How to Become a Forensic Video Analyst in 2022 - Forensic Notes (2023)

How to Become a Forensic Video Analyst in 2022 - Forensic Notes (1)

If you've ever watched crime scene investigation shows on TV, you've probably seen depictions of aForensic video analysis specialist.

While television is often not an accurate representation of the job, it plays a real and important role in crime solving today.

With the proliferation of smartphones and surveillance cameras, more incidents are being captured on video than ever before.

However, the increase in video evidence goes both ways. Today, a major incident can overwhelm law enforcement agencies with the sheer volume of video that must be stored, processed and reviewed.

In addition to the vast amount of video that is now available, digital video is far more complex than most people realize. Without proper forensic analysis, the public, law enforcement and courts should not accept the video at face value.

There are a variety of factors, from your video recording method to your monitor's color calibration. All of these can have a significant impact on what people see and how they interpret the video.

These factors can easily lead to wrong conclusions about what really happened. If you have a passion for truth and helping people discover it through video, then video forensics could be the career for you.

To learn more, keep reading.

What is forensic video analysis?

According to "Video forensics is the scientific examination, comparison and/or evaluation of video in legal matters."

In order for a video or audio recording to be used in a court proceeding, it must first be validated to ensure that the evidence is authentic and suitable for court use.

A forensic video analyst must also determine what facts or evidence may be relevant to the case.

Test management knowledge and technical experience are not enough. This area also requires a high level of critical thinking. There are a number of job titles that you will see in the video forensics field.

The most common titles areforensic video analyst(FVA) eForensic Video Technician (FVT).

"The camera cannot lie, but it can be an accomplice to falsehood"

Why is video forensics important?

Have you ever heard the expression "The camera can't lie"?

Well, the way videos and images are captured can have a dramatic impact on how people interpret what they see and often lead to the wrong conclusions.

For this reason, forensic video analysts are essential when presenting video (or images) as evidence during a trial.

There are a huge number of camera brands and models on the market today, including dedicated digital cameras, action cameras (eg Go-Pro), smartphones and, of course, cameras for security systems.

File formats can vary, as can video recording settings such as B. frames per second (fps) or video resolution.

All of these can affect how and what video information is stored. A forensic video analyst must understand all of this to avoid misinterpreting what a video appears to be showing, such as the colors or perhaps the speed of events occurring in the video. In a criminal case where video can be very important in proving a person's innocence or guilt, these factors can be very important.

here are some examples:

color distortion

Perhaps the most well-known example of how images can be misleading is the viral photo.the dressin 2015. What was unique about this image was that people were very divided on whether the dress was "white and gold" or "black and blue."

This is not usually the case when a camera can affect how the image looks, but most people would still agree that they see the same colors.

However, is this a helpful reminder to carefully evaluate and examine an image before trusting it?

AI (Artificial Intelligence)With advances in artificial intelligence technology and video editing software, computers can now create videos that look and sound like recordings of a real person. A well-known example of this is the “Fake Obama” videos created with the AI ​​video tool:

Artificial intelligence is also used to review the huge amount of videos being made. We will explore this interesting topic in more detail in a later article.

frame rates

One component of video is the frame rate, measured in frames per second (FPS).

(Video) Episode 49- Brandon Epstein Forensic Video Analyst

Common frame rates include 30 or 60 FPS. However, FPS are not always constant and can vary throughout the video.

When FPS drops, our brains subconsciously fill in the gaps and are highly unlikely to notice. Fortunately, at 30 FPS or higher, a dropped frame doesn't make much of a difference. But with the low frame rates found on many CCTV recorders that can only use a few FPS, a dropped frame can lead us to the wrong conclusions about what we are seeing.

For example, if a video has an FPS of 5 and then the footage drops to 1 FPS for a second or two, our brain tries to fill in the gaps, making the action appear to speed up.

Learn more about frame rates at


Digital video technology is very different from film video recording.

When recording digital video, techniques are used to reduce the size of the created video file; this is known as compression.

One method of video compression is to use reference frames. For example, a video might only use one reference frame for every 30 frames.

This frame of reference really captures everything the camera lens sees.

Then, for the next 29 frames, the software only captures the data where it detects a reference frame change.

For example, if a person walks in the top corner of the video, only the part where a change is detected in the next 29 frames is saved, while the rest of the image in each frame is actually the reference frame.

Of course, the software isn't perfect, and when the camera's software doesn't detect the person's movement, these frames look like the person never moved.

These are just a few examples of the complexity that surrounds video.

