Modeling age, obesity, and ethnicity in a computerized 3-D facial reconstruction

Evison, Martin (2001) Modeling age, obesity, and ethnicity in a computerized 3-D facial reconstruction. Forensic Science Communications, 3 (2). ISSN 1528-8005

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It is a common misconception that a facial reconstruction is an exact likeness of a person during life. A cursory examination of the skull reveals that the relationship between skull contour and facial appearance is not direct. On the forehead, margins of the eyes, cheekbones, bridge of the nose, above the lips, and the chin, facial shape is closely related to skull contour. However, the shape of the eyes and eyelids, the tip of the nose, and the lips cannot be predicted from the skull, and these are important features in facial recognition (Figure 1). Furthermore, hairstyle and hair color, skin color, facial hair, scars, tattoos, piercings, jewelry, clothing, cosmetics, glasses, and numerous other aspects of facial appearance cannot be determined from the skull.

Estimates of age, height, build, and even sex are imprecise, and degrees of obesity and aging, for example, cannot be predicted. Ethnic affiliation can only be estimated with weak statistical confidence and even then only for that which has evolved as a consequence of continental scale biodiversity and history—such as African, African-Caribbean, or Caucasoid (European ancestry).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F400 Forensic and Archaeological Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Martin Evison
Date Deposited: 08 May 2015 14:29
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 17:29

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