Three-dimensional (3-D) video processing is currently an active area of research that attracts scientists from many disciplines, including computer graphics, computer vision, electrical engineering, and video processing. They join their expertise to attack the very hard problem of reconstructing dynamic representations of real- world scenes from a sparse set of synchronized video streams. To put this idea into practice, a variety of challenging engineering and algorithmic problems have to be efficiently solved, ranging from acquisition, over reconstruction in itself, to realistic rendering. This article is a tutorial style review of methods from the literature aiming at reconstruction of 3-D humans as well as of a variety of model-based approaches that we developed to reconstruct, render, and encode free-viewpoint videos of human actors. We will show that the commitment to an a priori shape representation of a person in the real world allows us to solve many of the previously described reconstruction problems in an efficient way.