This sounds like a really interesting idea and potentially a useful resource for academia and future research, I think a collection of forensic taphonomy reference imagery would be a great asset. I was just wondering what the advantages are with this 3D method compared to high quality photographs. Particularly if the intention is not to move the specimens during decomposition, would you still be only imaging one side of the remains? I haven’t used much 3D modelling so I’m unfamiliar with the output (I’m looking forward to the BAFA workshop!) would it be a bit more interactive? Do you think the image quality is good enough to accurately capture finer decomposition changes such as colour and texture?
Thank you for putting forward such an interesting concept!
thanks for having a read and for such positive feedback on the concept. I do not intend to move the specimens during the study as literature suggests that physical disturbance can have an effect on the rate of decomposition and that is exactly what I don't want while trying to devise a new visual method for measuring decomposition. If for example a forensic practitioner wanted to quickly estimate the PMI at a crime scene, they would not move the body to determine the state of decomposition underneath and therefore I want to try and replicate this by baseing the scoring system on just the visual portions of the remains.
As for the use of 3D models, the aim is to make it more interactive for use in classrooms as well as making it easier to judge the size of certain areas with differing decomposition phenomena visable as a 2D image can make this challenging. The quality of 3D scanners is pretty good these days. There are scanners available that use both laser and cameras which make the details very clear and picks up colours quite well.
Thank you for your reply!
I totally understand why moving a body would be detrimental, so do you think the 3D scans would be more helpful in terms of scale and measuring the extent of decomposition, things like that? Also are you planning on developing a TBS type scoring system using this method then too? That could be really interesting, are you thinking of comparing the results of scoring based on the 3D scans vs photos and in person evaluations?
I think being able to manipulate the model to see it from varying angles is important when applying visually scoring methods, which is something a single photograph can't do. It may also be possible to measure the volume and surface area of the cadaver without physically disturbing the remains.
Yes, I am planning to develop a visual scoring system similar to that of TBS, however, instead of determining decomposition phenomena and sequencing from literature, I will be doing live observations. The scale will also be then formed from consistent terminology used by participants after they have described what they can see in each image/3D model. You can find out a little more about my PhD research in poster room 2 in 'Forensic Taphonomy: UK Research Developments into Postmortem Decomposition'.
Yes, so long as I am able to get good quality scans, I will be comparing the use of 3D scans vs photographs in taphonomic study.
That's all sounds great, I will check out your other poster, and I look forward to seeing some images in the future, to see how you get on with it all :)
Thank you for answering my hundreds of questions!
Good luck with it all!
No problem at all Catherine, don't forget to sign up for those updates!