Training – VFSource User Training February 2018

Last week we were in Merseyside with Jeff Hunter of Salient Sciences training video examiners from various UK police forces. It was interesting to hear the different ways that video material is being processed and presented for prosecutions.

Providing training to video examiners

Jeff, who is the Principal Engineer at Salient Sciences, was particularly interested to speak with users to gain an insight into their real-world issues when working with multimedia evidence as he can influence the future development of the software to assist users to work more efficiently and effectively.

The course was attended by new and experienced users and the following comment highlights why training is so important…..

“I can say that I really enjoyed the course. It has re-ignited my interest in working with digital media.  I always knew the software could do more than I was using it for.  I can also say that the first job this morning has already seen my new skills in action.” Course attendee DP of Derbyshire Constabulary.

Both the VFSource and VFPro software provide examiners with the tools to work with proprietary and non-proprietary video and audio material.

If you would like more information about the VideoFOCUS software or future training events please complete the form on one of the product pages – VFSource or VFPro

Salient Sciences Video FOCUS release V7.x

VideoFOCUS version 7

With this latest release, Salient Sciences are introducing new features and updates to assist examiners to work efficiently with their AUDIO and VIDEO evidence.

If you have a current support contract please download the latest version from here

If you would like to know more and request a trial version of the software please visit this page.

 Reporting

VideoFOCUS 7.0 can now generate pdf report documents describing video and image items in a project.

A report can be created by selecting the desired media items and choosing the ‘view report’ item in the view menu. Alternatively individual image or video items can be reported on by using the ‘view report’ menu action from the session or still list popup menus. A report can also be created by selecting the option in the export media dialog. In this situation a report will be created that includes sections for each media item that is being exported.

VideoFOCUS will automatically generate a full ‘steps to reproduce’ section for each item in the report and will provide a basic summary of the properties of each item that is being reported. In addition to the automatically generated sections the user can also add item specific notes to each media item using the session or still property dialog and these notes will be included in the report. The VideoFOCUS cases now offer properties than can be set, including agency and examiner names, case number and title and an overall notes section and these properties will also be used in the composition of the report.

Macros (VFPro only)

VideoFOCUS now supports the concept of macros. Macros are a way to apply a set of actions taken on one piece of media to other similar media, without having to repeat the actions in the user interface. Typically this might be used to apply similar processing to related videos that are determined to require the same sequence of modifications,filtering etc in every case.

There is no specific process to define the steps in a macro. All that is required is to select an item that is the product of processing and use the right click menu ‘copy macro starting at’. When this is menu option is selected VideoFOCUS will offer the various points in the processing history of the item as starting point for the macro action. The macro processing include all steps between that point and an the final step producing the selected media item

Once copied the macro can be applied to other items by simply selecting them and using the ‘apply macro’ popup action. When applied the macro application will produce a new item that are the macro steps applied to that item. It is also possible to apply a macro to a set of selected items as a single action. In his case a result will be created for each selected item.

Macro actions are full described in the report in terms of the original actions that compose the steps of the macro and then application of the macro. Macros of macros are also supported.

Under certain circumstances the application of a macro can lead to invalid output. Most commonly this will be when references are made to times or views that do not exist in the target media. VideoFOCUS is designed to detect such situations and will advise the user that the macro cannot be applied.

Unified Export

VideoFOCUS now has a single export dialog that supports the simultaneous export of images, video and audio. The items that are export depends on which export menu is used and what is selected. When the export is invoked from the session list popup the export is restricted to selected items in that list. Similarly when the export is invoked from the stills area popup the export is limited to selected items in that list.

If however the export is invoked from the main file menu the export will included all selected items in both the session and stills areas. When combined with the report option, this allows for a production of a single report including all items that a user may wish to export from VideoFOCUS. When there is a mixed set of media types in the export dialog the video, images and audio tabs provide for control over any configurable aspects of each specific type.

