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Sketch Artist Software & Facial Composites Ė FACES FAQ

Choose from the following FAQs to learn more about FACES sketch artist software and the facial composites you can create:

FACES General FAQ

1. How can facial composite software support police investigations?
Facial composites drawn by sketch artists have been used for decades by police when the identity of a suspect is unknown and can't be determined through a lineup or through mug shot collections. But because of the limited availability and cost of professional artists, composites have often been reserved for high profile or serious cases. Computer facial composite technology is gaining increased acceptance among law enforcement agencies both to enhance the work of traditional sketch artists and to allow composites to be created more quickly and inexpensively, and used to solve a wider range of crimes.

2. What are the advantages of FACES facial composite technology?
Three key advantages of FACES technology are that it is affordable, effective, and easy to use. FACES pricing means that even small police agencies can have personnel able to produce composite images. The sketch artist software can be used on any standard computer: increasingly, police are using FACES on their laptops to get suspect descriptions right at the scene. The FACES database includes more than 4400 facial components that can be selected, sized, adjusted and blended together to produce exceptionally accurate photo-quality images of either sex and any race. With its simple and intuitive interface, FACES lets you create facial composites without any forensic art skills or experience. The sketch artist software includes a detailed manual as well as exercises to help you improve your composite image ability. You also get a booklet of thumbnail images from the FACES database to assist in witness interviews.

3. How can FACES technology help in coordinated law enforcement efforts?
FACES criminal investigation software has two features to share information across police jurisdictions and help track and apprehend suspects. First, FACES is the only technology to generate a unique Biometric Alphanumeric Code (BAC) for every composite image. BAC codes can be sent by phone, fax or email to recreate the composite in exact detail. The small size of the BAC code - less than 1KB - makes it ideal for wireless transmission between station and patrol cars, or between agencies. Second, FACES software has the ability to export composite images as JPEG files to include in police bulletins and websites. And its the only composite technology that has full integration capability with TRAK, the emergency alert solution used by more than 1400 police agencies to issue child alert bulletins and other crime information.

4. Does FACES 4.0 have improved facial and hair features?
Yes. The FACES 4.0 database has been expanded from 3,800 to 4,400 facial features, including more Asian, Latin and African-American components. We've added facial markings such as scars, tattoos, moles and piercings. Hats and headwear can be added and removed from composites: in previous versions, they were only attached only to certain hairstyles. FACES 4.0 also lets you choose between 3 different tones for hair including moustaches and beards: older versions had only a single medium hair tone. And the hair flip feature lets you change hair styles from side to side

5. Is FACES 4.0 easier to use?
Yes. Although our research shows that customers believe FACES is the easiest police sketch artist software to use and creates the most accurate facial composites, we've made some key improvements to the FACES interface. For example, with FACES 4.0 you can just click on the composite image to select and change nose, eyes, mouth, etc. The portrait area is bigger and the features palate is better organized for faster review and selection of components. Improved positioning tools, including zoom, let you fine tune features and improve the accuracy of your composite.

6. Can I email and export FACES 4.0 images?
Yes. FACES 4.0 allows you to click and send composite files attached to emails. You can also export composite images in JPEG format to use in police bulletins and websites. And it has full integration capability with the TRAK emergency alert system.

7. What kind of technical support is available?
FACES 4.0 includes a detailed 40-page user's guide. The facial sketch software includes free technical assistance by phone for 90 days after registration. And there are extensive online FAQs to troubleshoot common operational issues.

8. Are there discounts for multiple purchases?
Yes. Call our FACES 4.0 sales hotline at 1-800-516-4065 and a representative will develop a pricing strategy that delivers exactly what your agency needs.

9. What about future upgrades?
By purchasing FACES 4.0 you'll get discounts on future upgrades.

FACES 4.0 LE Sketch Artist Software

Will my 3.0 codes and files work with FACES 4.0?
Yes. You can use 3.0 intercodes and files with FACES 4.0. However, you canít use FACES 4.0 codes and files in earlier versions. With its larger database and other features, FACES 4.0 files and codes contain much more information about a composite image. Note: Intercode is called Biometric Alphanumeric Code or BAC in FACES 4.0

Does FACES 4.0 have skin color options?
FACES 4.0 composites are only available in black and white. In part this is because most forensic artists believe that black and white composites are the easiest way to recognize someone because they reduce and neutralize unnatural room lightings and shadings. If you want to darken a composite, the tutorial section of the FACES 4.0 manual explains how to do modify images using graphic design tools such as Adobe Photoshop.

