Head (texturing/lighting) ..Slow progress

I modelled this head (based on a set of reference images at 3d.sk) about a year ago, but it fizzled out at the texturing stage. Rather than dig up the old thread I thought I’d produce a new wip thread, and hopefully pick some brains about texturing/lighting. I’m especially keen to get to grips with material/compositing nodes and render layers.

I hope to get as realistic as I can with this. That means having sss, using a global illumination solution and producing good diffuse/specular/bump maps for the skin.

Exhbiit one is my first attempt (using Yafray) at a scene lit only with a HDRI map. The eyes are OK for now, but the eyelashes, which are on alpha planes, are not shadowing properly.

http://www.gmanx.com/album/3D_wips/AndreaNew/TestRend_07040801th.jpg

Earlier testing using Blender’s internal renderer yielded better results (top one is using the default sss solution, and it looks like I forgot to turn on ‘receive transparent shadows’ on the skin)…

http://www.gmanx.com/album/3D_wips/AndreaNew/Render_04040801th.jpg

I’ll post my progress as I go, and hopefully learn a thing or two in the process. I think that proper texturing and lighting are the key to the suspension of disbelief in images like this. I appreciate that it’s a tall order, but i’m going to give it a go.

Note: All textures used are very early wips. My main concern is integrating a realistic lighting solution.