To better understand what forensic art is, it helps to know what forensic artists do, which is, Composite Imagery, Age Progressions and Image Modifications, Facial Approximations from the Skull, Post-Mortem Imagery, and Demonstrative Evidence (such as trial charts used in the courtroom)
AGE PROGRESSIONS of adults are done in cases of endangered missing adults as well as fugitives, all in the hopes of generating renewed public interest and fresh leads for investigators.
Forensic artists don’t have any special gifts or psychic ability to predict what someone will look like in the future. What we do have is in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy, we’ve studied aging patterns of the face, and we have the artistic ability to illustrate those changes. Barring any new specific information about a person’s appearance, it really comes down to educated guesswork.
Age progressions can provide a fresh look to a case that many people have long forgotten, and can be enough to get the media interested as well. Which is exactly what the investigator is after. Continue Reading…
FACIAL APPROXIMATIONS are drawings and sculptures created from an unidentified human skull. These are the coldest of all cold cases. By the time a skull makes it to a forensic artist, all other means of identification have been exhausted. Years, or even decades, have passed. This is why a facial approximation can literally be the last chance that person has to be identified. Which means it can also be the last chance for that person’s killer to be identified. Remember, the investigator can’t begin to find out who the murderer is until they know the name of the victim.
POST-MORTEMS are drawings or retouched images of unidentified people from morgue photos. Death at the hands of another is horrific and violent and awful, and these are the faces forensic artists see every day. Our job is to do the forensic version of what mortuary specialists do. We digitally heal the broken bones, bullet wounds, and decomposition on the faces of the dead so they can be released to the public.