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SSS and realism

Posted by Marius Oberholster on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 Under: Learning
Hey all!

For a while I've wanted to try making a Make Human character look real, but never really got to it. We're not talking years here, but a month or so, until a specific verse image about three weeks ago:



Ever since this one was made, I've really wanted to make a post about it, but I felt like GOD wanted it to publish on the ministry page first, before putting it out here. I don't know why, but I trust HIM and today is the day I get to share it with you guys.

> SSS - Sub-Surface Scattering
   Now, Make Human's SSS coming into Blender goes far to deep into the skin and makes it almost look like ballistics gel. Not completely, but it just doesn't look as good as in Make Human itself. I've noticed, looking at people, that the skin does not allow light to penetrate that far, visibly. It's like the falloff is a lot faster, almost like when using the Ease method for colorramps in Blender. It also doesn't go as deep as many images I've seen. It's enough to have light enter the skin in a visible way, to where if you turned it off, it would look hard and fake, like concrete or a dense solid plastic.

GOD was very patient with me in the making of this image and took about 3 hours to put together from start to finish and it was such a joy to do. Through the process, HE showed me how important it is to have your lighting right and secondly, how important each element is, no matter how small it is.

Unfortunately, at least in Blender Render, the amount of time it takes to render one of these frames, it's not practical for a whole cast in an animation. Possibly if there were only two and if they stood far away from the camera, hahaha.

I really have to commend the Make Human team for their efforts in creating great skin textures, because this one worked fantastically well.

While on the topic of sharing and being generous, haha, here is my SSS settings for the above model:

Don't ask me what the values mean, because I still don't know, hahahaha, I just know these settings worked in this case.
GOD gets the glory for these, not me.

> Materials and textures
   Of course, there is more to realism than great skin and that is, materials and textures (Andrew Price covers this extensively in his video about realism in CG).

For this model, I was lead to stick with the Make Human textures, but to add a little too. To this guy specifically, I added two procedural textures. One to add more fine detail to the skin and another to add a little bit more unevenness in terms of skin tone (there were issues with specularity around the mouth area for some reason). Anyway, these textures were not set-up for UV, but on global coordinates, so they won't work for an animation.

For the eyes, I had a whole different set of issues. The high-res eyes are really well modeled and textured. I just had to modify specularity between the iris and the lens in front of it. I simply made a clear material with specularity for the curved lense, and it works really well. On the eye-ball and iris itself, the texture is set with normal influence, but it makes the veins sink, not stand-out, haha.
   Where it really did work to add normal influence, was on the hair. I am so satisfied with the way the eyebrows turned out. Adding normal influence made them appear more raised, like real hair would be. So now they had distance and 3D space involved. Small changes, big difference, especially on specularity.

> AO and Environment lighting
   I was greatly disappointed with this, because of the way objects and shadows are calculated in Blender Render. It's not that it's wrong, its that it doesn't take transparency into account. It considers it an object, which it is, but doesn't take into account the textures or the settings added to the materials. The same with Ambient Occlusion. I wanted to add it, but had to leave it out. What I could do was add a little bit of environment lighting. We're talking a value of 0.010 - which is almost nothing, but definitely makes a difference! Don't underestimate the power of a small differences for realism. Every setting is a brush stroke to the whole painting and every one matters! (not an expert, but just try it and see what I mean).

> Compositing
   Though compositing did make a huge difference here, it has it's focus on appearance, as in environment - How your characters is set forth - polished. In this image, compositing was kept to a soft blur, a strong vignette, a bit of the film effect and a little sharpening - stuff that could've been done in gimp without even taking more than ten minutes, BUT again, don't dismiss anything just because it's small. Everything adds to the final image!

I hope this was informative for you guys, I soooo wanted to share this the day it was finished (it went passed midnight, haha), but like I said, GOD had a different time in mind!

Have a great one and GOD bless!!

In : Learning 


Tags: god  jesus  holy spirit  blender  make human  sss  skin texture  eyes  detail  realism 

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Revelation 22:18-21

"Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Proverbs 30:6

King James Version, Public Domain

About Me


Marius Oberholster Hey! I've been doing this full-time since July of 2011. It has been an incredible learning experience, not only learning how Blender works (still learning), but also about Open-Source and the incredible software available. ----------- This Blog will be a way to stay up to date on all things Panther Dynamics as well as some personal stuff as well.

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