Instant Scene Modeler for Crime Scene Reconstruction

Crime scene reconstruction is a labor-intensive but an essential task of police investigation. Currently, the police spend a lot of time at the crime scene taking many measurements and photos, and then spend more time at the computer recreating the crime scene drawings manually. Automatic generation of photo-realistic three-dimensional calibrated models using a hand-held device is highly desirable for crime scene reconstruction as well as for many other applications. In this paper, we present the instant Scene Modeler (iSM), a 3D imaging system that automatically creates 3D models using an off-the-shelf hand-held stereo camera. The user points the camera at a scene of interest and the system will create a photo-realistic 3D calibrated model automatically within minutes. Forensics field tests have been carried out with promising results and the advantages of 3D imaging for this application are described.