Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 3/13/2006 6:28:24 AM EDT
Anyone know a place that could clean up a grainy security tape?

Details-
Some scumbag stole some stuff out of my brothers truck in a China-Mart parking lot.He viewed the tape with the police and is getting a copy later today.The problem is the tape is very grainy-you can see the car and the guy,but can't get make out a plate number or get a good pic of his face.

We're thinking that there has to be somewhere that could go CSI on it and clean it up.


And no,no firearms or weapons were taken.Tools,a duffle bag,a radio,a Guns and Ammo magazine,and a Leatherneck magazine (both of which have his name and address on them).

Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:31:45 AM EDT
Some rudamentary photoshop-like stuff can be done to lighten up the shadows, make details stand out, and sharpen the image up a bit, but if the data's not there, it's not there. Getting the kinds of "enhancements" you see on TV aren't possible, or at least not to that extent, and they'll take a lot of time and money.

Without seeing the source images, it's hard to make a call on what can and can't be done.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:45:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
if the data's not there, it's not there.



Nonsense. All solid state imaging chips have infinite resolution. They've just been dumbed down by Intel and sold as crappy fixed resolution sensors. They sell CSI labs a $5b machine that restores the original resolution. Or, you can just cut the J9 jumper on the commercial decoder chip and solder P4 to P1.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:46:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
Some rudamentary photoshop-like stuff can be done to lighten up the shadows, make details stand out, and sharpen the image up a bit, but if the data's not there, it's not there. Getting the kinds of "enhancements" you see on TV aren't possible, or at least not to that extent, and they'll take a lot of time and money.

Without seeing the source images, it's hard to make a call on what can and can't be done.





pm sent
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:47:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bnorman:

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
if the data's not there, it's not there.



Nonsense. All solid state imaging chips have infinite resolution. They've just been dumbed down by Intel and sold as crappy fixed resolution sensors. They sell CSI labs a $5b machine that restores the original resolution. Or, you can just cut the J9 jumper on the commercial decoder chip and solder P4 to P1.





O.K.,How about in Engilsh?
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:52:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2006 6:54:02 AM EDT by HBruns]

Originally Posted By bnorman:

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
if the data's not there, it's not there.



Nonsense. All solid state imaging chips have infinite resolution. They've just been dumbed down by Intel and sold as crappy fixed resolution sensors. They sell CSI labs a $5b machine that restores the original resolution. Or, you can just cut the J9 jumper on the commercial decoder chip and solder P4 to P1.



P4 to P1.... [reaching for soldering iron] P4 is marked Vcc, and P1 is cleverly mis-labeled as ground. Sneaky, Intel, very sneaky!!
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 6:55:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2006 6:56:05 AM EDT by HBruns]

Originally Posted By carguym14:

Originally Posted By bnorman:

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
if the data's not there, it's not there.



Nonsense. All solid state imaging chips have infinite resolution. They've just been dumbed down by Intel and sold as crappy fixed resolution sensors. They sell CSI labs a $5b machine that restores the original resolution. Or, you can just cut the J9 jumper on the commercial decoder chip and solder P4 to P1.





O.K.,How about in Engilsh?



In English, without the sarcasm, it means:

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
if the data's not there, it's not there.


Link Posted: 3/13/2006 8:48:19 AM EDT
A good bit of what you see on CSI is fairy tale shit. In theory an electronic image can be cleaned up a bit but what they do on CSI would not be possible using tools commonly available to even a large PD. The China Mart security system probably recorded the incident from a distance and used a cheap camera with a cheap lens under less than ideal lighting conditions and recorded the image with a worn out time lapse VCR on a tape that has been used over and over and over again. Security tapes should be re-recorded no more than three times and then replaced. This recommendation is mostly ignored by people using such systems because it would cost a lot of money to replace tapes every few weeks.

The bottom line is that the image on the tape your brother is looking at is a low quality image. Blow it up and you only get a larger low quality image. The detail is just not there. A computer program could be used to enhance the image but it is just guessing at what is missing on the image and filling in the rough spots. If the license plate image does not show distinct characters a clean up program has nothing to work with. Same goes for the facial image details. China Mart does not have this image enhancement capability. The FBI lab might, but you would be waiting a long time for the work to get done if they would even agree to do in the first place.

Link Posted: 3/13/2006 9:10:42 AM EDT
I saw an article where Target has the equipment and knowledge to recover some data from videos. They have been donating their skills to local, state, and fed law enforcement. I doubt they would touch your video but, you might look into it.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 10:34:03 AM EDT

The only hope is to do some pattern recognition on the pixels from the license plate area. You won't ever increase the resolution to where you can SEE a plate, but you might be able to get a list of statistically probable plate numbers and letters.

I do image processing on satellite and aerial photographic data, and there are plenty of tricks to use to bring out details--but ultimately, the resolution of the original data is the limiting factor.

