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Blender Essential Training

Simulating with Subsurface Scattering (SSS)


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Blender Essential Training

with Roger Wickes

Video: Simulating with Subsurface Scattering (SSS)

One of the holy grails of rendering and shading is skin. Peaches, watermelon, grapes, anything that has a semi translucent material surface, and then some kind of meat inside of it and that meat takes some of the color and then reradiates that color back out through the skin to the camera. That's called Subsurface Scattering or SSS. We'll call it SSS. That should be easy enough for me to say couple, dozen times. So, any objects, like specially organic objects have this skin and in order to simulate that effect, Blender recently got an upgrade to its material system, which we'll link to over here, and I'll make it a little bigger.
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  1. 12m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      58s
    3. Using Blender's full capabilities
      4m 16s
    4. Getting and installing Blender
      3m 8s
    5. Mouse and keyboard differences on the Mac
      2m 27s
  2. 1h 6m
    1. Blender oddities
      7m 38s
    2. Introducing the User Interface, Console, and Render windows
      3m 8s
    3. Configuring the desktop for an efficient workflow
      6m 27s
    4. Using the mouse and tablet on a PC or a Mac
      5m 7s
    5. Acquiring keyboard skills
      7m 38s
    6. Window panes and types
      7m 53s
    7. Exploring the default scene
      5m 53s
    8. Setting themes, UI colors, and user preferences
      4m 0s
    9. Understanding how to safeguard your data with autosave and backups
      6m 52s
    10. Appending and linking assets
      7m 27s
    11. Using the open-source movies and assets
      4m 18s
  3. 2h 7m
    1. Working with objects in 3D space
      6m 24s
    2. Navigating 3D views
      4m 23s
    3. Understanding Blender modes
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding meshes
      2m 8s
    5. Editing a mesh
      3m 28s
    6. Using the Mirror modifier
      2m 55s
    7. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 35s
    8. Using Bézier curves
      3m 52s
    9. Working with text objects
      5m 23s
    10. Using reference images
      3m 38s
    11. Modeling boots by extruding circles and joining meshes
      8m 59s
    12. Applying the Mirror modifier to duplicate the boot and rotate
      1m 58s
    13. Modeling a helmet with NURBS and the Boolean modifier
      7m 14s
    14. Modeling a belt and pants by making a compound object from multiple primitive objects
      3m 51s
    15. Modeling legs by using edge loops and the Knife tool
      6m 9s
    16. Modeling a chest and arms using edge loops
      5m 30s
    17. Stitching the shoulders and neck
      5m 13s
    18. Modeling hands with the Proportional Editing tool
      9m 4s
    19. Linking vertices to create knuckle joints
      4m 7s
    20. Reinforcing modeling basics to create the face, eyes, nose, and ears
      13m 6s
    21. Appending and linking assets
      3m 54s
    22. Sculpting basics
      3m 3s
    23. Using the Subsurf modifier to smooth
      2m 34s
    24. Parenting
      2m 7s
    25. Working with groups
      2m 1s
    26. Understanding the endless possibilities for editing mesh with modifiers
      2m 37s
    27. Duplicating objects using the Array modifier
      1m 54s
    28. Modeling a set
      7m 52s
  4. 39m 41s
    1. Lighting overview
      4m 25s
    2. Using the Omni lamp
      4m 50s
    3. Working with the Area lamp
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Spot lamp
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Sun, Sky, and Atmosphere lamps
      4m 51s
    6. Using the Hemisphere lamp
      2m 3s
    7. Working with Ambient and Radiosity lighting
      7m 34s
    8. Lighting with three-point and other multipoint lighting rigs
      5m 30s
