Amped FIVE is the most trusted software for forensic video analysis and image enhancement for law enforcement, investigations, and intelligence. Here are 20 simple features, hints, and tips that may not be so obvious to you but will work wonders in your workflow. Read on to discover them all.
1 – The Assistant
The Assistant tool will guide you through the correct restoration/enhancement workflow with a series of questions and intuitive hyperlinks specifically designed to give you the best possible results. Perfect for maintaining standards and for quality assurance.
Choose from several pre-set workflows or easily create/edit your own according to your organizational requirements!
You can find more on the Amped blog at these links:
- The Amped FIVE Assistant Video Tutorial
- Learn How to Create Your Own Amped FIVE Assistant Scripts, It’s a Game Changer!
- Discover the Power of the Amped FIVE Assistant With a Guided Example
2 – Copy and Verify
Accessible from the File menu, this powerful yet simple tool copies data from a physical exhibit (such as an optical disc or USB device) into a folder of your choice and verifies the hash values of the original files are the same as those of the copied files. A log containing a list of all the copied files and verified hash values is automatically created for you to maintain integrity and chain of custody. This is the perfect tool for accredited digital forensic labs.
For more information, please check: Amped FIVE Update 13609: Introducing the Copy and Verify Tool and More Updated Features.
3 – Fallback Procedures
Accessible from the Convert DVR tool in the File menu, the Fallback Procedures tab will give you the power to attempt advanced decoding options on video not yet compatible or fully compatible with the Amped Conversion Engine. If unsuccessful, logs generated by this tool can still assist our developers with improving the compatibility of proprietary video formats for future FIVE software updates. If stuck, give it a try.
You can find more on the Amped blog at this link: How to Use the Convert DVR Fallback Procedures in Amped FIVE
4 – Color Range in Video Loader
Are you struggling with reading that license plate within a dark video? Many clips are incorrectly flagged with having a limited color range to improve compatibility with older analog systems. But changing the color range to full in Video Loader may be the simple solution to your problems. Make this the first thing you do in your enhancement workflow.
5 – Timeline
Did you know that you can edit video clips together in FIVE too? Compiling the required video evidence in chronological (or logical) order is essential to ensure it is suitable for playback in court in a structured and organized manner. You can find the Timeline filter in the Link group.
6 – Report on Your Hash Values and Media Information
The Hash Code and File Info filters in the Verify group will ensure you have reported on the integrity and technical aspects of your video/imagery evidence. The perfect companions for forensic imagery analysts producing expert reports for court use.
You can find more on the following blog post: VeriFIVE your files (aka “How to hash-check files in your Amped FIVE project.
7 – Zoom In and Out of the Timeline / Waveform Monitor
You might not know that you can zoom in and out of your timeline in FIVE, which can be particularly useful for viewing audio waveforms in detail and for redacting audio segments. Hold the CTRL button and zoom in and out the timeline horizontally with your mouse scroll wheel – or hold the SHIFT button to zoom in and out vertically.
8 – Show the Saturated Pixels
Tick the Show Saturated Pixels box in the Histogram Tool while using any filters in the Adjust group. This will assist you in getting the best contrast of detail without saturating the pixels in your image. Pixels crashing out above white will be highlighted in red, and pixels crashing out below black will be highlighted in blue, warning you of any potential loss of detail.
9 – Pan, Rotate, and Tilt in Fisheye View
Did you know? When using the Correct Fisheye filter to adjust lens distortion with 360 degrees camera clips, you also can pan, rotate and tilt across the virtual environment by using the relevant sliders in the Post-Projection tab of the filter.
10 – Copy and Paste a Full Timestamp From the Player Window
Did you know that you can copy a complete timestamp from the Player window and paste it into any of the timestamp filters or even the Time Calculator tool? No need to type it any longer! Right-click on the timestamp reading in the player window and select Copy Timestamp. Then paste it (by pressing CTRL+V on your keyboard) on the relevant text box.
11 – The Time Calculator
With the Time Calculator tool, you can calculate easily and quickly any offsets between DVR times and actual times. You can either enter one known timestamp and the difference in days, hours, minutes, and seconds (and even milliseconds) to calculate the adjusted timestamp, or you can enter the two known timestamps to calculate the difference between them.
