View Full Version : integrated LW sub surface scattering

10-22-2005, 07:29 AM
I'd like to see an integrated and realistic sub surface scattering option in the next release of Lightwave (I'm currently using Version8). I already know about some of the pluggins available such as Ska, gSkin, G2, TB's fake skin shader, Ogo hikari etc (if anyone knows of any better ones please let me know) but none of them really cut the biscuit. I've seen some amazing examples rendered with the Brazil renderer (for Max) and Renderman and I would really like to see the same in Lightwave. I'm not talking about a shader that fakes the effect either ...I want the real thing. It makes all the difference when it comes to photorealistic rendering of skin.

please please pretty plesse with sugar on it

10-22-2005, 10:21 AM
Yes, I'd like that also. Something that looks like the 3Dmax or XSI SSS (or maybe Maya, haven't seen it).
Personally I don't care if it's real SSS or not, as long as it looks good, and isn't dead slow. (hard to make? not sure)

11-04-2005, 04:52 PM
the silence regarding this question is not a good sign.

LW users have been asking for SSS for a long time now and I think it's high time NT put it in. Even Poser has SSS. Really really would like to see this in release 9.

11-04-2005, 05:33 PM
Yup, but I read somewhere that OGO Hikari/Taiki (alwas mix the two...) was limited by LW's SDK. Now that LW's SDK is more open hopefully we'll see some good SSS soon.
The problem with OGO is that it is extreemly slow, due SDK, (I read it in another thread). And G2 only has so-so SSS +cost money.

SSS for LW been discussed so many times before but with limited good results. (in my opinion)
I'm might try OGO some more and hope it can pull it off,.. or wait.

Some links.
http://graphics.stanford.edu/papers/bssrdf/ ((general info about BSSRDF / SSS)
(How to integrate SSS into LW) (http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=28293)
(mentalRay Mi_SSS plugin) (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=219323)
(The Matrix SSS) (http://home.no.net/erikals/cgtemp/Neo3D.jpg)


11-04-2005, 07:37 PM
"It makes all the difference when it comes to photorealistic rendering of skin."

It doesn't actually, excellent modeling, surfacing, and lighting makes all the difference in rendering of skin....

SSS is merely an overused buzzword, which usually amatuers clammer, over
because they think it will instantly make thier human characters better.... IMO

From all our attempts, skin can often be created just as well with maps, alpha's, procedurals, gradients, transparancy or transluceny stuff...and the difference is negligable, in 99% of cases....

And why not make a Fake Shader? They often provide great approximations,
without taking 72 hours to render..... Often we are in the business of "faking"
things in 3D.... Hikari, G2, etc.. I think theirs already too many plugins, that offer this buzzword... :)

I'm sure everybody wants it, personally i'd love 100,000 other things
before a XSI style SSS shader, which is just not that cool! (one trick pony)
But that's my own personal opinion, which is a minority on this one! :)

11-04-2005, 08:44 PM
I'd have to disagree, :)

Everyone that wants to make kick*** skin renders need SSS.
Fake shaders are cool with me, as long as the results are good. The Ska plugin is not all that bad, but it should have been better. G2 is ok, but not all that either.
(including the best face renders til now, Pooby, Leigh, TheRipper)

SSS is not a hype, it just makes better skin renders.
Put short, if you want to make the best skin renders in a light, e.g. sunny environment you need SSS. (I'd love to be wrong though :), but haven't seen anyone being able to prove me wrong yet, unfortunatly :/ )

Yes, making a fake shader is just as good, as long as it's able to fake true BSSRDF.
I have to agree I'm picky, but I just want to be able to make kick*** skin renders :)

This example in 3Dmax http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=219323 shows the great advantage of SSS, making light bounce under the skin. However the artist IMO has misused this a little and "forgot" to add details in the skin. You can see that the skin appears too clean, it looks like one color.

The Neo example from The Matrix though is better http://home.no.net/erikals/cgtemp/Neo3D.jpg and IMO is an excellent example of what SSS is capable of.

Edit: render of Neo SSS http://www.uemedia.net/artman/uploads/0311MatrixVFX3.mov

Talking about Neo, time to get some sleep here... eeearly in the morning.