Therefore, Forensics VideoAnalyst is vital for analyzing video and ensuring that people receive a fair trial when video evidence is used.

Video forensic clarification

Video clarification is perhaps the most common idea people have when they think of video forensics.

In television programs, forensic videos are often shown so that an invisible license plate on a car or a person's face is identified by a reflective object.

Video forensic analysts and technicians can do amazing things, but it's important to remember that some of what is shown on TV is simply "TV Magic" and not reality.

Fortunately, there are several excellent software products that can be used to remove unwanted noise or noise while enhancing the desired audio or video material that is critical to the studio.

Furthermore, video forensics is not just about video. Photos are often needed, either for the court or to create newsletters to be sent to members of the police or the public.

An example of this is receiving a still image (frame) of an unknown suspect captured on surveillance video.

This image (or images) can then be distributed to law enforcement or the public to help identify the individual.

It is important to remember that any type of video forensics must be properly documented.

Once you've checked video evidence and/or enhanced elements for clarity and documented all of your work, the most important task awaits.

court testimony!

Testimony and reports

As a video forensics professional, one of the most valuable services a video forensics professional can provide is court testimony.

While testimony is not always required, it is not uncommon for attorneys to question the validity of video evidence.

You need to be prepared and ready to talk about the actions you performed while handling or editing videos. This can include:

  • steps in the chain of evidence
  • video analytics software
  • Any changes (improvements) you made to the video
  • Possibly providing "expert" opinions on video evidence

A declaration can sound like a daunting task. And it will probably be the first times.

The key is not just having knowledge, but also being able to express that knowledge in terms the judge and jury can understand.

but many cases

whether criminal or civil, it is often resolved without you having to comment.

How to Become a Forensic Video Analyst in 2022 - Forensic Notes (2)

However, for your cases to reach a successful conclusion without your testimony often depends on you producing accurate and readable reports.

Figuring out how to present the facts in a way that's easy for everyone to understand requires a certain level of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Having a method for writing reports is important for your evidence to be used correctly in court.

How do you prepare to become a forensic video analyst?

education and experience

It never hurts to have a post-secondary education.

We are currently not aware of any courses dedicated exclusively to the field of forensic video analysis.

However, there are several more general forensic programs, some of which offer specialized forensic video courses.

When it comes to specific skills, many public sector employers (eg law enforcement) offer specialized training needed to become a video forensic analyst.

Therefore, the value of a post-secondary education lies more in exposure to critical thinking and writing skills that are necessary and beneficial to succeed in this field.

Successfully landing a position as a video forensic analyst or technician, like most jobs today, is highly competitive.

Without some sort of post-secondary education, you are likely to be at a disadvantage.

Since a significant portion of jobs in this field are in law enforcement, perhaps the most important method is to become familiar with law enforcement.

The best training for this is “on the job training”.

(Video) How to become a Forensic Genetic Genealogist

Volunteering or even applying for other positions in the organization can be important to gain knowledge and experience working in a law enforcement environment.

It's also an important element of networking, which we'll talk about later in this article.

Remember, if you expect to be hired by a law enforcement agency, your integrity and conduct in your personal life will likely come under scrutiny as well.

Past scientific misconduct (fraud/plagiarism) may deny you employment.

In this regard,AsGetting your education is just as important as getting itEraYou get your education.

If you are looking for education and training in the area of ​​forensic video analysis, here are some options for 2020.

NOTE: Some of these programs are not specific to video forensics, but they can help you add a stronger academic background to your resume. Some programs offer specific forensic analysisVideocourses not curriculum.

post-secondary institutions


marshall university
Provides a certificate of completion designed to provide knowledge and skills to identify, collect, preserve and audit various types of digital evidence. This includes topics related to digital forensic guidelines and procedures, forensic analysis tools and techniques, and legal, ethical, and quality assurance considerations. The program does not require experience in the field of digital forensics.

Learn more about:Das Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics

The University of Colorado Denver (National Center for Forensic Media)
It offers perhaps one of the most specific and directly related forensic video programs available. Presented in a hybrid format that combines primarily online learning with a small portion of focused face-to-face classes in a two-year cohort curriculum. This format allows students to work full-time during their studies.

Learn more about:Master of Recording Arts with a Focus on Forensic Media

NU (National University)
While they don't offer a dedicated video forensics program, NU does offer a certificate of completion that can be completed relatively quickly online or on campus.

