(New Scientist) Your pretty face wasn’t always so pretty: the first animation of a face forming in the womb reveals how different features morph during development.
The time-lapse, produced for the BBC series Inside the Human Body, is based on human embryo scans captured between 1 and 3 months after conception, the period during which a face develops. Virtual sculptures were created at different stages, then combined by mapping hundreds of points to corresponding dots on the other models. “It was a nightmare for structures like the nose and palate, which didn’t exist for most of the animation,” says David Barker, the graphics researcher on the production. “Their formation is a complicated ballet of growth and fusion of moving plates of tissue.”