This probably comes a bit late but I have a few thoughts that might shed a little light on things.
One important thing to note is that the !Subsurface Base Shader preset contains no settings. It only loads the base code and attempts to match the settings that were on the surface before the shader was applied. It is better at interpreting the settings of the DS default than it is UberSurface. This is because US has on and off settings for things like reflection.
For instance, if you load Genesis and apply the “Sample Lana - No Gen” mat preset that comes with Genesis Essentials, you can see that it uses UberSurface as its default skin shader. In those skin surfaces the Reflection Strength is set to 100% but, above it, Reflection Active is set to Off.
The SSS shader has an internal switch that drops all reflection calculations but only if the Reflection strength is set to 0%. When the SSS shader reads the original surface it sees that reflection should be set to 100% and promptly turns reflections on.
Similarly, applying over a DS default surface using non-zero ambient strength and ambient maps, the SSS shader will load those settings into the Subsurface color and strength slots. That was a call on my part after discussing it by Dimension Theory. I made that decision based on the fact that ambient works quite a bit differently between the two shaders and because of how many available skin sets there are which use ambient settings to simulate a SSS effect. The Ambient-to-SSS settings may not be ideal after initial application of the SSS base but I figured this might help give a starting point for those wanting to set up SSS based skin.
So the results you get from just applying the !Subsurface Base Shader preset are bound to not look a bit less than exciting. In some cases you may see no difference at all. Now, depending on how the DS or US original surface was set up, you might double click the SSS base and see something that looks really good.
Unlike the code-only base shader, when you apply a material preset such as the toon skins, or a shader preset like gummy and plastic, DS will load the SSS shader and apply all the settings as I intended. I expect we will see many new skin sets which use the SSS Shader in the near future.
The new SSS toolbox from Dimension Theory is loaded with tons of partial presets meaning that they selectively affect certain aspects of the SSS shader settings. These are intended to help people adjust and fine tune the SSS shader settings without the need of hunting down and spinning a lot of dials. Many of them change multiple, complementary parameters at once so you can change things quickly and easily see what is affected by glancing at the icons. I think DT’s set will be really helpful in easing the learning curve of the SSS Shader.
Lastly I want to mention that, although I hope people find it very useful, the base shader is not really meant to be an all or nothing replacement for UberSurface. Each shader has some features that the other doesn’t. Omnifreaker did a great job with UberSurface and it is a very useful shader. I’m probably biased, but I like the new SSS shader and intend to use it for all things SSS and also when I need some procedural bump or soft translucency on an item. With that said, I know I will still continue to use UberSurface for many other things.