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Subsurface scattering

From: Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Video: Subsurface scattering

If you want to add additional realism to your scene, you might want to consider using Subsurface Scattering. Now Subsurface Scattering basically stimulates the scattering of light beneath a surface, so in other words subsurface scattering. And this can be particularly good for semi-translucent objects. Marble is a great candidate for subsurface scattering, as are things like translucent plastic or milk. Skin is another one that can really benefit from subsurface scattering.

Subsurface scattering

If you want to add additional realism to your scene, you might want to consider using Subsurface Scattering. Now Subsurface Scattering basically stimulates the scattering of light beneath a surface, so in other words subsurface scattering. And this can be particularly good for semi-translucent objects. Marble is a great candidate for subsurface scattering, as are things like translucent plastic or milk. Skin is another one that can really benefit from subsurface scattering.

So let's take a look at how to do some skin on this little creature that we've been building. Now right now I have a very neutral material on my character, so if I hit F12 to render, you can see how-- well, he looks pretty solid. Now in this scene I have two lights: I have one in front of him and one directly behind him-- in fact, if I select that, you can see how that kind of comes up behind his head. Now when I zoom into this render, you can see the effects of that light.

It lights the top of his arm, but also, because it's behind his head, you don't really see through that head, and this is what gives it the impression of being fairly solid. Subsurface scattering can give kind of a nice transparent look to the skin. So if I turn it on, you'll see we have a number of controls here. Probably the best way to get the hang of it is to just to play with a few of the presets. So we have a number of them here: Chicken, Apple, Cream, Marble is another great one.

We're going to go ahead and select Skin2, and let's just do a quick render just to see the instantaneous effect of this. Now notice how this renders a little bit more slowly. This is because Subsurface Scattering is computing-intensive. It will increase render times. Now that it's rendered though, let's take a look at this a little bit more in detail. Notice how this arm is no longer shaded; it's more lit up by this backlight.

We also have the same effect that's almost like that rim light effect on this side of the head, and it looks much more like skin. Now we have a number of controls here. One is Index Of Refraction, in other words, how does it bend light? Scale is basically the scale of the object, and so it basically just determines how the light is scattered, how deep it goes. It gives you kind of a sense of scale in the scene. So basically larger objects will have less subsurface scattering than smaller ones.

Next, we have RGB Radius, which is basically how much does it blur and what colors does it blur? So in this case, we've got red fairly high, which means that the scattering is a little bit more biased towards red, which is how we got that orangey kind of color. Now down here we also have Scattering Weight: Does it scatter towards the front of the object or the back? The other ones affect the color of the skin of the character. So in this case we have this color here, and by default we're not blending that color in.

So if we were to turn this totally up, you can see how in the preview it goes from being mostly white to being this color. If I were to render this now, you can see how the character is now starting to take on the color of the skin. But we still have the subsurface scattering here, and a lot of that is determined by this RGB Radius. Now this will also work with textures.

Now we haven't really gotten into textures at this point. That's going to happen in the next chapter. But let's just get a little preview here. I'm going to go over to this panel here, which is our Texture panel, and you'll see I actually do have a texture applied to this character. And all I need to do is just turn it on in order for it to take effect. So I'm going to scroll down here to a rollout called Influence, and we're going to click on the Color option here, make sure that it's at 1. And then I'm going to go ahead and do a quick render.

Now notice how that texture comes in pretty nicely; in fact, if I turn on texturing in my viewport, you can what the original texture looks like, and you'll see that in the original texture his face or his belly area is white. And what we have here though is we have it coming in this kind of the skin color, and the reason is because it's actually blending both the color here, and the texture. But more importantly, notice how we still get our translucent effect, and we still kind of get that rubbery skin look.

Now if I wanted to use just this texture, all I have to do is just turn down that color and leave the texture where it is. And know when I render, you'll see that I get just the texture itself, but with subsurface scattering. So you can see that pretty nicely here in the arm and around the head. And also notice how the white is still a little bit kind of skin colored, and that's because again this RGB Radius determines the scattering color, and we've got some scattering coming both from the front and the back.

So as you can see, Subsurface Scattering is a really cool feature. It can give you a nice, natural look with just a few tweaks to the presets.

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This video is part of

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Blender 2.6 Essential Training

94 video lessons · 23859 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Downloading Blender
      34s
    4. Notes on Blender 2.7 NEW
      2m 8s
    5. Using Blender on a Mac
      42s
    6. Using Blender on a laptop
      36s
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 49m 18s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      5m 3s
    6. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    7. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    8. Extrusions
      5m 18s
    9. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    10. Subdividing meshes
      5m 12s
  5. 50m 31s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 48s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 36s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 2s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 26s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      8m 4s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 45s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      7m 43s
    4. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    5. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    6. UV mapping a character (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      6m 35s
    7. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    8. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    9. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    10. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    11. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 39m 59s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 2s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 24s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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