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Video forensics tools reveal hidden evidence within video surveillance footage


     "All of these features are fully integrated into Adobe Premier Pro," says Grindstaff. "To use the features, the user merely captures the video segment or imports it from a digital file and places it on the timeline. They just drag the desired tool from the menu and drop it on the video. After a few adjustments, the video is enhanced."

     Ocean Systems. One video forensic solution from this company is dTective, a suite of tools that can run both inside and outside the Avid system — depending on the tools, says Doug Perkins. Included in this system (but not limited to) are:

  • dPlex Pro: Deplexes videos taken from multiple cameras. Users get each camera view broken out, allowing them to play images from just one camera, or multiple cameras simultaneously.
  • dPlex: Allows users to find one nuance that is different in very similar images, and pull images from that camera only, ensuring that they are not mixing in images from other cameras.
  • dVeloper: A frame averaging process that enhances images, eliminates background noise and so on, allowing viewers to discern things like a license plate, tattoos or jewelry, etc.
  • arithMATIC: Users can perform any sort of arithmetic function, such as adding, subtracting or multiplying. Let's say, someone has stolen six cartons of cigarettes from behind a counter, only investigators don't know this. The software compares before and after shots, determines that the cartons are missing and highlights the differences between the before and after images.
  • DVR dCoder: Designed to solve the problem of working with proprietary video. It will capture images as uncompressed TIFF or AVI file formats and allow users to decide where they want to go to read it (Avid? Photoshop? Quicktime?).

     Ocean Systems also has Clear ID 2.0, which runs off Adobe Photoshop. This is designed to perform digital image enhancement (it emulates LEVA's best practices for digital image enhancement). Clear ID will do things like pattern removal, deblur images, remove artifacts, and so on. This is not included in the dTective suite, but must be purchased separately.

     Salient Stills. VideoFOCUS Pro v3.0 (VFPro 3.0) is an upgrade to the company's flagship video forensic software, VideoFOCUS Pro. The new features are designed to enable users to process analogue and digital video from start to finish, within a single system, says Laura Teodosio, CEO. Some features include:

  • Analogue video capture: The software stores multiple hours of video for review, image creation and sharing and archiving. Once digitized, tapes can be safely stored.
  • Digital video importing and transcoding: This feature allows users to easily work with a range of file types, including AVI, MOV, WMF and ASF, and streaming video formats, as well as cell phone movies.
  • Digital video screen capture: Users can capture video data directly from proprietary DVR movies then play on screen.
  • Quick scan and search: This feature allows users to quickly review and mark areas of interest in a long video sequence.

     The software also offers demultiplexing capabilities; drag and zoom for stills and video, for better inspection of small areas; new filters for clearer imagery; extended filtering of single images and entire videos, including tracked areas, so users can easily perform operations like histogram equalization, levels and color space adjustments, sharpen blur and video stabilization; and editing tools that allow users to cut, copy and paste, seamlessly composing new videos. Additionally, VFPro 3.0 maintains a complete record of the operations performed, creating an audit trail.

     VFPro 3.0 runs off a standard PC or laptop and doesn't require proprietary hardware, says Teodosio.

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