Can I export FACES 4.0 composites into other programs?
YES. FACES 4.0 allows you to export facial composites to the commonly-used JPEG format. You can then use the JPEG in police bulletins or websites, or use graphic design tools to enhance its accuracy.

What are the minimum requirements for FACES 4.0?
FACES 4.0 can be used on both PC and MAC systems, and can be run from the original CD without installation. Please read the full specifications to make sure that FACES 4.0 will run properly on your system. For PCs youíll need an Intel Pentium 400 MHZ processor or similar running Windows 98 or better with a minimum of 1.2 GB free disk space, 64 MB RAM available and a monitor running 16-bit colors at 800x600 resolution. For MACs youíll need a Power PC processor with MAC OS 8.6 with CarbonLib 1.3.1 or MAC OS X installed with 1.2 GB free disk space, 64 MB RAM available: a monitor running 16-bit colors at 800x600 resolution is recommended.

Why do 3.0 composites with headwear look different when theyíre loaded into FACES 4.0 sketch artist software?
During the original development of the FACES database, a small number of people were photographed with hats and other headwear. But that meant that when building a composite, headwear was only attached to limited number of hairstyles. With FACES 4.0, we ensured that hairstyles and headwear were photographed as separate components, to allow for greater flexibility. As a result, when loading a 3.0 composite with a hat etc. youíll need to manually select matching headwear from the FACES 4.0 database and add it to the composite.

Why are some hair elements in FACES 4.0 not available in three tone format?
Because of the complexity of some hair elements, the FACES artists concluded that some styles would not look realistic in three tones. We are working on ways to provide realistic, three tone options for all hair styles.

Why has a skin tone category been included in FACES 4.0?
This category allows you to include in the BAC code an indication of the skin tone for reference. The skin tone does not, however, show up on the composite for the reasons above.

Is FACES 4.0 available as an upgrade?
FACES 4.0 is a fully new version of our sketch artist software. You do not need to have a previous version to load or install.

How do I uninstall FACES 4.0?
Go to your favorite file explorer program and remove the folder in which FACES has been installed (this folder is usually called FACES). You will also have to remove the shortcuts created in your program folder by simply right clicking on the folder IQ Biometrix and selecting the "Delete" option. Note that the FACES install program does not copy any files such as .dll to your system folder.

What's CarbonLib for Macintosh?
CarbonLib is a Macintosh update that improves the performance and reliability for Carbon-based applications on Mac OS 8.6 and all Mac OS 9 releases, including classic. If you have a Mac OS inferior to version 10.x, you will need to download and install CarbonLib in order to run FACES 4.0. CarbonLib can be downloaded free of charge from Apple's web site.

FACES 4.0 EDU Sketch Artist Software

Will my 3.0 codes and files work with FACES 4.0 EDU?
No. The FACES 4.0 EDU forensic software program does not have the same element database that FACES 3.0 has therefore you will not be able to import your FACES 3.0 composites into FACES 4.0 EDU. In order to successfully import your old facial composites, you will have to purchase FACES 4.0 for Law Enforcement.

Why can't I use the BAC (Biometric Alphanumeric Code) feature?
Because the FACES 4.0 EDU database does not have the same elements as the FACES 3.0 database, enabling this feature in FACES 4.0 EDU would cause facial composites to load with incorrect elements. Since the accuracy of this feature is critical in Law Enforcement, enabling this feature in FACES 4.0 EDU would jeopardize the integrity of our sketch artist software. The BAC code feature is only available in the Law Enforcement edition of FACES 4.0.

Does FACES 4.0 EDU have skin color options?
FACES 4.0 EDU facial composites are only available in black and white. In part this is because most forensic sketch artists believe that black and white composites are the easiest way to recognize someone because they reduce and neutralize unnatural room lightings and shadings. If you want to darken a composite, the tutorial section of this web site explains how to do modify images using graphic design tools such as Adobe Photoshop.