Other Changes

Item Labeling and Tooltips

VideoFOCUS has been updated to provide a more consistent methodology for the labeling of media items created by filters, modification, edits etc. There is now also a tooltip associated with each media item offering a short description of the process step that was used to create the item. The tooltip includes the label name of the item’s source to aid in locating the source item

Project Time Zone

Projects can now use timezone that is distinct from the system or default VideoFOCUS time zone. The time zone choice is available via the File menu item ‘project properties’. The timezone choice controls the presentation of times in both the interface and in and reports associated with items in the project.

UPDATE THE SOFTWARE

If you have a current support contract please download the latest version from here

If you would like to know more and request a trial version of the software please visit this page.

VideoFOCUS Screen Capture

Working with digital CCTV files in a proprietary format isn’t easy and sometimes you need to use screen capture, what Salient Sciences call the “Import method of last resort”, to get the video into VideoFOCUS so that you can then start to process the material.

In this video Don Tunstall, the General Manager at Salient Sciences, talks us through the process and provides some useful tips on good practice.

Screen Capturing into VideoFOCUS from Salient Sciences on Vimeo.

If you would like to know more about how VideoFOCUS software can help you to process both Audio and Video material please contact us using the form here make sure to select the software that you are interested in from the drop down list.

VideoFOCUS Pro Version 6.1 released

In addition to numerous improvements to the user interface and support for additional DVR formats, the new features include:

  1. Improved hierarchical visual organization of the sessions list;
  2. Ability to arrange views in the MultiView sessions in any desired arrangement, with independent zooming;
  3. Hashing (MD5, SHA1, and SHA2) for all imported and exported files;
  4. Explicit indication of key frames in all views;
  5. User-defined labeling of time regions across multiple videos within the same case;
  6. Better handling of footage gathered from across different time zones, and;
  7. New audio redaction function.

VFpro V6.1

read more here

Audio and Video Forensics Training in UK

Hurry last few seats availableSeats still available – Oxford 27th Feb to 3rd Mar 2017

We still have a few seats available on the upcoming training here in the UK.

3 day course – Video and basic Audio

5 day course – Video and advanced Audio

Don Tunstall of Salient Sciences is coming over to take his popular 3 day Video or 5 day combined Audio and Video class.

Based on the latest VideoFOCUS Pro and CARDINAL MiniLab software from  Salient Sciences attendees get the opportunity to learn and put into practice the skills needed to effectively  process Audio and Video material.

If you still have some training budget left then why not get trained so that you can make the most of the software you may already have but didn’t know it was capable of a specific task.

You can find out more here or give Dave a call on 0845 226 3128

We just need a Purchase Order number to reserve your seat.

 

UPGRADE AMNESTY FOR OLD VIDEOFOCUS LICENSES

Amnesty

Bring your old version of VideoFOCUS Pro or Source up to date.

This is great news if your department has an old copy of VideoFOCUS Pro (aka VFPro) or VideoFOCUS Source (aka VFSource) and you no longer have a maintenance and support contract then you no longer have to miss out on all the great new features in the latest software.

Some of the new features include;
  • Direct import of more than 200 standard multimedia and numerous proprietary CCTV file formats;
  • Synchronisation of multiple videos to a common time base to review and process as a group (Pro only)
  • Create compilations with titles
  • Audio import and processing, Basic Channel Selection, Mix, and Synchronisation functions
  • Quickenhance filters
  • Cardinal MiniLab (Pro only)

But you don’t need to miss out

Salient Sciences have announced that as from 1st January 2017, all Perpetual licenses to VideoFOCUS may be brought current to the latest version and gain entitlement to all new versions for one future year simply by purchasing a one-year maintenance renewal.

Under this upgrade amnesty, all retroactive “upgrade” and “back maintenance” charges are waived entirely, providing an excellent opportunity especially for those who may have bought an early version of VideoFOCUS from the old Salient Stills company to get current again and take advantage of the expanded capabilities of versions 6.0 and beyond.

