Time-lapse videos of artists creating 3D scenes and models are wonderful tools of expressing methods of modeling quickly. They’re not heavily commented usually but if done well are often easy to follow if one has the basic understanding of the tool in question. You’ll see things you recognize, and learn new techniques too. While longer tutorials are great for in-depth instruction, sometimes it’s nice to just go through a quick time-lapse of the methods themselves.
In this case, an actual digitized skull is being used to create a likeness of a person using Blender 3D. This used to be done with clay layered over actual skulls but this skull was digitally scanned in and the process is done in the computer instead. Basic muscular measurements are layered onto the skull digitally using muscle groups, then retopology is used to create the skin as it may have looked in real life.
As with any re-creation, it’s only an approximation. However, it’s usually pretty close, and it’s really neat to watch in the time-lapse. For anyone familiar with head topology, you’ll recognize the overall setup – it’s pretty basic. But applying these basic methods to an existing skull really speeds up visualization of anthropological artifacts as they may have looked in their day. This article goes into far more detail on the methods used from beginning to end: Taung Child Forensic Reconstruction
And here’s a time-lapse of the face being modeled: