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How you can accurately recreate crime scenes with the Focus3D X 330

Recreate crime scenes using photo-realistic 3D modeling

The following is paid content sponsored by FARO Technologies

You only have one chance to capture every detail of the crime scene. You think you’ve taken every measurement and logged every detail. You leave the crime scene, only to realize there is one measurement you didn’t take. “The problem is, you can’t just go back” says Ro Sasser of FARO Technologies. “You only have one chance to get everything you need.” Evidence will degrade and crime scenes need to be released so normal business can resume. Sometimes those missing details can jeopardize an investigation. However, FARO, one of the world’s leading developers of 3D measuring technology, has a solution.  

With the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330, investigators are able to precisely record all of the details of a crime scene so they can be recreated in a virtual environment using photo-realistic 3D modeling.  With this technology, investigators can take the entire crime scene back to the lab and drill down to the smallest level of detail. These details can be recreated in the courtroom months or years later, even in front of a jury.

The FARO Focus3D X 330 Laser Scanner
The FARO Focus3D X 330 Laser Scanner

Unsurpassed clarity

The Focus3D X 330, the latest in FARO’s laser scanner series, boasts improved scan quality with a resolution of 70 megapixels. Details like bullet casings or cracks in the sidewalk are recorded and extremely accurate measurements can be taken.  This is accomplished by setting up just a few reference markers and allowing the laser scanner to capture the surrounding area at 122,000 data points per second, all while producing very little visual “noise.” The process usually takes just minutes, significantly reducing the amount of time required to document a scene.

The puzzle box: putting together the pieces

The data from the crime scene is then taken back to the lab, where FARO’s SCENE 5.3 software assembles all the data, like the pieces of the puzzle, and combines and organizes the scans and measurements taken at a crime scene into a coherent, detailed, and accurate three-dimensional recreation.

Capturing the scene is just the beginning

Crime scene investigators can use the recreation to take measurements accurate to the millimeter, create line diagrams, or determine the size or dimensions of an object. The scanner’s comprehensive functionality offers many advantages to the CSI investigator. Clues that may be invisible to the naked eye can be detected through the scanner’s ability to register the reflectivity of objects in greyscale mode. The software can even identify the trajectory of a bullet using data points from the recreation, and calculate its most likely point of origin.

By combining data from the recreation with a surveillance video that shows the position of a suspect in relation to the rest of the crime scene, the software is able to analyze and estimate the height of that suspect.

Blood spatter analysis is another capability of FARO’s SCENE technology. The software is capably of analyzing and measuring blood stains, estimating trajectories and likely points of origin, providing investigators with effective tools for solving cases.

Show what you know

In the age of the CSI-effect, with jurors’ idea of crime investigation informed largely by TV, the expectations for evidence are sometimes unrealistic. With the Focus 3D, it’s possible to show them the scene of the crime, in three dimensions. Once a 3D model has been created and registered, it can be used to show the scene from any angle or create a video that can fly the viewer through the scene. After all, seeing is believing.

The FARO laser scanner allows investigators to do what would have been impossible in the past: to store and recreate a crime scene so it can be analyzed without the risk of missing any details and then share those details with other investigators and jurors.  

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