimes system administrators need to lock down the settings of Amped DVRConv in order to avoid having users modify the settings accidentally, which could disrupt the workflow of the lab; for example setting a conversion to transcode instead of stream copy. Now it is possible to protect these settings, allowing only system administrators to modify them!
In our latest update to Amped FIVE, you’ll find two new filters that work together to stabilize and enhance video with an object that has some change in perspective as it moves: Perspective Stabilization and Perspective Super Resolution.
Let’s take a look at how they work!
You can also watch the two filters in action in our latest video found here:
The festive season is on its way, but Team Amped are here with an early gift! We have another update to Amped FIVE and this time it’s huge!
Perspective Stabilization and Perspective Super Resolution
We’ve now created two new filters that work together to stabilize and enhance video that includes an object with a change in perspective as it moves. The most common scenario for this is the need to enhance the license plate of a moving car filmed by a static CCTV. While it has been possible to correct perspective issues since early versions of Amped FIVE using Perspective Registration, this could often be very time consuming and not always easy. With the Perspective Stabilization this step has now been basically automated. Of course, Perspective Registration is still there for you for the extra-difficult cases and for manual selection.
We’ve dedicated an entire post to Perspective Stabilization and Perspective Super Resolution which will be published in the next few days.
Another new filter! Replace Channel replaces one color channel with another. It’s found under the Channels filter set.
Replace Channel converts the image into another selected color space and replaces one of the channels with another. Let’s take this image, for instance:
We’ve released another update for Amped DVRConv, one of the fastest ways to cleanly convert video. It is also the simplest; a clean installation tool that allows anyone who works with digital video to drag and drop proprietary video evidence in order to achieve a standard playable file – cutting out the hours, or even days, it takes to locate a proprietary player. Drag and drop – it’s that easy! With DVRConv, alongside Amped FIVE and Amped Authenticate, your workflow from scene to laboratory is completely covered and together they provide great weapons in your forensic video and image analysis arsenal!
Let’s say you regularly process video evidence and, like a lot of technicians and analysts, you are tasked with retrieving video from a scene at a location other than your lab or office. Retrieving CCTV from DVRs at scene can often be laborious, fraught with difficulty and a lot of the time the scenes are a fair distance away from your usual office. One of the most important steps during the recovery of CCTV evidence is checking to see if the download has been successful, which means playback of what is more likely to be proprietary video at scene using only a laptop and your recovery tools.
Saving time at a video recovery scene is crucial and it’s a nightmare having to trawl through hundreds of proprietary players, some of which won’t work on your current operating system or might have different versions of the same type of player. The conversion engine in Amped FIVE would be ideal, but you want something more portable to add to the tools on your retrieval laptop. This is where DVRConv steps in to quickly convert and playback your downloaded files in an easily customisable and cleanly installed package!
Utilising exactly the same conversion engine as FIVE but with twice the portability, you can not only playback and confirm your video files at scene, but have them ready for clarification and enhancement in FIVE for when you return to the office or lab. Logs are provided for disclosure and the original files are left untouched, maintaining the continuity of your video evidence from the beginning.
Not long has passed since the release of Amped Authenticate 10641 but… yes, the next one is already out! Amped Authenticate 11362 is now released with a lot of improvements, including two new filters based on JPEG Dimples, one of the last discoveries of the image forensics scientific community!
Despite many attempts to send JPEG into retirement, today the vast majority of digital images still use it. Amped Authenticate users know that traces left by JPEG compression are a superb asset when it comes to investigating the digital history of an image, as witnessed by the vast JPEG-based toolkit that Authenticate provides: quantization table analysis, JPEG ghosts, inconsistencies in blocking artifacts, double quantization traces in the DCT coefficients, and more.
But JPEG is still full of new surprises nowadays! A few months ago, while Amped was attending (and sponsoring!) the IEEE 2017 International Workshop on Information Forensics and Security (WIFS 2017), a new footprint was presented to the scientific community: JPEG Dimples (click here to see the original work Photo forensics from JPEG dimples by Shruti Agarwal and Prof. Hany Farid).
JPEG Dimples manifest themselves as a grid of slightly brighter/darker pixels, spaced by 8 pixels in each dimension. Like most image forensic fingerprints, even JPEG Dimples are hardly visible by the human eye, but they can be easily detected with a proper algorithm.
But why does this grid appear? And why is it important for our analysis? We’ll answer these questions in detail in a future blog post, however the reason behind JPEG Dimples is rather simple: during the DCT coefficients quantization phase, different operators exist to approximate decimal values to integer values: the round operator (which approximates the decimal number to the nearest integer) the floor operator (approximation to the nearest smaller integer) or the ceil operator (approximation to the nearest bigger integer). The table below shows the difference in approximating a Value (first column) to an integer using round, floor and ceil.
Obviously, using floor tends to produce smaller values in the 8-by-8 DCT block than using round, and the opposite with ceil. And when we go back to the pixel domain, this leads to a slightly darker or brighter pixel on the top-left corner of the pixel block (see example below)! Measuring the presence of this grid will tell us to which degree an image contains the JPEG Dimples footprint.
Now you may be wondering “well, how many cameras will ever be using floor or ceil in place of the more classical round?” Not so few, actually. According to the work presented at WIFS 2017, more than 60% of tested cameras do introduce Dimples. We also carried out an internal evaluation on Amped datasets and numbers were less upsetting, still, we found Dimples in roughly 30% of tested cameras. A footprint with such a spread could not be missing in Amped Authenticate, and so here we are. Continue reading
Whilst it’s been a busy time for us here at Amped with the demand for training higher than ever, we have made sure our development is continuous and we’re here again with another huge update for Amped FIVE.
A Completely Revamped Conversion Engine
As you will know, one of the biggest struggles within the world of CCTV and video analysis is the ever-increasing number of proprietary formats. Our support and development team are constantly receiving requests for new format support and in our latest update, we have enabled conversion support for BVR, DVS, H64, PSF and SHV formats, along with some variations of other formats already supported in previous versions.
All these formats are multiplexed streams. This is when a manufacturer has placed all camera footage into a single time-based video stream.
The latest FIVE not only converts the files straight away, but demultiplexes each video stream, splitting them into their own individual chains within the software. Under the Convert DVR Advanced tab you will find the options to enable this time-saving function.
Files to Convert > All, one chain per file.
No more mixed streams, no more time wasted writing carving scripts. A few clicks will now save you hours!
Multiplexed single stream decoding is huge, so expect a dedicated blog post in the next few weeks looking more deeply into decoding files of this type.
But the new conversion engine does not stop there! There are a lot of benefits even on single stream video files. Standard conversion done with vanilla FFmpeg is often not enough – there may be the risk of losing video frames because of wrongly interpreted proprietary metadata. Our new engine not only cleans almost every proprietary video format, being in MPEG4, H263, H264 and H265, but for many of them also recovers the proprietary timestamp. We found more than 50 different variations of timestamp formats!