To find out if your old VideoFOCUS license qualifies for upgrade amnesty, please complete and submit the online form and we will respond as soon as possible.

IMPROVED SUBSCRIPTION LICENSING NOW AVAILABLE FOR VIDEOFOCUS!

Perpetual or Subscription Licence

Since the release of Version 4.0 in 2012, both Perpetual and Subscription licensing have been available for all VideoFOCUS software products. As of Version 6.0, Salient Sciences additionally offers USB Dongle Activation for Subscription licences, allowing these date-limited licenses to be shared across multiple machines and operated without an internet connection in the same way as dongle-based Perpetual licenses – an important consideration for workstations housing sensitive data.

When a Subscription license is purchased with USB Dongle Activation specified, a special RTC dongle having its own real-time clock (or “RTC”) on board will be supplied at no additional cost. This independent RTC enables VideoFOCUS to reliably manage the subscription term, even when an internet connection to a trusted time server (e.g. nist.gov) is not available. For Perpetual licenses, which are not date-limited, a non-RTC dongle will be supplied. Pictures of the two dongle types are provided below.

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RTC Dongle (Black) – Used for Subcription Licenses
purple.png
Non-RTC Dongle (Purple) – Used for Perpetual Licenses

Perpetual vs. Subscription licensing:

With Perpetual licensing, the customer “owns and maintains” the software license. Analogous to buying a car, there is a significant initial investment to purchase the license, which includes an initial maintenance contract providing entitlement to all new versions that are released during that first year of ownership; thereafter, the customer can purchase a new maintenance contract each year to continue entitlement to the latest versions.

For most of our customers, Perpetual licensing is preferred, because they never have to worry about a critical forensics tool ceasing to work for them if budget is not immediately available to renew the maintenance. Even if the maintenance should expire at some point without renewal, the software continues to function indefinitely at the most recent version that was allowed under the last expired contract (also called the “last entitled version”).

But for smaller customer agencies who may find it prohibitive to absorb the larger initial cost for the Perpetual license, the “rent and maintain” model of the Subscription license may be more attractive. Like leasing a car, the initial cost is more modest – essentially, you pay for the first year’s maintenance contract and you can start using the software immediately with full entitlement to all updates while the contract remains active.

The main potential downside of Subscription licensing is that if the maintenance is ever allowed to expire without renewal, the software will simply stop working – possibly making for a bad day if the maintenance happens to expire in the middle of a critical case!

The other potential downside of Subscription licensing is the need for the software to have a trusted clock source to reliably enforce the subscription term. Traditionally, our Subscriptions have used Online Activation only, meaning that the computer had to have an internet connection or the software would not run – again, potentially a big problem for machines having sensitive data. However, this limitation is completely overcome in Version 6.0 with the USB Dongle Activation via the RTC dongle.

Renewals

To minimize any disruptions of Subscription licenses, and also to ensure that Perpetual license customers continue their entitlement to all the latest versions of VideoFOCUS, Salient Sciences starts e-mailing maintenance renewal pro forma invoices within 3-6 months of the maintenance expiring, which hopefully allows time to purchase the renewal and avoid any issues. Where necessary and appropriate, temporary maintenance extensions can be quickly granted by Salient Sciences sales (just e-mail us at sales@salientsciences.com or contact your local reseller) to keep VideoFOCUS running at the latest versions while the maintenance renewal purchase is being processed.

The above written by Don Tunstall originally appeared here

NEW WAYS TO IMPORT FILES INTO VIDEOFOCUS

VideoFOCUS 6.0.5 adds new ways that media files can be imported so it is a good time to review the options for import in VideoFOCUS. Files can be imported in the following ways:VideoFOCUS new open commands

  • The import dialog.
  • Drag and drop.
  • The system “open with” (new).
  • Open from within DVR Examiner (new).
  • Drop on the VideoFOCUS app icon (new).

