Computational Forensics: Digital Skull Restoration and Facial Reconstruction

Project Overview

  • We study computational forensic skull and face modeling, and develop 3D geometric modeling and analysis tools to facilitate forensic, medical, and archaeological tasks.
  • Skull Restoration: reassemble fragmented skull evidence and repair their damaged regions.
  • Skull Assessment: determine the basic bio-profile (ancestry, sex, etc) of the skull.
  • Facial Reconstruction: recreate craniofacial geometry from the skull.
  • The restoration and analysis of skull evidence and the reconstruction of unidentified body's face from its skull are important tasks in law enforcement investigation. The current skull and face modeling techniques adoped in law investigation are performed manually by forensic specialists. Despite their success in many cases, the procedures are relatively slow, expensive, and reliant on forensic specialists' expertise.
  • Our goal is to augment these state-of-the-art manual restoration and reconstruction techniques using novel 3D geometric modeling techniques, and gradually migrate the manual pipeline into a digital environment.
  • Collaborators

  • Mary Manhein, Ginesse Listi (LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Lab)
  • Warren Waggenspack (LSU Mechanical Engineering Department)
  • Data Sources and Digital Skull Database (Currently containing 320+ Skull Data)

  • Digital Scans of a few Skull Models from Major Ancestries
  • Digitization of skull models from LSU FACES Lab collection
  • Louisiana Missing & Unidentified Database
  • Our digitization (conducted in June 2012) from William Bass Skeletal Collection at University of Tennessee
  • Our digitization (conducted in July 2012) from Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner (PCOME) in Tucson, Arizona
  • Our digitization (conducted in July 2012) from Terry Skeletal Collection, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
  • Research Activities

    Skull Digitization and Printing

    Fragmented or Damaged Skull Restoration

  • 3D Skull Scanning, Reconstruction, and Printing.
  • Fragment Reassembly and Damaged-region Restoration.
  • Ancestry Prediction

    Facial Reconstruction

  • Skull Classification and Ancestry Prediction.
  • Facial Tissue Modeling and Reconstruction
  • Publictions

  • K. Zhang, W. Yu, M. Manhein, W. Waggenspack and X. Li. 3D Fragment Reassembly using Integrated Template Guidance and Fracture-Region Matching. International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) 2015. [Paper] [Bibtex] [Video ]
  • C. Maier, K. Zhang, M. Manhein, and X. Li. Palate Shape and Depth: A Shape-Matching and Machine Learning Method for Estimating Ancestry from Human Skeletal Remains. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 60(5):1129-1134, 2015.
  • K. Zhang and X. Li. A Graph-based Optimization Algorithm for Fragmented Image Reassembly. Graphical Models, 76(5):484-498, 2014. [Paper] [Bibtex]
  • Z. Yin, L. Wei, M. Manhein, and X. Li. An Automatic Assembly and Completion Framework for Fragmented Skulls. International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) 2011. [PDF] [Bibtex]
  • W. Yu, M. Li, and X. Li. Fragmented Skull Modeling Using Heat Kernels. Graphical Models, 74(4):140-151, 2012. [Bibtex]
  • X. Li, Z. Yin, L. Wei, S. Wan, W. Yu, and M. Li. Symmetry and template guided completion of damaged skulls. Computers and Graphics, 35:885-893, 2011. [Bibtex]
  • Geometric Reassembly Benchmark

  • The following data are released for research purpose.
  • Please cite our paper [K. Zhang, W. Yu, M. Manhein, W. Waggenspack and X. Li. 3D Fragment Reassembly using Integrated Template Guidance and Fracture-Region Matching. International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) 2015. ] [Bibtex]
  • Some Ceramic Models Scanned Fragments Complete Model
    Child Download Download
    Gnome Download Download
    Chicken Download Download
    Buddha Head Download N/A
    Skull Model (19 pieces) Download Download

    Videos

  • Video from 2015 ICCV paper: "3D Fragment Reassembly using Integrated Template Guidance and Fracture-Region Matching," Kang Zhang, Wuyi Yu, Mary Manhein, Warren Waggenspack, Xin Li, International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) 2015.
  • Video from 2011 ICCV paper: "An Automatic Assembly and Completion Framework for Fragmented Skulls," Zhao Yin, Li Wei, Mary Manhein, Xin Li, International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) 2011.
  • Sponsors

  • We gratefully acknowledge the support on this research from:
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  • Louisiana Board of Regents Pilot Funding for New Research LEQSF-EPS(2011)-PFund-236 (2011-2012), and
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  • National Science Foundation IIS-1320959 (2013 - present)
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