Archive for the ‘Facial Reconstruction’ Category

The art of facial reconstruction

July 6, 2009

Facial reconstruction started in the late 19th century in Germany and Switzerland. Currently there are two groups of facial reconstruction; two and three-dimensional.

Two-dimensional facial reconstruction creates drawings and paintings based on superimposing an image onto a picture of the skull. With this technique a number of frontal and profile views can be produced of the victim. Some manual experts first draw the musculature of the face onto the picture of the skull, where others immediately draw the finished face. Next to the great artistic skill required to create a manual two-dimensional drawing, there is now software on the market which facilitates this process. With this software the expert can select facial features from a database which match the skeletal structure.

Three-dimensional facial reconstruction creates manual facial sculptures on top of the skull. This is either done through an anatomical approach (modelling musculature first and after that applying a layer of skin) or a morphometric approach (using tissue depth data to create a contour map into which the facial features are modelled). Also in this area of facial reconstruction there are now a number of computer applications which aim to facilitate the process; however these programs have not yet been sufficiently tested to be considered fully usable and reliable in a forensic setting.

Example of Online Facial Reconstruction Class

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Skeletal Remains Identification by Facial Reconstruction

April 22, 2009

    I round this article to be extremely informative about positive Identification using facial reconstruction.  The blend of science and art amalgamate as one.  This article discussed three cases of positive identification through facial reconstruction in the Cape Province of South Africa.  The case involved the skeletal remains of six unnatural deaths.  This method is frequently used as a last resort to identify the skeletal remains of an unidentified person.  Facial reconstruction is not used as the  primary means of positive identification.  It is often used as a last resort when other identification methods have failed.
     Facial reconstruction is a complex process combining knowledge of human anatomy with artistic ability.  It is used in Forensic Anthropology to help identify skeletal remains.  The reconstruction is based upon the average soft tissue thickness of skull and jaws.  There are critical differences in the thickness of soft tissues of males and females of different races.  The sculpture method of facial reconstruction produces great results.  Some people state that these methods are useful, but insufficiently reliable to serve as evidence of positive identification in a court of law.

Forensic Science Communications, Jan. 2001, Volume 3 Number 1

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