RES­UR­RECT­ING EARLY MAN

The process be­hind the most ac­cu­rate re­cre­ation of a ne­an­derthal to date

3D Artist - - In Bloom -

“The direc­tor of Ne­an­derthal: Meet Your An­ces­tors came to us and said ‘I need to see ne­an­derthals do­ing all of this stuff and I don’t want it to look like a doc­u­men­tary’,” ex­plains Tom Brass, creative direc­tor. “He had the faith to let us put to­gether a com­plete visual pitch for it. We made the most re­al­is­tic and emo­tive re­con­struc­tion of a ne­an­derthal that has ever been seen.”

Re­count­ing the creative process he says, “We were given a scan of a real ne­an­derthal skull, that then went to a foren­sic artist in Dun­can of Jor­dan­stone Col­lege up in Dundee and he did a full re­con­struc­tion of all of the mus­cu­la­ture.” The team now had a sci­en­tif­i­cally ac­cu­rate yet ster­ile ne­an­derthal head, but they needed to in­ject some hu­man­ity.

Brass con­tin­ues, “We scanned an ac­tor who had this beau­ti­fully craggy skin. He pulled loads of ex­pres­sions to get all the wrin­kles. Then we used that tex­ture on our model, giv­ing it in­cred­i­bly fine-grained de­tail. You can go down to each in­di­vid­ual pore, it’s all there.”

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