Learn more about:Postgraduate Certificate in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation


BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology)
There are several part-time Bachelor of Technology (BTech) and Advanced Certificate program options to choose from, as well as a wide range of professional development workshops offered throughout the year. Two options offered by video forensics courses are:


Jonathan W. Hak, QC (Expert Trainer)
World-renowned trainer for:
Court witness testimony for experts and legal analysis of forensic videos

Jonathan is a lawyer, solicitor and law professor with over 30 years of experience. He is actively involved in the research and publication of legal texts related to the use of video evidence in criminal proceedings and in the training of forensic video analysts from the US, Canada, UK and other countries. He also trains attorneys in video forensic analysis law.

Since 2000, he has been the lead legal instructor for Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Video Association International Inc. (LEVA), where he taught at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia (2000-2004) and at various other locations in northern North America and the United States. the United Kingdom

Jonathan has also developed a dynamic and highly practical course in courtroom testimony for experts in all specialties. Since 2006, this course has been offered online in the US, Canada and around the world.

To learn more about Jonathan W. Hak and his outstanding education, visit:

View current course offerings:

How to Become a Forensic Video Analyst in 2022 - Forensic Notes (3)

jonathan falconquality control
Professor of expert reports

read the interviewRobert Merriott (founder of Forensic Notes) had the opportunity to interview Jonathan and discuss the importance of notes for foremen.

Read on:Expert Witness Interview with Jonathan W. Hak.

How to Become a Forensic Video Analyst in 2022 - Forensic Notes (4)

(Video) Forensic Image Analysis | Forensics Talks Ep. 44 | George Reis | 3D Forensics CSI

Rob Merriot
founder of
forensic notes

How to Become a Forensic Video Analyst in 2022 - Forensic Notes (5)

jonathan falconquality control
Professor of expert reports

How to Become a Forensic Video Analyst in 2022 - Forensic Notes (6)

Rob Merriot
founder of
forensic notes

read the interviewRobert Merriott (founder of Forensic Notes) had the opportunity to interview Jonathan and discuss the importance of notes for foremen.

Read on:Expert Witness Interview with Jonathan W. Hak.


There are also several non-profit groups and vendors that offer certification and training specific to their products.

LEVA (Law Enforcement and Rescue Services Video Association)
Founded in 1989, LEVA is a not-for-profit company dedicated to providing continuing education and certification in video forensic science. LEVA serves as a key resource that provides professional development opportunities through quality training and information sharing.
LEVA offers two certifications: Certified Forensic Video Analyst (CFVA) and Certified Forensic Technician (CFVT).

It is important to note that many Video Forensic Analyst (FVA) and Video Forensic Technician (FVT) positions in North America specifically require LEVA certification.

Learn more at:

IAI (International Identification Association)
According to the IAI, the largest and oldest forensic association in the world. The Forensic Association represents a diverse association with knowledge and experience brought together to educate, share, critique, and publish methods, techniques, and research in the disciplines of physical forensic science.
As a member, you can apply to become a Certified Video Forensic Examiner.

Learn more at:

NATIA (National Association of Technical Investigators)
It offers the opportunity to become a Certified Technical Investigator (CTI). A CTI demonstrated basic knowledge of audio, video, electronics, location and telephony.
It should be noted that NATIA membership is limited to full-time military and law enforcement employees who are actively involved in technical surveillance, communications, and specialist support of the agencies that employ them.

Learn more at:

Supplier Certification / Training

iNPUT-ACE (video forensic software manufacturer)
provide live and on-demand online training; including a variety of certification tracks.

Live online training options include:

iPUT ACE Operator Certification (IAOC)
2 day introductory course
Learn more at:

iNPUT-ACE Examiner Certification (IAEC)
2 days of advanced classes
Learn more at:

iNPUT-ACE Metrology Certification (IAMC)
2 days of specialized classes
Learn more at:

On-demand training:

It offers 10 different classes from 10 different experts in the field of video research and is eligible for CEU credits.

The first class is currently free and will be taught by Grant Fredericks, a former police officer with over thirty years experience in video-focused criminal investigations. He is a certified video forensic analyst and contract instructor at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA.

Learn more at:

Ocean Systems (video forensic software manufacturer)
Offering a variety of courses from just 4 hours (online) to 5 days.

    • Video Forensics - FVA 101 (5 days)
    • Basics of retrieving and processing video evidence (3 days)
    • DVR evaluation and video retrieval (2 days)
    • Clarification and image processing with ClearID - (4 hours, online)

Learn more at:

Know great training or forensic video analytics products?

Let us know and we'll be happy to add it to this article.

(Video) Day in the Life - Forensic Technician Sarah Finch

Other skills and aptitudes

As mentioned above, this is not just a specific education.

It's about having a complete set of skills and abilities.

Most are 'transferable skills' that you can develop and improve during your studies and through other activities.

Here are some areas you might want to develop further in your career to become a video forensics professional:

    • Public speaking skills to communicate ideas in front of supervisors or in a court of law
    • Take clear notes and identify key facts that need to be included
    • Detailed observation skills with the ability to pay attention to details over a long period of time.
    • Write concise and relevant scientific reports.
    • Understanding and willingness to follow scientific guidelines and processes.
    • Keep an open mind and composure in emotional situations.
    • Having your own personal integrity along with a passion for finding the truth.
    • Critical thinking and problem solving skills.

The work of forensic scientists is intended to be used in court, so it is important for the forensic scientist to be accurate, methodical, detailed, and most importantly, impartial.

Additionally, the ability to write clear, concise, and accurate reports and take detailed notes is essential to any video forensics professional's job.

While testimony from a video forensic professional is not always necessary, it is important to always maintain the quality of your reports if you are called to testify in a case.

Poorly written reports often raise questions about the quality of the work, increasing your chances of having to defend your work in court.

Networks / Social Networks / Personal Conduct

As with so many jobs today, networking is a key component to landing a video forensic position.

For this reason (as mentioned above), it can be beneficial to volunteer or apply for a freelance position with a law enforcement agency (or other organization).

People will know your name and, ideally, will see your strong work ethic and attention to detail.

It is important to have positive associations with people in the video forensics field and with the organizations that hire them.

It is also important to avoid "negative" associations.

When entering this field, it's important to consider who you spend time with and who you have close friends with.

Dealing with people associated with criminal activities or illegal drug use can affect your ability to find employment in the field of forensic science.

Remember, your online life is important too.

Employers will likely scrutinize your social media presence.

It is important that your online behavior conforms to the expectations of a forensic scientist.

His forensic video work will likely lead him to testify one day, and it is not uncommon for the defense to search his personal activities online for information that might indicate he is biased or unreliable.

For example, if your social media account has multiple posts about you being drunk, the defense may question whether you were able to work on the days you completed your video forensic exams.

Many agencies also have an extensive interview process (which may include a lie detector test) that asks detailed questions about your life choices and integrity.


Many video forensics professionals work for federal, state (provincial) and local governments, such as:

  • police departments
  • crime lab

However, competition for this job is fierce as there has been a surge in interest in the position due to media and TV shows like CSI.

Salary and career prospects

As with any job, your salary will largely depend on your geographic location and your employer.
Salaries in the United States
There is a wide range of salaries in the United States.
The average computer forensic analyst earns $70,915/year (or $27.00 per hour).
At the top, you can expect to earn $117,000/year (about $50.00 per hour).
At the low end, salaries can start at $44,000/year (about $17.65 an hour).


Salaries in Canada
Salaries are very competitive across Canada. We've seen city law enforcement hire civilian jobs at rates ranging from $34.00 to $55.40 an hour (based on 2017 pay tables).
That breaks down to around $70,500 to $115,000 a year.

It's the time!

If you're interested in the world of video forensics, we hope this article has given you some ideas on what to expect and how to prepare.

Start studying on your own, take some courses, get some certificates and apply for jobs.

It's an exciting and challenging field, but it will take time and effort.

How to Become a Forensic Video Analyst in 2022 - Forensic Notes (7)


1. Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology
2. Intro to Forensic Science Notes
(Bartone 4 Bio)
3. Buster Murdaugh Allegedly Made Rude Gesture Toward Witness
(Inside Edition)
4. Starting a New Digital Forensic Investigation Case in Autopsy 4.19+
5. Forensics Expert Explains How to Analyze Bloodstain Patterns | WIRED
6. How to get Digital Forensics Framework DFF in 2022
(Dr. Yerby)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Margart Wisoky

Last Updated: 04/27/2023

Views: 5835

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Margart Wisoky

Birthday: 1993-05-13

Address: 2113 Abernathy Knoll, New Tamerafurt, CT 66893-2169

Phone: +25815234346805

Job: Central Developer

Hobby: Machining, Pottery, Rafting, Cosplaying, Jogging, Taekwondo, Scouting

Introduction: My name is Margart Wisoky, I am a gorgeous, shiny, successful, beautiful, adventurous, excited, pleasant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.