Can I export FACES 4.0 EDU composites into other programs?
YES. FACES 4.0 EDU allows you to export facial composites to the commonly-used JPEG format. You can then use the JPEG in police bulletins or websites, or use graphic design tools to enhance its accuracy.

What are the minimum requirements for FACES 4.0 EDU?
FACES 4.0 EDU sketch artist software can be used on both PC and MAC systems, and can be run from the original CD without installation. Please read the full specifications to make sure that FACES 4.0 EDU will run properly on your system. For PCs youíll need an Intel Pentium 400 MHZ processor or similar running Windows 98 or better with a minimum of 600 MB free disk space, 64 MB RAM available and a monitor running 16-bit colors at 800x600 resolution. For MACs youíll need a Power PC processor with MAC OS 8.6 with CarbonLib 1.3.1 or MAC OS X installed with 600 MB free disk space, 64 MB RAM available: a monitor running 16-bit colors at 800x600 resolution is recommended.

Why has a skin tone category been included in FACES 4.0 EDU?
This category allows you to include in the BAC code an indication of the skin tone for reference. The skin tone does not, however, show up on the composite for the reasons above.

Is FACES 4.0 EDU available as an upgrade?
FACES 4.0 EDU is a fully new version of our sketch artist software. You do not need to have a previous version to load or install.

How do I uninstall FACES 4.0 EDU?
Go to your favorite file explorer program and remove the folder in which FACES has been installed (this folder is usually called FACES). You will also have to remove the shortcuts created in your program folder by simply right clicking on the folder IQ Biometrix and selecting the "Delete" option. Note that the FACES install program does not copy any files such as .dll to your system folder.

What's CarbonLib for Macintosh?
CarbonLib is a Macintosh update that improves the performance and reliability for Carbon-based applications on Mac OS 8.6 and all Mac OS 9 releases, including classic. If you have a Mac OS inferior to version 10.x, you will need to download and install CarbonLib in order to run FACES 4.0 EDU. CarbonLib can be downloaded free of charge from Apple's web site.

FACES 3.0 Sketch Artist Software FAQ

Do I have to install FACES on my system to be able to use it?
No. You can run FACES sketch artist software from your CD-ROM drive, although it might be slightly slower. This option is a real bonus for users who donít have 700 MB of free hard-disk space, or for laptop users who donít want to install FACES on their hard drive.

Why doesn't FACES give me the option of making composite pictures in color?
There are several reasons for this. First, it is virtually impossible to recreate the exact tone of a personís skin. Second, adding a color option to FACES would make it more complicated to assign an InterCode to the portrait, and consequently to transmit perfect quality facial composites to other FACES users. Third, facial identification experts unanimously agree that it is much easier to recognize a monochrome image of a face than a color one.

Why does FACES take up so much room on my hard drive?
Because in addition to containing highly complex programming, the current version of FACES sketch artist software has a data bank of close to 4,000 features (noses, mouths, eyes, etc.). In comparison, the free DEMO version available on this site contains only 60 features.

Can I modify a FACES image using another type of software?
Certainly. FACES files can be saved in PIC (Macintosh) or BMP (PC) formats, which means you can open them in any standard graphics software like Photoshop (Adobe), PaintShop Pro (JASC), or CorelDraw (Corel), and edit them as you please. But donít forget that once youíve edited a composite picture in a software other than FACES, the InterCode will no longer work, because your picture will no longer be a FACES document. FACES can only read files with the .fac extension.

What kind of operating systems can I run FACES on?
FACES comes in both PC and Mac versions. The PC version must be run on Windows 95/98 or Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows Millennium, while the Mac version can be run on Mac OS 7.1. Faces does run on Windows XP but it is not supported by our technical support team. To verify whether you computer will run FACES, please download our demo and install it before purchasing FACES.

Can I use FACES on a PC 486 or non-PowerMac?
Although FACES will run on a PC 486 or Mac 68040, it wonít work nearly as fast or well as on more powerful machines, and really needs 32 MB of RAM to function properly.

Can FACES print in PostScript?
FACES has been designed not only to print in PostScript (Adobe), but also in all current PCL (Hewlett-Packard) versions on the market.

What kind of racial features can I include in my portrait?
With FACES sketch artist software, you can create portraits of any race imaginable. Since you cannot change the skin tone of your portrait, the race of the person you are depicting will be determined by the features you select (i.e. eyes, noses, lips, hair, etc.). Thus, with a few clicks of the mouse, you can transform an African American face into a Eurasian face, into a Scandinavian face, and so on.

I saved a FACES file, but I can't find it anywhere.
PC Users:
Each time you open FACES, the last folder you saved in automatically appears on your screen. If you would like to find a particular picture and are already working in FACES, you can browse through all of the FACES folders and files you have created on your hard disk by clicking on the Scan Folder icon located in the lower left portion of your screen, under the Folder Area. Alternatively, you can click on your Windows Start button and select the Find command, followed by Files or Folders. In the Named box which appears, type *.fac. Windows will list all of the FACES documents saved on your hard drive.

Mac Users:
If you are already working in FACES, you can browse through all of the FACES folders and files you have created on your hard disk by clicking on the Scan Folder icon located in the lower left portion of your screen, under the Folder Area. Alternatively, you can select Finder and click on File (or the Apple, depending on your system). Select Find, followed by File Type Is and Enter FACE in capital letters. To complete the search, click on Find. The Finder will list all of the FACES documents saved on your hard drive.

I can't get rid of the images in the Folder Area in the left portion of my FACES screen.
The Folder Area automatically shows the most recently saved files in the directory you select. If you do not select a specific directory, the Folder Area will show the last composite pictures saved in "My Documents". If you do not want any images to appear in your Folder Area, you have to select a directory that does not contain any FACES files (i.e. files with the .fac extension).

I keyed an InterCode into the Enter InterCode box, but it didn't generate the right composite picture.
You probably changed one or several characters in the InterCode. Check very carefully. InterCodes are case and character-sensitive, and must be copied exactly to generate the correct composite picture.

I've created my own Autorun Demo sequence using the Edit Autorun Demo command. How can I save it?

PC Users:
Once you have created your own Autorun Demo sequence, you should save it onto a diskette right away. Minimize your FACES window and open your c:/ drive from My Computer on your desktop. Open the Windows folder and look for a file called faces.prf. This is your personalized Autorun file. Right-click on this file. Select Send To and the drive on which you wish to save your Autorun file (in this case, your diskette). It is important to save your personalized Autorun immediately, because if you press on the Default button in your Edit Autorun Demo window, FACES will automatically restore the default Autorun sequence, deleting the personalized sequence you created. To run your own personalized Autorun sequence, make sure your FACES application is closed. Copy the faces.prf file you saved on diskette back onto the faces.prf file in the Windows folder on your c:/ drive. When you open FACES, your personalized sequence will be displayed instead of the default.

Mac Users:
Once you have created your own Autorun Demo sequence, you should save it onto a diskette right away. Click on your Finder. Select the System folder and look for the Preferences folder. Look for a file called faces.prf. This is your personalized Autorun file. Select this file and copy it onto a different drive (in this case, your diskette). It is important to save your personalized Autorun file immediately, because if you press on the Default button in your Edit Autorun Demo window, FACES will automatically restore the default Autorun sequence, deleting the personalized sequence you created. To run your own personalized Autorun sequence, make sure your FACES application is closed. Copy the faces.prf file you saved on diskette back onto the faces.prf file in your Preferences folder. When you open FACES, your personalized sequence will be displayed instead of the default.

I am getting the following error message: An error has occurred. You should save your file, quit and reload the software.
This error is due to improper access rights to your windows folder. When FACES is executed, a preferences file called faces.prf is created inside your windows folder. FACES will not run properly if your computer restricts access to this file. In order to fix this problem, you must login as an administrator (usually the owner has an administrator account) and allow full access to the windows folder.

How do I uninstall FACES 3.0?
Go to your favorite file explorer program and remove the folder in which FACES has been installed (this folder is usually called FACES). You will also have to remove the shortcuts created in your program folder by simply right clicking on the folder Interquest and selecting the "Delete" option. Note that the FACES install program does not copy any files such as .dll to your system folder.

Have additional questions about FACES sketch artist software? Contact us.

 

 

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