The objective of Forensic Video Enhancement is to clarify or enhance the events as they occurred. This is done using non destructive techniques to preserve the video evidence integrity, and pixel quality. Clarifying or enhancing the events as they occurred assists the trier of fact to weigh the video evidence and its relevance to the litigation. As a video forensic expert, I am often asked to enhance CCTV Surveillance video recordings for court. Often times i am also asked to provide video image enhancement as well for identification purposes. I use various software programs and video enhancement tools to help me enhance or clarify (clarify is a much better word use in the courtroom) the desired video images so that identification is possible. We create customized filtering to sharpen the video image and remove video noise for identification and enhancement of the images in the CCTV Surveillance video.
Forensic Video Enhancement Techniques:
A variety of video enhancement techniques can be applied in different arrangements on CCTV Surveillance video evidence. The most important ingredient to this forensic process is maintaining the highest quality of the video evidence. This yields the highest success possible throughout the investigation. If the analog video or digital video file has undergone additional compression, this video evidence will be limited to the enhancement possibilities.
- Scaling/Pixel Interpolation: Re-size, or scale an image or video to a larger resolution to further identify suspects.
- Sharpening: Enhances the edge contrast of an image or video.
- Warp Stabilization: This is most common today with smart phone video evidence. Reduces the amount of movement from the user that created the video evidence.
- Shadow & Highlight Adjustments (Exposure): Reveals subtle detail in the shadow and/or highlight areas of your images.
- Frame Averaging: Increase the quality of the image by combining data from surrounding frames as well as a better signal to noise ratio (SNR) in your images or videos.
- Speed Reduction: Decrease the original playback of video evidence to view the events as they occurred in more detail.
Enhanced Video Playback:
When a video recording has been professionally enhanced by a video forensic expert, it is important to strategically identify how the video will be viewed in court. When viewing the enhanced video recording, it is best to play the video back using the best technology to show the video as clearly as possible. Secondly, accommodate the speed of the process as best as possible. Some courts like the Federal Court in Boston have more advanced systems where our work product is entered into digitally. If a court does not have this kind of technology, I arrange for a data projector, a large screen monitor, or a video monitor to play the CCTV Surveillance video in the courtroom using a laptop computer with the appropriate software. This type of set-up gives me the ability to play the video quickly with features such as slow motion, frame by frame analysis, and zooming capabilities. We never want to cause a delay in the court proceeding due to technical difficulties.
If you have a video that you question or need help understanding, please give me a call for a pro bono conversation. I apply my forensic expertise to cases in the United States and many countries around the globe. Any and all formats of audio and video accepted. Retainer agreement available on request; travel expenses will be quoted in advance excluding meal expenses and flat rate time for travel instead of hourly.