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Raquel Blasco Lázaro: Shadow Image Project

Development of a Web Based Tool for Measuring Facial Features thus Aiding Human Identification of Faces Obscured by Poor Lighting using a 3D Virtual Environment

Project Overview

Forensic facial identification is a complicated task. The prevalence of CCTV has increased the incidence of CCTV footage used as primary evidence in criminal courts. Obtaining suitable pictures of offenders for use in identification is often difficult, since criminals typically don't look directly at the security camera and moreover, poor lighting often impairs the captured video images. Facial photo-comparison is a technique which uses facial imagery, frequently taken from CCTV, to compare if a suspect could or could not be the offender.

This project aim was to create an interactive tool to compare CCTV images with a 3D model of the suspect’s face. The use of 3D models is an attempt to solve problems such as proportional comparison of facial features resulting from non-frontal poses and poor lighting. By reconstructing a 3D face of the suspect, the resultant tool can be used to mimic the same pose and visual conditions as the CCTV image of the suspect, as well as comparing facial measurements and ratios.


A web-tool has been developed. This displays three different types of information: video sequence of the offender, photographs of the suspect as well as the reconstructed 3D face model. The 3D face can be manipulated to achieve the desired viewpoint, as well as similar lighting conditions. The GUI includes a comprehensive measurement tool, which extracts numerical measurements from all the available imagery and undertakes a ratios comparison which is presented as a similarity percentage.

A small database has been created to evaluate the GUI. This consists of different photographs, videos and 3D face models from eight different people. The reconstruction of the 3D face surfaces and the mapping of textures onto these faces have been achieved using Poser and! FaceShop Pro. The accuracy of the 3D faces has been verified.

Please note that the web-tool requires the installation of:


I was born on the 18th December 1983 in Zaragoza, Spain. In 2001, I started Telecommunication Engineering at Universidad de Zaragoza and in 2006, I started my Final Year Project at Manchester Visualization Centre to finish my degree. I graduated in September 2007.