Forensic Image Clarification: Say Cheese

Forensic Image Clarification

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been handed a horrible surveillance photograph, or an extremely grainy video of an armed robbery, and was expected to use it as evidence to solve a crime. I’d have been better off taking a page from a mug shot book and tossing a dart at it. The guy’s photo it stuck, well, he’d have to be the crook of the day.

Fortunately, technology exists to clean up and clarify those awful images. Products such as Ocean System’s dTective ClearID v. 20 system are a wonderful addition to any forensic investigator’s toolbox. Clear ID is actually a forensic plugin for Adobe Photoshop that’s nondestructive to the original piece of evidence.

dTective Clear ID can be used to enhance any video from any souce and is used by many law enforcement agencies across the country, such as the FBI, CIA,  DEA, and many local departments.








Fox 9 News Report, Anoka County Sheriff’s Office

Detective Larry Johnson demultiplexes video to solve a robbery.

…The FBI, HCA and the Minneapolis Police Department all use this new technology…

Ohio Organized Crime, Columbus, 10TV News

Ohio University Campus, Rapist Captured Using ATM Video

dVeloper® frame averaging used to clarify the licence plate in only

7 minutes.  With this evidence, the suspect took a plea deal. He is now

serving 30 years behind bars.

Detective Josh Hudson, “most of the people don’t want to contest the video evidence because it speaks for itself… It doesn’t lie.”

Last year they worked over 500 cases.

* Thanks to Ocean Systems

8 replies
  1. Terry
    Terry says:

    My son has written two books on using the Nikon Capture NX software — he shoots RAW files, not jpgs, and it’s amazing what can be done BEFORE you take them into Photoshop.

    (He did my website headshot, and I insisted he subtract 25 years. He came darn close!)

  2. Bobby M
    Bobby M says:

    Thanks for the info, Lee. I may have to get that plug-in. (like I don’t have enough already)

    Ah yes, Photoshop. An interesting program indeed. And boy does it have A LOT of features. I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface. Oh and just to let you folks on a budget know, there’s a great program called Photoshop Elements.

  3. Terry
    Terry says:

    Gee, Dan — all those b&w images I developed and printed for you on the dolphin freeze-brands weren’t good enough. You’re going Hi Tech after all these years. Then again, anything that keeps you busy is a Good Thing.

  4. d2tm2
    d2tm2 says:

    This is great info. !
    I’ve downloaded a demo of ClearID to see how well it works on less than sharp images of dolphin dorsal fins for a dolphin photo-identification study.

    Dan Odell

  5. Sheila Connolly
    Sheila Connolly says:

    So some of that stuff we see on the various CSIs and their clones is actually true? And can we get this for home use, so we can clean up all those fuzzy but irreplaceable vacation/wedding/whatever pictures?

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