12 – Concatenate
Have you ever imported CCTV footage that the DVR has exported as many sequential file chunks? The Concatenate option in Convert DVR (available from the File menu) will let you import multiple sequential clips at once and join them all together in the order in one single chain. Select the relevant option in the Files to Convert drop-down menu.
13 – Remove Optical Blur Within the Motion Deblur Filter
The Motion Deblur filter restores an image or video affected by blur caused by fast-moving targets/recording camera or low shutter speed. But if you need to adjust optical blur and motion blur simultaneously, you can do both within one filter by changing the Point Spread Function slider. Useful to keep your workflow streamlined and straightforward! Also available in other filters within the Deblurring group.
14 – Refine Fourier Restoration With Manual Selections
The Fourier filter does a great job removing periodic noise patterns by automatically selecting brighter noise marks within the frequency spectrum. But you always have the option to edit the selections manually, thus keeping or removing custom parts of the spectrum to enhance the effectiveness of this filter. Recommended for still images or single video frames.
Learn how to use the Fourier filter here: Science at Your Service: Learn How to Remove Periodic Noise With Amped FIVE’s Fourier Filter.
15 – Hybrid Tracking in Perspective Stabilization
Perspective Stabilization is the perfect filter to prepare for integration when the target changes its position and angle in relation to the camera. But tracking the target can sometimes be difficult with lower quality footage. Just by changing the tracking method from Static Tracking to Hybrid Tracking in the filter settings, you can increase your chances of success dramatically.
16 – Remove Frames From Your Selection
Selecting the best frames is the key to success when enhancing a license plate. But what if your selection contains frames affected by short instances of compression or focus issues? Even a small number of frames may disrupt your integration completely. With the Remove Frames filter, you can discard spurious frames in a range of frames by selecting them and clicking Add Current on the filter settings or even consecutive frames by clicking Add and Next.
17 – Produce Side-By-Side Illustrations With Video Mixer
Comparative analysis accounts for the majority of forensic imagery reports produced by expert witnesses. Illustrating similarities and differences between images of questioned and known subjects/objects is essential for explaining their significance in court. Using the Video Mixer filter you can produce side-by-side comparative charts and use Annotate to highlight your findings.
You can find more on the Amped blog at these links:
- Amped FIVE Update: The Video Mixer Filter
- Learn How to Use Amped FIVE’s Video Mixer to Compare Different Points of the Same Chain
18 – Automatic Tracking in Annotate
Did you know that you can automatically track your subject with any annotations of your choice? Once you have created an annotation, such as an arrow or a spotlight, click the Track button, adjust the green and yellow rectangles to register the subject and the subject’s direction of movement, respectively and finally click the Track button again and hold the left mouse button to synchronize the annotation with the subject. It is that simple.
For more information please check out: Make Impressive Annotations in Seconds with Amped Replay’s Assisted Tracking.
19 – Synchronize Your Video Clips in Multiview and Picture in Picture
Showing two or more different angles of the same scene can be a really powerful way to present your video evidence in court, but you need to synchronize your sources. Just by placing your play head on a defined reference point on all clips at the Video Loader stage guarantees that they are perfectly synchronized when you then link them together using the Multiview or the Picture in Picture filters.
20 – Perform Pixel By Pixel Comparison
Do you need to validate your lossless compression method or check the consistency of pixel values between two images? The Video Mixer filter can also do this for you quickly and easily. Load your two sources within the filter settings, click on the Similarity tab, and select Enabled on the Compute Similarity Metrics drop-down menu.
Check out the SAD and PSNR parameters for any computed differences between pixel positions and RGB values. If the two show 0 and “inf” respectively, you have proof the two images contain identical pixels!
For further information check out this blog post article: Are You Using the Best Possible Evidence? Amped FIVE’s Video Mixer Helps You Compare Frames and Answer the Question!
Need More In-Depth Training on Amped FIVE?
Amped Software offers training courses for beginner, intermediate, and expert level users who are willing to improve their investigations and gain more in-depth knowledge on video evidence. Learn more about the Amped FIVE training course here.
Editorial note: as of 11 April, 2022, this article has been updated with resized images.