    9. Understanding shadows
      3m 22s
  5. 1h 21m
    1. Realism overview
      2m 56s
    2. Creating a world in less than seven days
      6m 36s
    3. Applying ambient occlusion
      3m 47s
    4. Working with basic materials
      3m 24s
    5. Working with node materials
      4m 27s
    6. Applying Pipeline options
      2m 51s
    7. Painting vertices
      3m 13s
    8. Using shaders
      7m 59s
    9. Using mirrors
      4m 41s
    10. Working with transparency
      4m 28s
    11. Using halos
      2m 40s
    12. Simulating with Subsurface Scattering (SSS)
      4m 26s
    13. Applying textures
      9m 34s
    14. Mapping image textures to an object to create a decal
      4m 19s
    15. UV unwrapping
      4m 54s
    16. Applying multiple materials to a single object
      3m 31s
    17. Painting in 3D
      4m 14s
    18. Using bump maps
      3m 14s
  6. 1h 25m
    1. Understanding animation
      4m 14s
    2. Keyframing objects
      6m 15s
    3. Keyframing materials
      3m 14s
    4. Creating Shape keys
      2m 28s
    5. Creating Facial Shape key animation using reference video
      2m 12s
    6. Animating by combining Shape keys
      2m 53s
    7. Working with lattices
      3m 37s
    8. Using hooks
      1m 30s
    9. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 33s
    10. Creating armature objects
      3m 44s
    11. Mirroring armatures for bilateral creatures
      3m 43s
    12. Attaching mesh to the armature by way of skinning
      5m 7s
    13. Posing a character
      4m 43s
    14. Using inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    15. Creating a walk cycle with inverse kinematics
      6m 34s
    16. Completing the walk cycle
      3m 49s
    17. Limiting range of motion and degrees of freedom
      3m 47s
    18. Managing actions using the Action Editor
      3m 52s
    19. Blending actions together using the Non-Linear Animation Editor
      4m 34s
    20. Tracking
      3m 2s
    21. Following a path
      2m 21s
    22. Mimicking an existing animation
      3m 47s
    23. Using the grease pencil
      2m 56s
  7. 50m 43s
    1. Understanding particle systems
      2m 20s
    2. Working with game engine physics
      3m 52s
    3. Spewing particles
      7m 25s
    4. Guiding particles
      3m 43s
    5. Creating reactions and collisions with particle systems
      3m 15s
    6. Creating hair and fur
      4m 25s
    7. Grooming hair and fur
      3m 26s
    8. Jiggling and squishing soft bodies
      3m 43s
    9. Simulating cloth
      6m 10s
    10. Simulating fluids
      5m 47s
    11. Using boids to simulate swarms, schools, and flocks
      6m 37s
  8. 21m 29s
    1. Using Render controls
      6m 18s
    2. Radiosity
      3m 31s
    3. Stamping text on video
      2m 32s
    4. Setting up test renders
      4m 43s
    5. Rendering image sequences
      4m 25s
  9. 1h 5m
    1. Viewing node thumbnail images on certain Macs
      1m 31s
    2. Overview and integration
      2m 12s
    3. Render passes and layers
      4m 27s
    4. Using Input nodes
      6m 22s
    5. Using Output nodes
      3m 54s
    6. Working with Color nodes
      4m 29s
    7. Color mixing and layering
      3m 27s
    8. Using Distort nodes individually and in combination
      7m 15s
    9. Using Vector nodes
      6m 46s
    10. Creating effects with Filter nodes
      8m 49s
    11. Using Converter nodes
      6m 7s
    12. Chroma keying with Matte nodes
      6m 15s
    13. Understanding node groups and reuse
      4m 17s
  10. 38m 43s
    1. The Video Sequence Editor (VSE)
      11m 47s
    2. Integrating audio
      3m 31s
    3. Using VSE Greenscreen and other plug-ins
      5m 40s
    4. Integrating the Compositor with the VSE
      7m 50s
    5. Layering and splicing video
      6m 18s
    6. Speeding up and slowing down sequences
      3m 37s
  11. 5m 26s
    1. Putting it all together: Captain Knowledge visits lynda.com
      5m 12s
    2. Goodbye
      14s

