Human Surface Shader help

TsubasaShiTsubasaShi Posts: 0
edited December 1969 in Technical Help (nuts n bolts)

Well, I know I'm late in the game to start using this, but I was wondering about the HSS settings. I actually attempted to start using this with a little help from a Tutorial I found on deviantART. Set my settings and well, I had an extra high blue gloss where the light was directly striking the surface.

The settings I used are:

Light: Distant Light @75% Intensity
X-Rot: -21.43
Y-Rot: -67.49

UV Maps: Untouched
Smoothing: Untouched
Diffuse: 255-255-255 w/ Map, ON @100%
- Basic: 100%, ON, 255-255-255
- Refraction: OFF @1.30
Bump: ON, 10% w/ Specific Maps Min -.10, Max .10
Displacement: OFF, None, -.10, .10, OFF
- Basic: On, 0-128-128, 15%, 2.0%, 2.5%
- Secondary: OFF, 0-128-128, 7.5%, 17.5%, 2.5%
- All: OFF
Ambient: On, 255-255-255 w/ Map, 25%
- Basic: OFF
- Fresnel: OFF
Velvet: ON, 0-128-128, 100%, 20.00
Subsurface Scattering: ON, 208-176-163, 100%, 4.00, 0, 32
Translucency: OFF
Shadows: ON

I did a little checking into it and messed with the Velvet setting a little and it helped, but the effect is the same as if I were to do it without the HSS on.

Any help or even a link to a forum post I couldn't find when I did my search would be great.


1280 x 1920 - 824K


  • scorpioscorpio Posts: 5,544
    edited December 1969

    Use Uber surface rather than HSS and look at these settings

  • BejaymacBejaymac Posts: 1,205
    edited December 1969

    If you zoom in on Rawn's picture you'll see that he used the HSS that comes with DS4 in that tutorial, so I'd stick with it rather than use UberSurface.

  • TsubasaShiTsubasaShi Posts: 0
    edited July 2012

    Use Uber surface rather than HSS and look at these settings

    Thanks. Though I still use DS3 (Preference in interface), I'll see what I can apply to it. I'll also switch over to the Uber surface that came with it and work with those settings as well to see what I can accomplish.

    Post edited by TsubasaShi on
  • KhoryKhory Posts: 3,847
    edited December 1969

    If you zoom in on Rawn’s picture you’ll see that he used the HSS that comes with DS4 in that tutorial, so I’d stick with it rather than use UberSurface.

    They are nearly identical. Ubersurface has slightly more capability and is a bit newer.

  • TsubasaShiTsubasaShi Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for all the help. I've looked at his, and am adjusting it using Uber Surface in DS3. When I have finished my playing around, I'll post what I was able to do. :) Thanks again everyone.

  • wowiewowie Posts: 1,392
    edited December 1969

    The high blue gloss probably comes from using too much blue color in specular and velvet colors.

    My suggestion for tweaking your own preset is to start with everything off besides the diffuse channel. From then on you can enable a channel and see what kind of effect it adds. For instance, if you don't want a surface to have some sort of transparency, you don't have to enable the opacity at all. Oh yes, almost forgot two things: turning off specular and ambient doesn't affect viewport display. You need to turn the strength all the way down and/or use 0/0/0 for the color.

    As a guide, here's the user guide -

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,211
    edited December 1969

    I am still learning about these skin shaders so I am in no way an expert. Please correct me if I get things wrong. I won't mind honest. I learn better that way. :coolgrin:

    One of the best tips I got when learning all this was to Remove all the Skin texture maps totally and make the diffuse colour 128, 128,128 grey. Then engage each channel at a time as advised by wowie above.Then render. Turn off the channel you just tested and test another. This way you will see what does what. Yes it is a long process but once you understand what does what you will be quicker in setting it up for other Surfaces. Obliviously you will need lights in the scene

    On thing I didn't understand and now do is that all these channels mainly work independent from each other so it is an accumulation of all the channels to make the whole. This is not say the don't effect each other at some level as some like Bump and displacement can affect the specular look.

    Oh yeah I always dispense with Specular maps in the Spec channel. But they can make a half pie decent SSS map if the spec map is well made.

