It’s not just about ‘Wanted’ posters anymore

The latest in my ‘Learn Something New Every Day’ series – taken from the Great Courses’ Trails of Evidence: How Forensic Science Works (Lecture 25 – Police Sketches & Facial Reproduction)

The oldest uses of forensic artistry were the old ‘wanted’ posters of the Wild West where a sketch of the wanted person was plastered all over the district. These were ‘trigger’ images designed to stimulate recognition/memory in people.

Sketch artists used to be regular police officers who had an aptitude for drawing and became specialised. Now, artists with no police experience are doing further training to become forensic specialists, opening the door for many more consultants and quirky specialties.

These days, modern technology has seen forensic artist work extend from simple identity sketches, court drawings and facial reconstructions, to photoshopping of morgue images for public release, enhancement and correction of video/images, image comparisons, detection of modifications in images, and creation of aerial views or computer animation of crime scenes or timelines.

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