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Blender Essential Training
9h 54m Beginner Jul 15, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Blender is a powerful open-source tool for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animation, compositing, and post-production. It is used to create movies and special effects, even in HD. In Blender Essential Training, Roger Wickes offers new Blender users a thorough explanation of its interface, tools, and features. He also demonstrates practical techniques and shows how to access the online and openndash;content resources of this amazing tool. Specific 3D techniques covered include navigating in 3D space, using cameras and lights, and rendering. Roger demonstrates how to rig, animate, and composite a character over live action. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Navigating Blender's user interface and accessing open assets
  • Modeling with vertices, Bézier curves, and NURBS surfaces
  • Lighting and using multi-point light rigs
  • Working with cameras in a 3D environment
  • Painting and shading 3D objects
  • Creating realistic hair, smoke, and swarms
  • Animating objects and characters
  • Compositing rendered layers
  • Sequencing video strips with audio into a final product
Subjects:
3D + Animation Modeling Rendering Character Animation
Software:
Blender
Author:
Roger Wickes

Simulating with Subsurface Scattering (SSS)

One of the holy grails of rendering and shading is skin. Peaches, watermelon, grapes, anything that has a semi translucent material surface, and then some kind of meat inside of it and that meat takes some of the color and then reradiates that color back out through the skin to the camera. That's called Subsurface Scattering or SSS. We'll call it SSS. That should be easy enough for me to say couple, dozen times. So, any objects, like specially organic objects have this skin and in order to simulate that effect, Blender recently got an upgrade to its material system, which we'll link to over here, and I'll make it a little bigger.

In the SSS panel, under Links and Materials, we have all the normal material settings and then we have this SSS panel. So we have the normal base color of the surface and the specular color. We used to have to use Ramps to get this effect, but now SSS is very accurate. First of all, you want to enable Subsurface Scattering here for this material. Next, you're going to want to make sure that you've enabled Subsurface Scattering as a render pass here in the Render panel, so that the pass is taken on.

It does take quite a bit of compute power. So if you're doing temporary renders, you might want to turn that off for all of the objects in the scene, just that one place and then turn it back on again, when you're ready to do your file renders. Now, SSS takes this base material color and then adds in a couple of presets, one is for chicken, chicken has a yellow fat underneath the skin, to make it kind of yellowish looking. Cream, if you look at cream in your coffee, it's got like a white scattering underneath the surface. Ketchup is obviously red.

Marble has a stone color, depending on the color of the stone underneath a clear, like a quartz surface as well. Potatoes, skim milk, I'm getting kind of hungry here, but skin, we have two settings for skin, Skin 1 and Skin 2. I've used Skin 1 here as a setting and whenever you click these, all it does is it loads up a couple of different presets for you. So the main thing is this color effect and this is kind of a brown kind of a murky color, so like somebody who has a really great tan.

Then the control here sets the amount or the degree of influence that this color from underneath affects the overall skin tone that you see. So if I crank this up to 1 and do a render, you can see that Blender makes two passes. One pass is that white shade, which says okay, based on the angle of the skin, relative to the camera and the thickness of the object at that particular point, how much Subsurface Scattering would occur and then blends in the amount of color on to that surface.

So for just a very slight effect, as if the person had, let's say, thick skin, there's not too much of an effect, but still enough to give you those highlights that you get from skin as well as then when you look at it from the side or more of an angle, you get more of a darkening kind of a color. Now, there is a couple of different effects that go on with Subsurface Scattering. One is called Front side scattering, and the other is called Back side. So if you hold your hand up to a very bright light, where the light is in back of your hand, you'll see some red color coming through, because it's passing through the blood.

That light is picking up the color from that red blood and then it's coming out through the front of your skin and that's called Back Scattering. So these two controls allow you to vary the amount of front scattering and back scattering that you want to occur. Also, skin and as like with all semitransparent materials has an Index of Refraction as well. Then the relative size of the object in Blender units is indicated here for both transmitting the red, green and blue. Different surfaces absorb, those different wavelengths to different degrees.

So in this case with skin, the red and the blue travel pretty far, because that's purple, the color of blood, and whereas the green doesn't travel very far at all. So that's Subsurface Scattering, how to use it, how to enable it and what it does for you in trying to make a photorealistic render of something that is an organic surface.

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