Life in the Fast, Rectilinear Lane

Surveillance Video

Laurence R. Penn, CFVT, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist

Surveillance videos often distort what they capture, making the recorded events difficult to analyze with an untrained eye. Such distortions will make otherwise geometric straight lines and edges look unnaturally bowed or curved. These distortions are often created by the type of lens on the surveillance camera since light passing through can be squeezed from a wide field of view into the narrower restrictions of the video format and resolution supported by the recording equipment. Luckily, software is available to undistort, or correct, such deformations into an image that is rectilinear; lines are returned, to the best of its ability, to their correct, geometrically straight nature. This process is also an important stage for performing photogrammetry and videogrammetry analysis where measurements are extracted from image and video data.

Included for example, is a video of a multi-lane roadway where delineating individual lanes is hindered by strong distortion of a wide-angle lens. Using filters in video analysis software, the video is undistorted, and the lanes straightened into a rectilinear image. Colored lines are superimposed over the painted skip lines for each lane, providing visual assistance to observe the vehicles traveling along the roadway including those involved in a collision.

Categories: Engineering Animation | Forensic Animation | Laurence R. Penn


Have A Question About This Article or Want to Contact the Expert?

Request An Expert

Fill out the form below so we may refer an expert

Do you have a question for us? We’re here to help!

James Schmidt Expert Spotlight