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FARO Zone 3D








FARO® Knowledge Base

Blood Spatter Analysis in FARO Zone 3D


This article provides instructions and tips for successful blood spatter analysis using FARO Zone 3D.

Visit the FARO Academy for a 40-minute video on how to utilize your crime scene photographs within the powerful blood spatter tool available in FARO Zone Expert.


Success Starts at the Crime Scene

  1. Identify your patterns of interest.
  2. Label your bloodstain patterns for documentation:
    1. Grid large areas into smaller sections and make sure to label and document each one separately.
    2. OPTIONAL – If you are trained in BPA and wish to use individual stains for analysis, label each stain and utilize macrophotography to document them accordingly.
  3. Include some form of visible marker (sticker dots, coded markers, sharpie, sticker scales, etc.).
    1. The chosen type needs to be visible in BOTH the scan data AND photos for alignment.
    2. Marker Placement:
      1. For 2 point alignment - markers need to be placed on each side of the pattern of interest (horizontally).
      2. For 3 point alignment – an additional marker should be placed above or below the same pattern (I.e. two horizontal points, one vertical).
  4. Complete the following photographic documentation of selected patterns and/or individual stains.
    1. Overalls – standard photography rules apply.
    2. Mid-ranges – must be taken at 90 degrees if you are using the photo for analysis.
      1. A tripod is highly recommended along with the use of “Manual” or “Aperture” modes for focusing.
      2. Make sure to fill the frame with your markers visible at the pictures “borders”.
    3. OPTIONAL - Close ups (individual stains) – must be taken at 90 degrees if using for analysis.
      1. A tripod is STILL highly recommended along with the use of “Manual” or “Aperture” modes for focusing.
      2. Make sure to fill the frame and have your markers visible.
      3. Sharpie “dots” can be sufficient to act as markers:
  5. Scan IN COLOR not grayscale.
    1. Recommended settings: 1/4 resolution at 4x quality with the scanner positioned within 6ft of the pattern.
  6. Export the data from the scanner and import it into FARO SCENE.
  7. Process and register the scan data.
  8. Complete clean up as needed.
  9. Create a Project Point Cloud.

Blood Spatter Analysis in FARO Zone

  1. Import your Project Point Cloud FARO_ZONE_BloodSpatterTool_Workflow_Fig.4.jpg.
    1. Pick your 0,0,0 point using the “center to pick point” option under cloud positioning tools FARO_ZONE_BloodSpatterTool_Workflow_Fig.5.jpg.
    2. Remove the roof/trees via the vertical cut off option (also under point cloud tools).
  2. Create a new layer to work off of in the layer manager FARO_ZONE_BloodSpatterTool_Workflow_Fig.6.jpg.
  3. Open the Blood Spatter tool FARO_ZONE_BloodSpatterTool_Workflow_Fig.7.jpg from the Power Tools tab.
  4. Pick your alignment (2 point/3 point/etc).
    1. You can set a default alignment choice under Preferences FARO_ZONE_BloodSpatterTool_Workflow_Fig.8.jpg.
  5. Import the photo you wish to align to your point cloud.
  6. Zoom in and pick your 2 (or 3) marker points on your selected photo (per your choice of alignment).
    1. Pick points by using the reticle on your curser to select the direct center of your chosen markers.
    2. When using marker “dots”, you can scroll in/out with your mouse to make the circle portion of the reticle match the size of the marker for easier selection.
  7. Pick the same 2 (or 3) points on the point cloud.
    1. Using the magnification window tool can help you zoom in on your point cloud when selecting points.
  8. Your photo should now be aligned on your point cloud, if not – retry picking your points by clicking on FARO_ZONE_BloodSpatterTool_Workflow_Fig.11.jpgor FARO_ZONE_BloodSpatterTool_Workflow_Fig.12.jpgin the command window (while the photo is selected).
  9. Next, click edit droplet FARO_ZONE_BloodSpatterTool_Workflow_Fig.14.jpg.
  10. In the new window, zoom in on the stain or “droplet” you wish to start with and click “draw droplet” or“edge detection” to begin pulling your “virtual strings”.
    1. The draw droplet option allows you to manually draw the edges of the droplet/stain by clicking to select the length and width.
    2. The edge detection option provides you with a highlighted circle that you can use to select just the elliptical part of the droplet/stain (without the tail). The program then takes the measurement from the widest part of the droplet to its tip to auto calculate the length.
  11. Both options can be further adjusted by selecting “edit droplet” FARO_ZONE_BloodSpatterTool_Workflow_Fig.15.jpg.
    1. Label the droplet to match your photos by adding to the “Description”.
    2. You can also change the transparency and color of your virtual strings to make adjusting your selections easier.
    3. If the tail of the droplet (dashed line) is facing the wrong way you can flip it by clicking on the “flip direction” button.
  12. Continue the process for multiple stains in multiple areas (don’t stick to just one pattern area!).
  13. Avoid looking at the sphere where your virtual strings intersect (also known as the area of origin) to avoid falling into confirmation bias.
  14. Once finished click the area of convergence to bring up your command window and to check your Standard Deviation.
    1. OPTIONAL – In the command window you will have several settings you can adjust as needed (such as color, transparency, line length, etc).
    2. NOTE – If you are working with Cast-Off stains specifically, you will want to turn on the toggle for “Show PVE”.
  15. When you’re ready, click the Report button FARO_ZONE_BloodSpatterTool_Workflow_Fig.19.jpg.
  16. Customize your Report to your tastes using the settings window.
  17. Choose Print Report to review and add author and case information.
  18. Print.