Ever since our prehistoric ancestors first picked up chunks of limestone and carved crude female figurines some 20,000 years ago, we humans have been trying to depict the human form in three dimensions using everything from wood, stone, clay and bronze, to modern synthetic materials such as silicone, polyurethane, fiberglass, and polyester resin. The following series of videos takes a look at some of the processes involved in creating hyperrealistic reproductions of the human form -- from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Seventeenth-century Spanish polychrome sculpture was intended to appear as lifelike as possible. The following video produced by the Getty Museum offers a glimpse into the complex processes involved in creating the life-like statue, Saint Ginés de la Jara.
In 1835 Madame Tussaud established her first permanent exhibition of wax sculptures in London. Wax Museums continue to be a popular form of entertainment today. This Discovery Channel's How It's Made video shows how these wax figures are made.
Australian-born hyperrealist Ron Mueck's sculptures reproduce the human body in all its minute details while playing with scale to produce disarmingly powerful images. The following three videos give an in-depth look at Mueck's processes.
To end on a lighter, if more macabre note, this video by Putrid Pictures gives a twisted take on the time-honored tradition of death masks. From ancient Egypt to modern times, death masks have been created as a way of immortalizing the flesh of the human face before it begins to rot away.