Real World Sub-Surfice Scattering

I noticed a couple of real world SSS phenomena the other day.

First of all if you cast a shadow on your hand there’s a red glow round the inside of the shadow.

Secondly, if you shine a light through your fingers, they are entirely translucent! there’s not a single part of your fingers that doesn’t glow red. as your bones aren’t transparent this must be because of sss. It probably helps that you haven’t any muscle in your fingers, only tendons.

So? YOu made an observation. Another waste of thread. Where’s valarking?

This thread might create a phenomena that thousands of internet users simultanously get burnt on the hand for holding it over a lightbulb

Lightbulb is too dim.

But if you can ‘shut out’ sunlight so that you look at only the sunlight coming through your hand shows how totally transparent meat is (eye -> cardboard tube -> hand -> sun…). Only in the sunlight the surface reflection is too bright to see it.

I’ve known that for quite some time, I’ve seen others like the glow in the wax you get from lit candles.

Here’s one: I was laying around on my backporch and there was some sunlight slipping through the window, next to a cardboard box. I put my foot in the light and it was so reflective that it lit up the whole side of the box.

Conclution? Human skin is really, really reflective. Like 1.00, with SSS, and then you have really bright person.

Yeah - big waste. A few k of text. why waste more by complaining?

Ok - it’s not ground braking, but it surprised me. And for me it worked with a torch in a darkened shed, but I do have skinny fingers. you have to block off the light or it will dazzle you, so a lightbulb won’t work unless you can completely suround it with you hands.

Surprised!?!? Were you also surprised by the color red too? How could you have missed subsurface scattering?


if you find it dumb than just do not post anything and ignore it.

ever thought that maybe somebody who is new might post things which
are commence sense for advanced users?

Trained eyes for observation and details are essential for texturing & lighting.

I only did this because some people will do it again and again. Pointing out the obvious, but you could be right. Maybe we “advance” user know more about it and don’t think much about it.

Still annoying that a four year old knows about this phenomena and he gets this now.

well, I think that we should not worry too much about this kind of threads. Just my opinion. You always can engage positive debates from such simple observations. I believe.

This thread was profitable. I always thought there were little muscles in your fingers, but now I know there aren’t.

It’s not so much the noticing of the red glow as understanding what is going on. Of course I noticed the red translucency as a small child. sub-surfice scattering by name and explanation was new to me a bit ago. the red halo round a shadow was new to me. So was the fact that light can shine all the way through a finger yet not show the shadow of the bones. After hearing about sub-surfice scattering I wanted to find evidence of it rather then just quote the words.


How do you move your fingers if there aren’t any muscles? Did I miss something
of great importance here?

sarcasm?:o :o


well you know it would not be abd in case there would be a thread discussing those elements as well. because ofte the absense of knowing about those fine details make often the work bad.

it the same with drawing, you can draw when you know how to see.