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Thread: A more advanced Simple Skin setup.

  1. #1

    A more advanced Simple Skin setup.



    (I'm crap at explaining things and my grammar sucks but bare with me)

    I'm not sure if this has been posted before or even talked about. I just wanted to share my findings with Simple Skin, from using for over 3 years I have to say it is one of the most amazing Shaders on the market (this is also possible with Fast Skin)

    Simple Skin is very powerful indeed, it closely matches Mental Rays more advanced skin shader if used correctly. I came across a neat trick a few days ago with using a Thickness Gradient in a Node Scalar plugged into a multiplier Node (set to 0.001+) hooked into the Distance setting of Simpleskin. This allows for a more accurate calculation of skin depth and how far light should be absorbed into the Skin, more intelligently than relying on 2D image maps (based on real world dimensions)

    Without it you can of course control the depth amount of Epidermis and Subdermis light absorption but it is just an overall figure. Many times I have personally had issues with ears on characters when just using an overall figure, you get clipping and bad dark areas, as the shader can't tell by itself how far it should stop absorbing light in, if it is close to the back surface of the skin, like the thin flap of an ear.

    Normally about 2mm for Epi and about 5mm for Sub is a good base setting.



    To overcome this you can use various image maps on their own or using the scalar node to input them but this isn't really a volumetric type calculated way of doing things. Using a thickness gradient 0-100% based on incremental distances 0mm - 5mm+ you can define how much light should be absorbed at those distances.

    You can also plug one of these thickness gradients into the color slots of the Sub or EPi Colour channels! a great way to find out what is going on with your skin, depth wise and also gives a cool way to colour at different depth ranges.

    (the artifacts in these FPRIME renders are from displacement issues)

    You can also slip in an image map in the Scalar layer above the Gradient map to insert in some depth veins!

    Over all, inserting in a thickness node helps you over come any clipping issues or over sampling SSS depth in areas you don't want and just generally much more automated control over what's going on - giving you more freedom to create.



    I hope this helps someone. Anyone have any more cool tips on this matter?
    Last edited by Infinite; 01-28-2010 at 08:59 AM.
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  2. #2
    Nowhere User Nowhere Man's Avatar
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    Maaaan, thanks! This is one of the most informative (it may be just one additional node, but it seems to be going a long way in making SSkin easier to control and, in consequence, look better) posts on the subject of skin I've seen so far; thanks again for sharing Your tips
    Last edited by Nowhere Man; 01-28-2010 at 02:16 PM.

  3. #3
    Man of many cells. shrox's Avatar
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    Somebody upload a sample block already!
    shrox www.shrox.com
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  4. #4
    Valiant NewTeKnight Matt's Avatar
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    Lee, really, your work is incredible, I simply have no words.
    UI / UX Designer @ NewTek
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  5. #5
    Dutch Bacon
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    Thanks for sharing your findings. Stunning images. The technique shown really is awesome.
    Last edited by Rove; 01-28-2010 at 07:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Valiant NewTeKnight Matt's Avatar
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    Okay, this was too good to not package in a nice PDF, so, in honor of Lee's awesome work, here's a PDF on this subject.

    I think I got most of it right, but please, let me know if I didn't!

    Hope you don't mind Lee!
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Matt; 01-28-2010 at 06:02 PM. Reason: Updated to include example node flow
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  7. #7
    Registered User novawave's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for the tips,, that 0- 5 mm range on epi are really something that i ussualy miss when setting up my SSS, no wonder mine ussualy looks more like a plastic LOL

    btw ,which Fprime version you use?is it able to render SSS on real time preview??

  8. #8
    mucho mojo nikfaulkner's Avatar
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    wow this looks great,

    still a bit confused with nodes in general, i'll maybe take james busby's content from his great "patient" tutorial ...

    http://www.3dtotal.com/team/Tutorial...patient_04.php

    ... and use this new setup. any chance any of you pros could post a surface file?

    if i can get it to work (get it into my thick skull) i'll post my results

    n.
    yeah alright.... we won a BAFTA http://littleloud.com/work/bsr/

  9. #9
    How Old? Really? Aww Heck colkai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Lee, really, your work is incredible, I simply have no words.
    Well, yeah, currently picking my jaw up off the floor.

    EDIT: Matt, muchos for the PDF!
    Too old to die young.

  10. #10
    CG Generalist akademus's Avatar
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    thanks a lot, man! I've been fighting Skin nodes for a while, this is really helpful.

    You just made my day!

    Edit: And if anyone listening over there at NT, please hire Matt to do the interface, site and documentation design for LW. PLEASE!
    Last edited by akademus; 01-29-2010 at 02:16 AM.
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  11. #11
    Is it just me or does Fprime render simple skin considerably different than native renderer or Kray?

  12. #12
    Dutch Bacon
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    A bit off topic but I had this feeling I had seen this guy before and came to the conclusion that he looks like Richard "Mack" Machowicz from Discovery's Future Weapons .

  13. #13
    Nowhere Man: Thanks, I was hoping it might be useful to someone. Simpleskin and other Node uses are so under encouraged or talked about that I thought it was time to chat about it and share ideas together.

    shrox:

    Matt: Thanks Matt, I appreciate that.

    Rove: Thank you, I hope these settings come in useful some day.

    Matt (2nd post): Matt your a genius, that looks so cool. Newtek need to open their eyes and employ you already! This is the 2nd piece of brilliant documentation I have seen you do let alone your interface designs. Nice one dude!

    nowave: The thing with SimpleSkin settings and the mm examples I posted, you have to obviously create to true world dimensions, things also have to be accurately modeled otherwise you wont get the nice glow effects. I spend ages on ears these days, it's all I seem to do! but they are so rewarding if you can get their dimensions and form right, so many people seem to skip this part of characters and I reckon the ears are the most important part! I use FPRIME 3.5 with Lightwave 9.6. I don't use and SSS nodes sadly.

    nikaulkner: Thanks, well Jamie Busby is a Character guru. His works is amazing. You might like this - http://www.ten24.info/Blog/ His new tutorial, it's really good and very informative. If I get time today I will try and post and example ear or something with the node setup for you to play with It's so much easier having things to look at first hand.

    colkai: Thanks allot

    akademus: I hope it can help and I totally agree with what you said about Matt! NT you there!

    Jure: I think FPRIME does seem to render slightly differently, although for the first time in about 5 years I have started to experiment with the Native renderer in LW9.6 and it is pretty good now, much fast with GI and SimpleSkin but still quite slow. The results how ever are much sharper and more defined. NT need to buy up Worleylabs already for a hefty sum I might add! The Worley chaps are amazing.

    Rove: Nice link! :agree:

    EDIT: By the way guys, and this is very important. I am not technically minded at all and cannot guarentee my findings are 100% sound, I go by the final results that are produced. So I cannot guarentee that my methods are using the Node setups correctly, someone from NT (or a more technical mind) would have to confirm if this is indeed a sound setup for SimpleSkin.
    Last edited by Infinite; 01-29-2010 at 04:06 AM.
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  14. #14
    Banned OnlineRender's Avatar
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    probably one of the best 3d artists iv'e seen in a long time ...........................

    you and blam are on fire ! and +1 vote for Matt /\

  15. #15
    mucho mojo nikfaulkner's Avatar
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    that would be great infinite, i do tend to learn new stuff from reverse engineering scenes. i think my brain works better that way.

    anything you share would be great.

    thanks

    n.
    yeah alright.... we won a BAFTA http://littleloud.com/work/bsr/

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