An examination of the line quality of handwritten strokes plays an important role in the detection of forgery. This paper deals with the study of morphological variations in line quality of multi-generation photocopied handwriting (up-to the fifth generation of reproduction) produced by thirty-four different writing instruments. The purpose of the study is to find out the extent to which such line quality features are dependent on the nature of the writing instrument used to prepare the original, as well as the possibility of their survival (or distortion) and, consequently, their detection in the multi-generation photocopies. The overall effect of writing instrument on morphology is seen and felt in varying degrees in photocopier reproductions of all the five generations. Pen characteristics, such as striations, ink gooping, pen skips, ink bleeding/ feathering, nib marks and lead particle deposition have caused a significant difference in the morphology of stroke’s line in photocopy. The effect is much more pronounced in some of the features in photocopies beyond the second generation. There are other features, such as ink feathering and pen skips which could not be reproduced with sufficient clarity in any photocopy generation.
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