Real life has kept me away from 3D for a few months, but I’m slowly working on SSS shaders for Carrara and DS for a Genesis/V4 character. Like Holly mentioned, SSS tends to wash out skin details, It seems to really wash out the effects of bump maps on the skin making it very difficult to get good specular highlights without making the skin look like plastic. I found that adding in just a bit of procedural noise to the highlight channel really helps to give a better skin vs plastic effect.
I haven’t gotten around to trying a multi-channel shader for SSS yet, but that should help. Most of the SSS setups for poser use the texture map as the SSS map, not a “blood” map like is used in DS. Using the base texture map in the SSS channel would go a long way toward reducing the loss of detail. It may be possible to get better control of the translucency effect (which is really what the blood maps are doing) by using a blood map in the translucency channel (in either color ot gray scale) to provide a bit more control/enhancement for SSS effects (since that’s what sss really is).
Just thinking out loud, I don’t know if any of this would really work.
In my gallery over at rendo the image entitled “The Sorceress” uses SSS in Carrara (sorry, I can’t direct link or post it here cause it contains nudity, but you can get to my gallery from the link in my sig line below). It’s not as good as people are getting from Poser, but I’m at least getting closer to the effect, without making the skin look too much like wax. Wit this shader I did use a combination of SSS and translucency (without a map), it did seem to help a lot, and there is a lot more control of the translucency effect.
I’ve also experimented with not using a blood map in DS (the early Elite Textures used blood maps for SSS). I think I’m getting close to decent results in DS as well. If your interested in seeing the DS version of the same texture, the “Bridget Practicing Her Craft” images show my progress so far, though I think the specular highlights are just a bit to high.
Because SSS effects the light and color being “emitted” from the surface, any changes to SSS also seem to affect specular highlights quite a bit in both Carrara and DS. I haven’t played with SSS in Poser yet so I’m not sure if it has this same relationship - that’s on my to do list when real life gives me a break.