Based at the Liverpool School of Art and Design (part of Liverpool John Moores University), Face Lab is a research group that completes forensic and archaeological research as well as consultancy work for organizations such as the police, national and international museums, and forensic institutes.
Face Lab uses 3D scanning and other state-of-the-art technology to carry out craniofacial analysis, which identifies unknown bodies in forensic investigation, or historical figures for archaeological depiction. The team produces facial images for forensic cases following the discovery of decomposed bodies and works collaboratively with archaeologists to find out how deceased people would have looked by reconstructing faces based on recovered skulls and historical evidence.
This research is conducted at a highly specialized lab which is equipped with the latest technology including 3D scanners and 3D printers, as well as 3D modeling, texturing, animation and haptic reconstruction software. Face Lab makes its research accessible through its public engagement activity and worldwide exhibition contribution.
Face Lab recently purchased an Artec Spider high accuracy 3D scanner along with an Artec battery pack to replace their outdated handheld 3D scanner that had a poorer resolution and did not capture color.
“The easy-to-use Artec system is portable and accurate, both important things when using the scanner to capture human remains for 3D facial reconstruction, especially on site at locations across the world, where the Artec battery is essential,” says Mark Roughley, Research and Teaching Assistant at Face Lab and the MA Art in Science Program.
The ability to capture color was very appealing to the Face Lab team and seen as highly beneficial for their research into facial animation, as having 3D faces that include photographic textures enables the team to produce more realistic facial animations.
Artec Spider allows for quick and accurate scanning of human skulls, which were difficult to 3D scan before. This capability is integral to Face Lab’s 3D workflow when producing facial depictions of people from the past.
To read more about Face Lab’s amazing work, including how they are reconstructing the face of an old king, click here.