One of the activities we perform daily at Primeau Forensics is Forensic Video Enhancement. Video enhancement is one of our most requested forensic services.
Forensic video enhancement can help litigators understand events that have been recorded on video but are difficult to see because of movement or shaky cameras, the subjects distance from the camera or video is too dark. During the Boston bombings for example, CCTV cameras outside retail stores helped the FBI capture the terrorists who were responsible.
Some of the reasons video needs forensic enhancement is because too often cameras are not properly maintained. This is a huge problem that is not noticed until after the crime has been committed. Or, worse yet, the cameras are not installed or positioned properly.
In the following blog post I will provide you with a few particular tips when performing forensic video enhancement.
• Original Video- Always begin with the original video recording. If you have to export an AVI file to provide to police, keep a backup on thumb drive for insurance. If you have is a copy on DVD and not the original, then load the DVD copy of the video directly into your computer for forensic video enhancement.
• Computer Software- Use professional forensic software program to enhance like Adobe Premiere Pro and Clear ID. Primeau Forensics uses these as well as Adobe Photo Shop to enhance images exported from the video for forensic video enhancement. Remember, you can also export frames as still images to identify activity and other video components.
• Color Correction- Perform a color correction process first before performing any other forensic enhancement process. This is especially important if your video recording is dark and or was recorded at night. Be careful not to add too much brightness.
• Enlargement- If you need to enlarge a portion of the recorded video viewing area, apply after you review the footage on a large video monitor. At Primeau Forensics we use minimum 27” professional video monitors. Remember, the larger the playback monitor, the better you can see events in the video and the less you need to enlarge your video as an enhancement step. This is even more important in the courtroom.
• Equipment- If the recording system that made the recording you wish to enhance, before contacting a video forensic expert, learn the type of equipment that made the video you are enhancing. Often times a poor CCTV video export may be to blame for the poor video quality.
Forensic video enhancement is an art as well as a science. It is important to understand that you should use different filtering to get different results. Always begin with the largest file size and structure as close to original digital video recording as possible.
Before buying forensic video enhancement software, download a trial version and determine if you are comfortable using the software or would rather contact a video forensic expert to perform your forensic video enhancement.