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Advanced Forensic Imaging Workshop

This 40-hour course is designed for forensic artists on the topic of advanced methods in forensic facial reconstructions. The objective of this course is to learn advanced methods and techniques in clay sculpture for the facial reconstructions of long term unidentified person cases.

The course is offered free of charge to law enforcement artists and individuals who have a contractual relationship with a law enforcement agency and student artists with experience in clay sculpture or forensic art.

Renowned forensic artist Joe Mullins of the NCMEC works with sculpture students at the New York Academy of Art to mold faces to 11 unidentified crime victims.


Topics discussed will include:

  • Principles of forensic reconstructions.
  • Legal implications.
  • Various computer methods of photo enhancement for facial & clothing imaging.

Student outcomes

  • Developed skills in working with clay to create a facial likeness of an actual unsolved cold case.
  • Increased knowledge in Craniofacial Anatomy.
  • A multi-disciplinary approach to creating facial approximations including anthropological methods for creating a biological profile (age, sex, & ancestry estimation from the face).
  • Understanding of the variables that influence facial reconstructions and methods for incorporating Skeletal Trauma, Facial Asymmetry, & Individualization in Reconstructions.
  • A completed facial reconstruction and case study for public presentation.


This course takes a multidisciplinary approach to forensic art and draws on artistic techniques, anthropology, anatomy and criminal investigations. Students will work on actual cases throughout the week to update the biological profile of age, ancestry and sex in order to create a clay sculpture bust. This course is being offered as part of the Tampa Bay Cold Case Project. Unsolved homicide cases from Central Florida, in which the victims are unknown were selected for analysis. On Friday, the final sculptures, case summaries, photographs, and clothing images will be presented in a public showing. The goal of the final display is to engage the public in a dialogue about the unsolved cases, in hopes of eliciting new leads for investigators.


The sending agency is responsible for all costs associated with attending this course.

Course schedule

Date Time Location
Oct. 17-21, 2016 9:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m. University of South Florida, Forensic Anthropology Laboratory

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