Jim
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 10:41:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 10:48:46 AM EDT
of cousre!! any digital camer can get 1 trillion resolution one you run it through the CSI computer!!! in fact you should look for the reflection of his face on the window of the car and enhance it to see his name on his work shirt, then let the computer reverse extrapolate it and get his name. Then you can run it thru the computer again to get all people with that name in a 10 state area.. The PC will find the 10 closest matches and kick out a photo of the one guy you saw. The computert will match his face to a 97.6 % surety of it being your perp The PO will have his address and go arrest him. He will say he didnt do it, but if you pressure him a little more he will give in.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 11:09:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2006 11:11:04 AM EDT by pale_pony]
Sorry dude, you're screwed...

No shit, I do this for a living and was called to assist with a Wal-Mart robbery that happened back in 1999-2000 when I was still in Law Enforcement. One of Wally World's Fort Worth locations got robbed and a manager was killed, shot through the head after a struggle for the gun with one of the perps in the cash room. It was hard to watch, knowing that the manager was killed, because during the struggle it looked like he was going to win. He beat the shit out of one of the perps while they struggled for the gun but the final frame showed a bullet exiting the side of his head.

The regional manager of Wal-Mart North Texas had heard from a Texas cop that we were experts in video enhancement so they flew into Tulsa International Airport. I picked her up at the airport and the only luggage she had was a VHS tape that she was clutching in her hands. The tape was piss-poor quality (VHS, whaddya expect?) PLUS the fact that it had been left in the VCR for over 6 months prior to the hold-up. The lazy bastards use the cheapest tapes they can find ( $.99 for a tape in a $1,200.00 Time Lapse unit) and then they set it on "Auto Rewind" so that if nothing happens at the end of 24 hours the tape will rewind and start recording on itself again. If something bad happens then they go pull the tape. This particular tape had been layered (re-recorded) over 180 times as it was 6 months old...

ANYWAY, we started by playing the tape back frame-by-frame in an AVID playback unit (check with your local TV station for more information...) and captured the frame images to jpeg's, then we had to discard about 2/3's of the frames as unusable. We then found ONE JPEG'd FRAME where, during the struggle, the manager caught his ring in the perp's ski mask just enough to pull the mask up over his face. The frame locked the picture before the perp could pull the mask back down over his face. THEN we made about 50 passes through Adobe Photoshop with lighting, color correction, contrast, and then all over again and again and again about 50 times until we gave up with the finished frame. The finished frame was sent to every LEO agency and every TV station in the Fort Worth area. Thank God one of the Wal-Mart employees recognized the perp as a former employee of the same store who had been fired a couple of months before the heist. The former employee had also studied the Wal-Mart count out routine in the cash room and knew all the moves. In summary, the perp is now a convict and is counting his appeals until he gets to ride the "silver surfboard" straight to hell where he belongs.

The manager left a pregnant wife and 3 kids...and Wally World almost blew it by trying to save a few pennies on a stupid VHS tape.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 11:10:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cleatus:
of cousre!! any digital camer can get 1 trillion resolution one you run it through the CSI computer!!! in fact you should look for the reflection of his face on the window of the car and enhance it to see his name on his work shirt, then let the computer reverse extrapolate it and get his name. Then you can run it thru the computer again to get all people with that name in a 10 state area.. The PC will find the 10 closest matches and kick out a photo of the one guy you saw. The computert will match his face to a 97.6 % surety of it being your perp The PO will have his address and go arrest him. He will say he didnt do it, but if you pressure him a little more he will give in.


And all of this can be done in about 3 minutes time.


That is the fairy tale shit I was talking about.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 11:14:50 AM EDT
Not likely you will get any better quality. Most big retailers these days use digital recorders, but even then they have multiple cameras recording to one HDD, meaning the resolution on each camera is very poor. Most of the images that I see show a pretty good picture of what we like to call "giant pixel guy"......
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 11:25:10 AM EDT


The tape was piss-poor quality (VHS, whaddya expect?) PLUS the fact that it had been left in the VCR for over 6 months prior to the hold-up. The lazy bastards use the cheapest tapes they can find ( $.99 for a tape in a $1,200.00 Time Lapse unit) and then they set it on "Auto Rewind" so that if nothing happens at the end of 24 hours the tape will rewind and start recording on itself again. If something bad happens then they go pull the tape. This particular tape had been layered (re-recorded) over 180 times as it was 6 months old...

...and Wally World almost blew it by trying to save a few pennies on a stupid VHS tape.




Not just Wally World. This practice is very common.

You would think that upgrading to DVRs would solve this problem......but you would be wrong. They set the recording resolution to the lowest setting for a longer recording time before the hard drive rewrites itself. Same problem. The recorded image is crap.
Top Top