GrinLine Identification using digital imaging and adobe photoshop

Susan A. Bollinger, Paula C. Brumit, Bruce A. Schrader, David R. Senn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to outline a method by which an antemortem photograph of a victim can be critically compared with a postmortem photograph in an effort to facilitate the identification process. Ten subjects, between 27 and 55 years old provided historical pictures of themselves exhibiting a broad smile showing anterior teeth to some extent (a grin). These photos were termed "antemortem" for the purpose of the study. A digital camera was used to take a current photo of each subject's grin. These photos represented the "postmortem" images. A single subject's "postmortem" photo set was randomly selected to be the "unknown victim." These combined data of the unknown and the 10 antemortem subjects were digitally stored and, using Adobe Photoshop software, the images were sized and oriented for comparative analysis. The goal was to devise a technique that could facilitate the accurate determination of which "antemortem" subject was the "unknown." The generation of antemortem digital overlays of the teeth visible in a grin and the comparison of those overlays to the images of the postmortem dentition is the foundation of the technique. The comparisons made using the GrinLine Identification Technique may assist medical examiners and coroners in making identifications or exclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-427
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Digital imaging
  • Forensic identification
  • Forensic science
  • GrinLine
  • Odontology
  • Photographic comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics


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