Sub Surface Scattering

Hi,I’m testing some ideas to do subsurfacescattering in blender,mainly for rendering my own characters with it.
These are some preliminary results.
Happy Buddah from stanford(divX)

same but with blocking attenuation:

A character of mine(not finished,modelled with nicholas bishop sculpting tool)

There are some things to fix,but the result seems decent to me and rendertime is very fast,very similar to a standard render.

Looks cool! How are you accomplishing this? The SSS effect looks exaggerated and it also looks like it’s coming from a completely separate lightsource. But looks promising!


That’s looking good. Are you actually hacking the code or just playing with the nodes?

Looks fantastic, care to share your method?

Okay, that it awesome work man! Would be really nice if you’d share the method, yes.

Really promising. Got any idea of how accurate it is, compared to what real non-faked
SSS would look like?

Yeah this is mighty impressive - how does it hold up in animation? Love the demon model - I’d say the best blender sculpt I have seen!

Keep on posting

Wow… that looks amazing. Please share your method with the rest of us.

oh such a tease! this puts my efforts thus far to shame (and i could only view the jpg)

please do share your method! and excellent work!

Beautifully done. Indeed, some information about this would be very much appreciated.


The method used here is an improvements of my precedent techniques,which is partially explained on the make human site:
When I feel completely comfortable with it(I need to solve some issue), I’ll try to make a tutorial.
For now I can say that I use nodes(to modulate the effect based on principal vectors),a custom node made by myself and shadow maps
About accuratess,physically isn’t accurate(I don’t use albedo,absorption and scattering cooefficient),but visually speaking,is very similar to a true multiscattering(keep in mind that I’m mainly interested in multiscattering,single scattering isn’t important for me,I want to render Organic characters,and multiscattering is predominant here).

Well please keep us updated with your progress and when you feel that you have it perfected be sure to release the resources you use to the public :slight_smile:

hi, you have a very nice work here, i would love to see this in a usable fashion in blender, keep up the good work and my best whishes on this project, btw your model is “hot”.

Very nice picture, but excuse my ignorance while I ask the question “what is sub surface scattering?”.

FuzzMaster ->


excellent modeling.

and he looks like a lot of wax but man that wax looks great :wink:

looking forward to a final version for both
the model and the sss trick.

Thanks to all for the comments.

Some others tests on models I’m working on,with different light conditions and settings (I really would like finishing them but currently the sculpt tool which I use a lot is buggy,after saving the system became really slow,I must wait that nicholas bischop fixes this bug ).
About wax,yes,the vampyre is too waxy(and probably others models too,and too specular),the problem is that is easy to create medium scattering effets(like wax),much difficoult thin layer,the scatter need to be more accurate,but I think I’m improving the system,now is becoming more controllable.

i am looking forward to that nodes tutorial

rexprime,to make it work you need light groups,one for standard lighting,and other 2 for front and back scatter.For every light position you need 3 light,2 are spotlight(front and back scatter)and one can be anytype(the light group are IMPORTANT)
After you assign the nodes(one for standard diffusion,one for front scatter,one for back scatter) to the appropriate light groups and mix them with screen operator(nodes).Basically that’s all(mainly for the old method),but there are much more to say about using the scatter correctly.I don’t have found yet the right way to do it,I can’t explain now,my nodes tree is more than 3 pages big,it’s really cumbersome,I must find a way to simplify it a bit.
I hope it helps a bit

can we see a screenshot of your nodes setup? or possibly a blend file :slight_smile: ?

My node network(it’s currently wip,I will change it)
It’s complex,and it uses a custom node by myself(I use normal maps and shadow maps for scattering,and my normal maps node works better than current blender normal maps).I know that Ton now is working on shadow maps(at least it seems so reading the mailing lists),after his changes I’ll see if this techniques is still useful or not(if he changes how shadow maps works probably this doesn’t work anymore).If it’s still useful I’ll make the tutorial and a file with our lovely suzanne(understand me,it’s a lot of work,I’m not going to do it if this become obsolete)