    Also IMHo turn off all Ambient, let the lighting provide the ambient. Also I find most, not all but most Skin sets have too much red burned into the maps for HSS/UberSurface so lowering the Diffuse red channel can help reduce the red which should come from the SSS. I generally use 223,255,255 to 240,255,255 for the diffuse colour. I never use Blue spec always white. I inject the Blue in the Velvet channel. About 20% and 15% respectively. But these can be increased or decreased depending on the look wanted or the lighting. No one set of settings will suit all skin set and lighting.

    I also turn on SSS Refraction set to 1.39 which is what human skin is.

    Another tip for good skin I have read but not tried it, as my computer would have a fit, is to turn off Spec and use Reflection. But I can't find that old archived thread where it mentions it and at what settings, soory.

    I think SSS scale tells the render engine how far the light will penetrate and still scatter back out. IMHO this should be 1 not 4. It think it acts like a density function, 4 being thick. It would be interesting to see what other say about this.

  • Blue FlameBlue Flame Posts: 25
    edited December 1969

    In the old forum files ( there are many many discussions about settings and so many people have different ideas.
    I won't get into that, but just think what this thread could start...
    One of the big things to get good skin is the render settings. Two of note: shading rate to get good detail this rate is around .20 or less. Every bit less will cost you render time though. Maybe higher for drafts and lower to see final. Raytrace depth controls shine/ reflection in a very significant way. Set it to 4 or so to see what I mean. I can't remember but 2 might be default.
    In Daz3d ambient and specular are white instead of black like poser. Lately I think I am seeing subsurface color and translucency color as influencing my look for skins. Not a big fan of velvet but use 15%

    pwSurface! :roll:

  • wowiewowie Posts: 1,392
    edited December 1969

    Here's my ever evolving setup.
    This is made with 1 directional light and 1 UberEnvironment light with default values for intensity and intensity scale, and the color set to 74/70/64.
    First of, the diffuse.

    600 x 600 - 39K
    219 x 222 - 15K
  • wowiewowie Posts: 1,392
    edited December 1969

    Specular settings.
    This is for the general skin. For lips, you might want to adjust it so it looks slightly different.

    600 x 600 - 39K
    219 x 507 - 33K
  • wowiewowie Posts: 1,392
    edited December 1969

    I basically use ambient settings to brighten things a bit, fake subsurface scattering and change the skin tint.

    600 x 600 - 39K
    220 x 161 - 9K
  • wowiewowie Posts: 1,392
    edited December 1969

    Add a little velvet.

    600 x 600 - 38K
    225 x 202 - 12K
  • wowiewowie Posts: 1,392
    edited December 1969

    And finally, subsurface scattering and transluency.
    The settings may be a bit different than usual - result in a more green/blue tint. You could always swap the values around (red to blue and vice versa). I generally don't use SSS, since it add render time quite a bit. If i do, I generally change the tint of the skin here instead of adjusting ambient values.
    Transluency is hardly noticeable here, but you can generally see it when the object is between you and the light (you're inside the shadow).

    600 x 600 - 38K
    225 x 484 - 36K
  • wowiewowie Posts: 1,392
    edited December 1969

    If the brightness caused by mixing ambient and sss is causing washed out colors, you can cut the ambient strength by half. I wish DS have a much more robust implementation of SSS though, so in general I avoid using it.
    What I like about this setup is that it's quite flexible to achieving some variations. I can fine tune brightness using the diffuse/ambient or sss, change skin tint with ambient or sss and account for differencs between textures by tweaking the diffuse color values. But then again, your needs/mileage may vary.

  • Blue FlameBlue Flame Posts: 25
    edited December 1969

    One thing that really surprised me when I was just starting out with the Human Surface Shader is that you need a skin texture to work with. So then I had to get an elite character like Lana or Stephanie 4 Elite so I would have the surface to shade. Now there are many free characters that have really good skin textures. Daz has great elite textures, but there are brilliant artists at other sites that make textures/ characters for sale. I'm Not sure about V5 since I haven't used DS4 yet. Perhaps someone else can comment on that? Also, you can generally apply one skin texture onto another character. For example Moonfire's Coleen at ShareCG has a skin that lots of people like. You just set up V4 and choose the texture for Colleen. Your Surface Shader effects will look dramatically different.

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