November 24, ; Accepted Facial composite investigators course May 14, ; Published date: Wortmann R The Forensic Artist. J Forensic Res 6: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Visit for more related articles at Journal of Forensic Research. In a grocery shop a customer suddenly threatens the cashier with a knife.
She should give him all the money in the till. The cashier does not react immediately and the attacker becomes nervous. He stabs the cashier and seriously injures her.
He runs without taking any money. The attacker is unknown. There is, however, a witness statement about his appearance.
The description is not very useful though: But the witness claims he would definitely be able to recognize the attacker in a photo, and moreover — he can give a detailed description of the attacker.
He knows exactly what he looked like. Now the talents of the police artist are needed. He has the job of Facial composite investigators course the similar looking composite possible of the attacker together with the witness from his memories.
Unfortunately, it is in the nature of things that many people could look similar to a composite. When working a case this means following up and checking out information received.
Composites are an indispensable part of an investigation. The attacker was quickly caught. What is a police composite artist? Is it a profession? And if so, how and where can it be learned? Can anybody do it or what is needed to be able to do the job of a police artist?
Facial composite investigators course What kind of a person can construct facial composites: Facial composites are often seen in newspapers or on television. But hardly anybody knows who or what lies behind them.
We need to know what the suspect looks like. It is not the same as usual questioning in which normally any investigator can interview the witness. In order to create an image according to witness statements specialists are needed. A specialist is able to produce something that can be shown around afterwards like a photograph.
Does anybody know him? The standards of quality laid out here have only been established over the last few years through advances in hard and software and new scientific discoveries.
They are principally a foundation for training, advanced training and the contents of teaching courses. Established police artists do not need to stop their activities if they do not meet all these standards.
In principle anybody who can communicate with a witness and either has artistic talent or can effectively use the appropriate software, can produce a Facial composite investigators course composite. In order to professionally achieve the best possible result however, continual improvement in knowledge and skill is essential.
All the necessary skills and the knowledge required for constructing composites, however, can be learned.
The standards of quality are divided into four categories: The fundamental knowledge is subdivided into: It is probably easier for many people to use software than to draw like an artist with a pencil in one hand. Nevertheless it is also necessary to have enough skills and experience in working with hard and software.
Confident use of input devices, as a minimum mouse and keyboard, should not present a problem. Simple and general tasks, such as printing and sending of files and also minor technological problems should be mastered without too great time loss.
Creativity stimulates the possibility of depicting this vision in the best and quickest way possible. Ready-made patterns cannot be relied on as composite construction has many variables. Each appearance, each witness, and each production is different and unique. During a composite construction session Facial composite investigators course concentration over several hours can, under circumstances, be demanded in order to follow the statements and descriptions of the witness.
It is at times a very exhausting job. It would be reprehensible to miss and not record important information. It is the witness and not the police artists who saw the suspect. Initially the police artist should only listen. If the witness wanders off topic suitable questions can bring the interview back on track. Personal interpretations and suggestions are not helpful and also not valid.
Composite construction with a witness represents an interviewing situation. Those who Facial composite investigators course completed police officer training should have already learned the theoretical knowledge in the areas of investigation and interview with a witness. Additionally some years of practical experience are very helpful in implementing and deepening this knowledge.
The more routine in working with a witness there is, the easier it is to concentrate on the actual production of the composite. This is particularly in difficult…. As composites can also be produced using computer software, basic artistic talent is not that necessary.
The production is mainly based on putting templates together. This does mean that if there is not enough material available, not everything can be depicted with as much detail as the witness provides. In these cases it is advantageous or even necessary for these parts to be recreated digitally or by hand or that the templates are altered accordingly.
The basic principles of shadowing taken from drawing techniques can be Facial composite investigators course in these situations. Legal principles for facial composite production and release Legal requirements vary according to country or individual federal state not only for composite construction. A basic principle of this work knows how and when which measures may be taken. Facial composite investigators course
A police artist is primarily a service provider for the leading officer who decides upon the actions to be taken. Nevertheless a police artist should actively provide information for colleagues as the specialist.
Which questioning techniques and methods of approach are best suited for getting the desired information?
There are different ways of interviewing depending on the type of information and whether the interviewee is the victim or a suspect. The police artist also needs to know, what could be the most effective way to get required information.
A comprehensive description of the person being looked for is needed.
Differing questioning techniques and ways of approaching the interviewees are needed depending on whether they are for example, children or older people, victim or suspect and on the severity of the mental and physical effects of the crime. A police artist does not necessarily have to be able to draw when using good software. Different techniques and standards from the art of drawing must, however, be used when producing a composite. The laws of proportionality Facial composite investigators course ratios state where and how facial features should be positioned.
Anatomical errors can thus be avoided. Before a drawing is done the ideal positions for the individual facial features should first be sketched on a piece of paper.
The artist then has a basic frame upon which can be built. The deviations from these positions are later decisive for recognition. Frequently, when individual features are put together age characteristics disappear. After facial construction the age has to be adapted.
Age characteristics such as wrinkles must be recreated or repositioned. It is also possible for the witness to have initially misjudged the age and the picture needs to be corrected. The appearance of people varies depending on which part of the world they come from.
They are marked by regionally typical characteristics. For example, there are several hair, skin and eye colours, differently sized facial features and even varying bone structures in the skull. This makes it possible to differentiate the origin from Eastern Facial composite investigators course, Western Europe, South America and many other regions.
Should a witness be able to match a phenotype to the person being looked for, a corresponding selection of comparative pictures can be presented.
This limits the appearance considerably and makes producing a composite much easier. Making changes subsequently to the appearance is not easy, however, with knowledge of typical characteristics not impossible.
Principally templates of people or individual facial features are used to create composites. Some features are more distinctive and more pronounced and others are less striking. Prominent features and indentations are shown using color gradients between dark and light. How and to what degree color gradients should be used belongs to the most important knowledge of how to draw faces.
Research carried out in psychology in recent years has made considerable progress.
Particularly knowledge concerning brain function and recognition is of great use for constructing composites. The Cumberland County Prosecutors Office Forensic Facial Imaging Unit is Facial Imaging course conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at The course included training in composite drawing, age progression. Forensic artists work closely with law enforcement officers to identify criminal suspects and victims through facial composite sketches.