View Full Version : Non-Shader based SSS in v9.0?

04 April 2007, 06:51 PM
I'm working on a project that has a translucent liquid. My first approach is to utilize a Surface Thickness gradient in the in the transparency channel, but I'm wondering how I can possiblly set up a material that will have decent SSS properties without a shader (I want to use FPrime for the render. ...And I can't quite afford G2).

I'm also looking to do this with LW's standard channel-based textures since I'm still really new to nodes, and don't really have the time on this project to dive into them. (yeah, I know... I've had v9 since August and I still don't use nodes. :rolleyes: )
Thanks, guys.

04 April 2007, 06:57 PM
Use a gradient in the translucency channel.

04 April 2007, 07:55 PM
I think the gradient in the translucency channel is your best bet, but you could also fudge it a little with the luminosity channel. Is this for a still image or an animation?

04 April 2007, 08:15 PM
Thanks, guys. What type of gradient are you thinking of in the Translucency, and Luminosity channels? ...Surface Thickness?

This project requires both a still and an animation. However, the animation is pretty simple: it's a product rotating 360 degrees. The camera will be stationary, and the product will do the rotating.

04 April 2007, 09:37 PM
fprime 3 - says it all =)

04 April 2007, 01:00 AM
But since I'm not a beta tester for 9.2, and I really am not that sharp on my nodal skills I don't think FPrime 3 is going to offer that much of a solution here. (...Unless I'm missing something - which is possible.) Which is why I'm looking to use the standard/classic channel-based texturing method.

Too be honest, if I had the time on this project to experiment with nodes I would, since it would be the perfect solution. But I'm working on a tight timeframe, and experimenting really isn't an option.

04 April 2007, 07:41 AM
It took would take less than 2 hours to get the hang of setting up SSS with nodes and the results would look good.
Faking it will take a lot longer and probably look poor.

04 April 2007, 08:34 AM
I too think that doing the SSS with nodes is much faster than faking it and it looks better. You can leave the nodes on all other surfaces alone.

Just start with reading the manual part about it and then plug a SSS node into diffuse shading.


04 April 2007, 12:03 PM
You probably already spent more time on thinking about workarounds, than just start to use Kappa or Omega in the node editor.

04 April 2007, 01:05 PM
Point made, guys. :) I'll use my nodes.

04 April 2007, 01:39 AM
An alternative would be to use the free 'Chanlum' shader.
It's fake SSS, but the results can look excellent.

04 April 2007, 06:08 AM
Here's a nice easy setup if you don't need different internal color than external...

04 April 2007, 01:07 PM
Excellent. :D

Thanks, Jeremy. :thumbsup:

04 April 2007, 02:27 PM
np! :thumbsup:

Here's a similiar setup, except I use a kappa SSS node for greyscale SSS info, and wire that into a color gradient based on that SSS info. (I also add some spec and reflection to the outside polygon sides). (
(Click image for larger version)

04 April 2007, 02:50 PM
Sweet! Thanks again, Jeremy. :thumbsup:

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