how to output SSS layers into framebuffers


Thanks achoury and ZippZopp
For the files.:thumbsup:


here is my setup…which has a master skin shader which controls all the others. give it a go and see what you think. one thing to note is i’m using maya 64 bit, so I’m using the Mix8layer


Great work ZippZopp
Now we have success outputting the SSS layer in many way, and the idea to put one Master layer to control all the rest is the best I think
So if someone can build a script to automate this setup will be Great


Great work guys… this should have been included in the Maya 2009 render passes system. I can’t believe its not supported fully!!

Also I believe this very same subject is covered in the Digital Tutors Maya 2009 render passes video set.

Off topic: Peter love your rendition of Camille. How was her hair created? You can PM me if you want to keep this thread on topic :stuck_out_tongue:


mia_lens… stuff not supported?


Yes, if someone can build a script to automate this setup for outputting passes will be nice! by the way the DVD (330 MB)from Digital Tutors Render Passes in Maya 2009 is really basic, there is nothing related to this thread, nothing about coverage, label, and motion vectors, it show you how to do the passes in Maya2009 that’s all!


Thanks for the info achoury, I was just reading DT’s course outline the other day and thought it mentioned this stuff. Nice ot know it doesn’t go into the same depth, might just stick to the notes here then.


vfx: I tried to PM you but it said your inbox was full

The camille render actually came out a lot better than I thought it would. I was really worried about hair. I modeled her for the bond game and used the in game hair model for the render. I made it slightly higher res and then added in some cards with alphas to help soften it up and break up some of the silhouette. It worked pretty well, but then I also did quite a bit of painting in photoshop on top of that to really touch it up.


Sorry dude it was indeed full, I’ve cleaned it up a bit now. Thanks for the info… I think the glossy streak running through the hair really helps sell it. Nice one.

One question which I hope doesn’t sound like a stupid one… How come reflection pass was left off of this setup? AND what if a bump map and disp map are required with the shader, how will this propagate down to the separate passes?

Also, if anyone can provide a hint on how I get the shadows too I would be very grateful!
From what I’ve gathered, I could put a lambert on the model, add the disp and bump maps and render a shadow pass, but is there another option sticking with the sss shader?

Just looking to utilise the shading/pass network here but I need reflections and shadows and each layer needs to be aware of the disp and bump.


i don’t actually use the reflection attributes of the SSS shader, i use a blinn. what i do is add another layer to the mix20 and assign a transparent blinn there with reflectivity controlled by a ramp with the facing ratio node.

as for a shadow pass, give this a look

a displacement would go into your shading group, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

i was actually playing a bit more with the shader setup and found a pretty good way to work it. here is what i did,
Like my original setup i use a master control SSS at the beginning plugged into all the repsective other shaders for the individual layers. the passes that I need bump on, i plug the same bump2d node into those shaders. finally, all these individual SSS shaders get plugged back to a final SSS shader via connection editor. so essentially what you’re doing here is using the master control at the beginning to control all your attributes, those get propagated through each individual layer and then those attributes get connected back to a final SSS shader which you assign to your object. the individual shaders get connected to their respective writetocolorbuffer nodes. finally, you could connect this all up to a mix20 and then layer in your reflection. here is a scene file to look at…


Peter, You really have become the star of the month in my world! I really appreciate all the time and effort you’ve put into this, you’ve made it very informative and easy to folllow! I’ll read through that tut and check out the new shader you’ve made :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ll give the blinn reflections a shot… I’ve already got facing falloff setups on a few shaders in the scene so I’ll add that in there too. Fresnel effect in action!

Thanks mate.

P.S. Enjoying COD5 - You guys did a great job!


good to hear this shader is working for ya. It had bothered me for so long that I could never easily output my passes, this makes it so much easier and is quite easy to set up once you know what is going on.

COD5 is a blast, I’m really enjoying it. We had both a COD 5 team and a James Bond team. I was on the Bond team which was pretty fun because we got to do some cool character faces.


this is a very informative thread
thanks guys
but my questions is…when i render out my displacement within the sss skin shader
the details are all washed out as if its non existent
and sometimes i feel its not rendering out displacement
tommorow i ll post some pics of what i mean
other than that the displacement is working perfectly on a blinn
and its a 32 bit tiff file from zbrush…thats working fine
any insights till i get to work tommorow wud be gr8

thanks guys



just a newbie question
what is the blending mode for compositing this render passes? seem im not getting it right


Digital tutors had something on sss passes. Not sure its the same method. Would be nice to know, But i’m not paying that to find out one little thing that mental ray should be able to do. Especially in 2009 with the new passes option. meh.

Interesting stuff here by the way.


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