Subsurface scattering is supposed to be that little extra element that adds that little pop to your skin textures. SSS should add to your base texture, not re-color or overpower it. So far most of the stuff I’ve seen you guys doing is the opposite of that. F5 Andrei? Totally pale white boy. M5 Phillip? I wouldn’t call him pale but he’s not very dark/tan either. I’d think of him more as your average white boy. The key is to use just a touch of SSS. If we where rendering with 3Delight I’d be using UbS/UbS2 and I wouldn’t be setting my SSS above 10% unless I wanted to create something exotic looking. In LuxRender you don’t have a simple slider but there are ways to make sure you only get a touch of SSS.
Volume - Absorption Scale: The higher you set this, the less effect the Absorption Color is going to have on your texture and the less variation between arms, legs, body etc.
Volume - Scattering Scale: While this is dependent on the Absorption Scale the bottom line is the lower the Scale the less effect the Scattering Color will have.
In checking how Luxus auto-converts skin I’ve found an extremely high Absorption Scale (2250) coupled with a very low Scattering scale (4). I’m not saying these numbers should be taken as gospel but they still seem like better starting point than some of the other numbers I’ve seen being tossed around.
This experiment uses Danae’s Dublin texture, a very pale Irish lass.
I’m pretty happy with her skin tone. The level of detail of the skin and the look of the clothes and hair, not so much.
I regretfully have to disagree with everything you’ve written. I’ve tried settings like you are giving, and I think they look very unrealistic, as does the lovely Irish lass below. She looks cartoonish and not at all realistic. There is no bump to her skin and no natural sheen. I’m not saying by any means that the experiments I/we have shown so far are realistic, but they are much closer in my opinion.
I dislike the fact that I don’t agree with you. I really do not like being negative, however to say that the numbers being “tossed around” are less accurate than what you are providing is only a matter of taste. Your taste. If we were looking for flat, washed out renders we would not being experimenting so much with getting a good combination, we would just go ahead and use 3delight. Or Poser 5.
I hope my comments don’t come across as too extreme or discourage you from sharing in this thread. I just countered your critiques with the same candor that you used in your post.