11-04-2005, 10:49 PM
Like i said, i'm in the minority.... I just think graidents, weights, and a few trricks, can pull off just as convincing skin, as a SSS shader.... It just needs tweaking..... Anyway i won't argue.. :)

I'm sure Leigh etc, are great, but i assure you i have infinately better human 3D skin exmaples from many LW artists over the years...
I know a few people from 2x 3D anatomy companies, they do skin ALL day long! :)

I have seen excellent examples from people like Mark Soon, and many more
a few of which have just finished working in Milan on the Dear Anne movie..

I will say i believe XSI was used for most rendering in this one.
LW was used extensively in Modeling for all models.

Anyway, SSS does make a difference, it just needs to be used, with someone who is already 100% in lighting/surfacing before it's needed...

I'm sure i could setup 10 scenes that have XSI SSS's shader,
and 10 that don't and i'd reckon you could fake the look of the shader,
in 8 / 10 of them, without anyone ever knowing.... (and no rendertime hit)

BTW the Maya shader that you mentioned, above.... is Maya (not Max)
and it's a non integrated shader too... So i wish NT would work on the core,
and leave one trick pony plugins, to OGO, G2 or someother 3rd party tool!

11-05-2005, 03:04 AM
SSS is definitely a must-have! It is essential to realism, not only for skin but for every other organic stuff (plants, fruits, ) as well as things like plastic, fabric and lot more.
The unavailability of SSS is a big part in the general plastic-like cg look. Putting it in may mean that most people overuse it, but many people put too much reflection in their surfaces also.

12-15-2005, 05:43 PM
Even Carrara Pro 6 has it now.... Lightwave is the tool i moved to FROM Cararra... irony...

12-15-2005, 07:10 PM
yes, I think it's a must now, all 3D programs have SSS, even those that are cheaper than LW..
I know they did not put that in their LW9 list but I sure hope they will put it

12-15-2005, 07:57 PM
Like i said, i'm in the minority.... I just think graidents, weights, and a few trricks, can pull off just as convincing skin, as a SSS shader.... It just needs tweaking..... Anyway i won't argue.. :)

I've got to agree with Red Bull to an extent. It doesn't seem as important to me either.

If you've ever been on a movie set and watched a makeup artist at work, they put a s***load of makeup on the actors. There is no way that SSS is seen through it. Now, I understand it can be important for ears and maybe a hand that's backlit, etc., but in general, makeup artists smother the skin with pancake.

Not to say I don't want SSS in LightWave. It'd be great! I would use it primarily for things other than a character's face.


12-15-2005, 08:31 PM
As long as Nodal Shading system has the necessary ingredients, SSS is possible without plugins.

(A significant parameter is Surface Thickness)

12-16-2005, 02:05 AM
Do you think movie makeup doesn't have any SSS qualities?

anyway, SSS isn't just for skin.

12-16-2005, 04:19 AM
Actually, IMHO the most SSS shaders are good for everything but skin...unless you want an exagggerated Madame Tussauds look...often good "fake" skin shaders replicate the tones of skin just as well or better, so it's really more the backlit ears 'n stuff that is a little harder to get right...
But, every now and then, i do want to create objects made of wax or similar highly scattering media...

12-16-2005, 07:07 AM
Do you think movie makeup doesn't have any SSS qualities?

anyway, SSS isn't just for skin.

Assuming you are responding to me... I did say that I would love SSS for other things besides skin.

I just don't feel it's that important for a digital actor's face.

Would the makeup on a real actor have SSS? I suppose a little... Again, noticeable?

Now if you are going for a non-Hollywood look, ie. a reality show, I don't know, I guess it would be nice to have.

Bottom line for me... I would use it for skin if it was fast enough. I just wouldn't use a lot.

12-16-2005, 09:57 AM
SSS is the waxy look. I.e Light enters partially into a surface.

Skin shading is more, not only SSS.

12-16-2005, 10:08 AM
This wasn't too bad (it's quite nice actually)..it's G2 though.. (I don't have the money :( )
Great to see some kick*** renders using LW :)