#59: SHADOWS & LIGHT (Vue)
#58: ADVANCED DIRT MAPPING (Vue)
#57: SSS IN VUE 9, AND THE "SPECKLE" PROBLEM
#56: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL OF ART
#55: FIXING POSER CLOTHING
#54: MAKING "FOREST WAR - GOBLIN SHAMAN"
#53: MAKING A STUDIO RENDER FOR VUE
(and other apps)
#49: NEBULA MKIII (Vue)
#48: RENDER SETTINGS FOR VUE (Vue)
#47: POSTWORK - MAKING A RENDER INTENSE (Any)
#46: MAKING RIVERS THAT FOLLOW TERRAIN HEIGHTS (Vue or Bryce)

SUB-SURFACE SCATTERING IN VUE

 Sub-surface scattering, called "translucency" in Vue, is the effect where light is disperssed through certain translucent materials, like skin, jade, candle wax etc. It's tricky to get it right for flesh but does make a BIG difference to a fine render.
SSS= Sub-Surface Scattering

Points to note:

  • Translucency is best when done at the correct scales! Try to guage approximate real life size units and depths, skin is only 1 to 3 millimetres deep, so you want to set the effect to that depth on a human-sized figure, 1mm being the normal. Wax maybe a few centimetres for SSS.
  • The "Absorption Filter Color" setting is what color the light gets turned into as it's travelling through the object. For skin that's reddish to orange. For skin I like RGB 227-115-75 which is a reddish orange, but play around and find your own suitable colour :)
  • Often I find, in Vue6, that "SSS" bugs when an object is all one part but has several materials and one of them is partially transparent, to be precise I find it bugs on Poser people's heads, due to the eyelashes having a transparency map. What I do to fix that is "split" the head object, that seems to stop the bug.
  • Increasing the Quality slider helps the look, but increases render times a bit.
  • Set "balance" to 60%
  • Set "absorption" to 0.13 or more as needed.
  • The "Scattering Filter Color" should be set to the same as the "Overall Color" found in the 1st tab in the Advanced Material Editor, "Color & Alpha". This is the object's overall color. I have found problems at times when the texture map of Poser people is set to a dark background instead of white, ugh! It alters the over all colour too dark and screws it all up, so I have to go and alter the original Poser texture, so that areas outside the actual surfaces are white. For example, I've seen body textures where the surrounding colour of the map is dark brown, not white, so when the texture is brought in, it fools the overall colour, which doens't know the dark brown outer areas affect nothing.
  • You can adjust the "Color Blend" to alter the skin tone of Cacausian skin from tanned to pale using white.
  • In the image below, you can see how the light bouncing through the skin and leaving elsewhere, means that light is spread into shadowed areas.

My thanks to Bruno on Cornucopia3D amd Xpleet on Renderosity forums for all their help explaining their tips on SSS! :)


sub-surface scattering in Vue

I hope you find this of use! :)

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All original art, writing on this site, copyright of Steven James, "Silverblade the Enchanter" ©2012