(Properly) Implementing SSS

I am kind of new to Blender. I’m currently just experimenting with obj exports from Make Human. Awhile ago I used a python SSS script made by the MakeHuman team in Blender for some pretty decent results. However, with the new SSS material option in Blender 2.44 I can’t seem to emulate realistic looking skin. I have played with the lighting and the SSS settings, but the human renders just come out looking plasticy. Does anyone have any tips on how to make the skin look softer/more realistic with the new SSS? Is having a texture a must even with SSS?

Oh, without a doubt you’ll need textures, you’ll need the colour variations and the bump map and the spec map, and all that junk. Anyway, try going for a blinn specular map, for one thing, and give it a reasonably high spec and a low hardness, and a low refr, so you only get a broad, saturated, yet dim gloss. Also, if you’re just making regular human skin, give the spec colour a bit of a blue tinge. Also, for using SSS, make the surface texture a lot lighter and more yellow than you normally would, then make the subsurf a red, meat colour, so you get a rough copy of the blending of colours underneath the skin, etc.

Anyway, there are craploads of way of improving the look of skin, but they’re mostly down to practice and tweaking, good luck.

Ah thanks for your response. I completely forgot where the specularity amount and hardness controls where (its been along time since I fired up blender). Your reply pushed me to find them, and luckily I did (in the shaders tab). The results look much more natural with spec turned down. I am wondering, how would I go about creating a specular map as you suggested? In the mean while I will be researching about human skin tone so I can make a texture as you suggested, and your info on setting the colours for SSS helped. Thanks again.

Spec is just like any other UV mapped texture, you just set it to ‘spec’ instead of ‘col’ or ‘norm’. Also, set the spec settings to 0 if you’re using a texture, cause the spec texture will get added over what already exists, I think.