Read more on the Salient Sciences Blog here

UK DAC School Forensic Video/Audio Training 27 Feb to 3 Mar 2017

DAC Training
motionmailapp.com

Held at the Holiday Inn Oxford Peartree Roundabout Woodstock Rd. Oxford, OX2 8JD

DAC School Forensic Video/Audio Training:

Based on the latest VideoFOCUS Pro and CARDINAL MiniLab software, this intensive training teaches how to clarify evidentiary video and audio recordings in a unified way. Techniques for importing and analysing the material, viewing the video frame by frame, clarifying the video and images, reducing noises and effects in the audio track(s), maximising voice intelligibility, and exporting the finished product, are taught through a combination of lecture, careful observation and analysis, critical listening, and hands-on practical exercises with state-of-the-art tools and real-world training materials. On the final day of the class, each student will be provided with a certificate for the attended training.

Enrollment is limited to 12 students, with all necessary equipment, software, and training files provided for use during the training.

Thumb drives for installing 30-day trial software and training files on attendees’ own Windows-based laptop computers will also be made available.

Two Training Options:

  • Full Forensic Video/Audio Training (all 5 days)
    or
  • Video Training and Audio Introduction (first 3 days only)

To enrol of find out more please click here

DVR Examiner 1.26.0 & 1.25.0 updates

Version 1.26.0 – 6th October 2016

This release included support for additional filesytems, as well as a few small improvements and bug fixes. You can download this new version from the brand new DME Forensics Portal!

Filesystem Updates

  • Added support for the AVD_264 filesystem commonly found in SAV, BXS, and other unbranded DVRs.
  • Added support for the netDVR filesystem commonly found in Q-See, Guardall, and other unbranded DVRs.
  • Added detection for the HUAYI_264 filesystem commonly found in Speedex and other unbranded DVRs.
  • Modified detection for the LVF filesystem in order to support additional DVRs.
  • Addressed a few other user reported bugs.

Improvements

VideoFOCUS applications from Salient Sciences has been added to the Preview With menu. If you have the latest release of these applications installed, you will be able to preview files from DVR Examiner within them.

Our clip list reporting now supports up to around 1 million clips as we are now using the XLSX format. We’ll have more advanced clip list reporting features coming in version 2.0.

Version 1.25.0 – 9th September 2016

Filesystem Updates

– Added support for the IDENT_264 filesystem commonly found in MVPower and other unbranded DVRs.
– Added support for the AVM_MPEG filesystem commonly found in AverMedia and other unbranded DVRs.
– Added detection for the DMD_264 filesystem commonly found in Prestige and other unbranded DVRs.
– Added detection for the UMV_264 filesystem commonly found in Unimo and other unbranded DVRs.
– Added detection for the VDB_264 filesystem commonly found in Cantek, CRC, and other unbranded DVRs.
– Added detection for the MFS_264 filesystem commonly found in Hanbang, Visco, and other unbranded DVRs. – Added detection for the WPS_264 filesystem commonly found in Wirepath and other unbranded DVRs.
– Added detection for the LST_264 filesystem commonly found in Clinton and other unbranded DVRs.
– Added detection for the NVF_264 filesystem commonly found in Nuvico and other unbranded DVRs.
– Added detection for the FSD1_264 filesystem commonly found in Clover and other unbranded DVRs.
– Added detection for the disksiz_264 filesystem commonly found in Q-See and other unbranded DVRs.
– Improved detection for IIDX_264 and NAFS_264 filesystems to support additional types of DVRs.
– Included information regarding detected filesystem (if applicable) within Profiler reports.
– Improved handling of irregular or non-standard partitioning in order to prevent application crashes when detecting.
– Addressed an issue with Tango based DVRs and inaccessible scans not completing.
– Addressed an issue with PROD11_264 and irregular index entries.

If you have already purchased DVR Examiner or have an active free trial you can download DVR Examiner from the brand new DME Forensics portal:

Download DVR Examiner

 

or if you want to give it a test drive

Free 30 Day Trial