You may be aware that Phase One manufactures hardware for the industrial segment, specifically for Aerial photography and the Cultural Heritage segments.
Our software department has been inspired by this and developed new tools in Capture One Pro 7 to specifically deal with forensic applications, in cooperation with the top scientists within Forensic Science.
We have used our expertise in RAW conversion to go one stage further in pulling out detail from images, even those that aren’t visible to the naked eye, or on the image itself.
Therefore we are proud to present Forensic+!
What is Forensic+?
Forensic+ is new technology developed by the Image Quality and Algorithms team at Phase One.
We have had many requests from certain intelligence agencies and criminal investigation agencies around the world who have seen examples on popular crime television series, to bring such features to ‘real life’. Forensic+ will help you to discover unseen detail in images with the eventual goal of solving that all-important case!
“We really wanted to turn our expertise to aid those at the forefront of forensic technology. I am pleased to say we have achieved this with Forensic+. The results are truly unbelievable!” – Olaf Pilor, head of Image Quality and Algorithms team at Phase One.
The new tools in Forensic+ are:
Pixel Amplify, Reflection Enhance and Uncrop Image. Pixel Amplify and Reflection Enhance are found in the new Forensic+ tool tab.
Uncrop image is a an additional feature to the cursor tool.
Using a combination of these tools will liberate extra information from any scene, thus expediting the crime investigation process.
Below is a scene with a number of unseen details that will be aided by the use of Forensic+.
First we can use Uncrop Image to liberate additional areas of the image. The advanced algorithms in Forensic+ are a business secret, but Olaf reveals that uncropping an image is possible due to the fact that most cameras can actually capture more pixels than advertised, normally displaying a cropped image. This is standard practice by manufacturers to cut costs by only ever producing one sensor and simply limiting the properties by changing the firmware on camera models.
Olaf and his team have managed to extract the additional captured information and reveal extra data present in image captures.
For example, if we use Uncrop Image in this case, we can see a huge area of previously hidden image data.
By revealing this, we can then go onto exercise the remaining tools of Forensic+. In this particular scene the white car to the upper right of the picture was suspected to be stolen and involved in a more serious crime. The details of the crime are held hidden for the benefit of the affected families.
Using Pixel Amplify we can easily enhance the pixel structure to make sense of the licence plate.
Use the Amount slider to control the strength of the amplification. Carefully adjust the Radius, depending on how much detail there is in the image. Low-resolution images will need a greater radius to sample a wider range of pixels.
With careful use of Pixel Amplify we can liberate the following detail. (Please note the result has been partially blurred to protect the involved parties).
The jewel in the crown
Reflection Enhance is really the jewel in the crown of the new Forensic+ features. Quite often crucial forensic detail can be hidden in many reflections present in an image.
“With our expertise in lens design and knowledge of optical behaviour and refraction we can build these seemingly completely useless elements of the image into useable forensic material.” Olaf Pilor says.
Again, in the same image, it was believed a possible perpetrator in the related case was also photographed but the person’s face wasn’t visible.
Reflection Enhance here can easily rebuild the various light paths to reconstruct the face of the criminal. Start by using the simple select pointer to pick both elements in the image. i.e. the actual body and then the reflection.
In the Reflection Enhance Tool, our Angle would be set to ‘0’ as the reflection and actual object is at the same vertical level. Moving the Aspect slider allows us to virtually rotate around the reconstructed object. We can also use the ‘Flip’ Tool‘ to flip the image in the horizontal or vertical perspective.
In this case, careful use of the tool creates a variant containing the reconstructed object.
You can see we have a quite clear image of the perpetrator now.
With these new features in Capture One Pro 7 we hope that we can contribute to making the world a better place, not just in imaging, but in peace as well!