Can't get skin to look right

Hey there,

over the last days I have been trying to put some nice looking skin on one of my characters. Alas, it doesn’t work. I tried pixelvore’s approach (found on this forum and also in blenderart mag no. 16) and when that didn’t work out as intended I followed schuh’s tutorial (found here: and also in Blenderart mag no. 7). The results are nowhere near realistic or even good looking. See attachment, one is without sss on the diffuse channel, the other with sss turned on as Schuh’s suggested.

The scene is lit by a slightly yellow sun and a light blue back light (spot). I used AAO.

Who can help me with this?


I would turn down the specularity a bit and soften it to make shure its not looking like plastic.
And for the SSS You could play with the scale setting, because SSS is dependent of the realworldsize of your model. In the moment it looks more like the SSS of a very tiny waxpuppet.


Oi! Now it looks better, thanks a lot! The scale factor Schuh used in his tutorial was too large for my model - or was it too tiny?! Have to get used to “big numbers meaning tiny scale”. :spin: Now I put scale to .001, meaning 1BU = one meter and below is the result.

Can’t say it looks great but definately improved.

Thanks a lot!


Not sure what you’re using for your color settings, but the most realistic results are obtained with a washed-out dull yellow color for the main diffuse. You know how skin looks if you peel a good piece off of your thumb around you nail by accident? That yellowish shade? That’s your diffuse. The SSS color then is a reddish. When they combine, it looks like what we see as skin.

Check my WIP thread to see the effect of nasty yellow skin over red SSS material:

Uuhh… :eek: Peeling off a good piece of the skin of one’s finger sounds - painful at least. If not messy. Not at all yellowish :wink:

But I guess I know what kind of yellow you are talking of. In the attachments you find my actual color map and a render using it. It’s not very different from the previous renders so I guess I had been close then :wink:

Looking at your cowboy (which btw. is top notch!!), I am getting a feeling for how MUCH detail my skin is still lacking. Ugh!


check out this thread:

Okay, once again I am at a total loss concerning this skinny issue :frowning:

As you can see in the attached screenshot I have my material organized in nodes, just as e.g. pixelvore did. On top of the sss-nodes I have my painted diffuse color map, my spec map and then my bump map. In the preview window I can see all those working nicely, (although the bump adds too much lightness to the render).

As the other picture shows, as soon as I actually render the scene the bump doesn’t work anymore.

Why on earth is that?!

And in case anyone can answer it: WHY doesn’t my eye map show correctly (as in without dark spots) in the render? I didn’t change anything concerning the eyes - everything remained as it was in previous renders where the eyes came out just right :frowning:

Any help is appreciated so thanks in advance!!



Well, after a lot of trial and error I seem to have it fixed by myself. What I did was putting the bump map into the diffuse color material. After another aweful lot of tweaking and playing around with the blending modes I came up with the attached render. I guess it lacks a properly painted color map but it looks quite okay. What do you think?


Nice improvement over the original!

The lips are quite puffy though, time to add some fine detail to the skin, pock marks etc.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

I am currently in the process of painting completely new bump and color maps. I really need the practice - damn do I s**k at 2d - even more so than at 3d :smiley:

I’ll keep you posted.

Edit: See below. I think I hit it more on the spot this time, didn’t I?
Now, any solution or hints concerning the eye texture problem? :slight_smile: