Skin, I wana see realistic skin.


Hey guys. Iv seen the r11 update and it is pushing mecloser to perchasing C4D with the hair and AR moduals.

Even with the Vreal plugin I havent as of yet seen a good realistic render of a character using quality SSS AND showing good back scattering. I have Modo and am very happy with the sss its producing, question is where is the renders from C4D.

Im looking at near photo realistic renders of characters to the quality of Lee Perry smith, that uses LW.

I know C4D can do everything els well. Just to add, I know lighting, the quality of the model and texturing all plays the part, just havent seen C4D produce it.



Looking at your portfolio you seem to like “skin” a lot :wink:


Here’s a bit of skin, done by moderator ThirdEye (Alberto Blasi). He does a bit of explanation somewhere also–easily google-able using his name and ‘Pu Yi’ I bet.


Patrick Eischen has created one of the most realistic skins I’ve seen no matter what app has been used, and there’s an actual tutorial for it at his site:
He used vreel skin.

Realistic results can be achieved in c4d, I’ve seen a few examples. But not in the user friendly, intuitive, cinema 4d way…
An updated (or new) SSS shader would be most welcome in future versions.


LOL, iv only got one exsample of skin in there. Mind you thats not that good compared to the renders iv done since.

Thanks for all comments, I will check all links out now.


I tried creating realistic skin for a job a while ago. First I tried to research how Thirdeye did his, he used vreel skinshader, the free version doesn’t work in 10.5 so I couldn’t use that.

Then I tried chanlum and got nothing, I am probably doing it wrong, but nowhere on CGTalk is explained how to use it for a basic skinshader. Further experimentation proved I suck at chanlum.

Then I tried SSS and got weird random hangups and see through eyelids and ears. All I want is a red terminator and some slight SSS effect!

I ended up using Lumas in the luminance channel to get this and some Fresnels with skintones in them to get a pleasing effect. Far from uber realistic but the client thinks it rocks + it renders in under a second.

I still find it really hard to do nice skin in Cinema and since it’s character tools are so good it is kinda funky you can’t (with a reasonable amount of research) do realistic human skin yet :frowning: .

Am still very happy with cinema though!


you may wanna check this out also:
The Skin Tutorial , with a lot of info of how certain illumination dependent shaders work.


I wanna be 1000% honest here: realistic skin in C4D is a pain in the ass, almost impossible. Doable for stills but it’s even harder for animation where you can’t use as many tricks. I want a decent SSS shader, the one Cebas gave us is a joke.


Hello, RK_art has made a vray skin test. I think the settings might be used also for standard C4D materials. Just have a look:


georgedrakakis thanks for the link, I have checked this out before. I have looked all over the net, and even this is not what im after, it lacks warmth is the best way to put it.

Im sure who ever has produced these results have had to spend a long time to just get what they have, but to be honnest, C4D sss looks as cold as what I get from Carrara.

I can get nice soft looking sss from Modo, no joke in about 30 seconds to set up, each render taking 6 seconds. Im talking about with GI plus area light. No special tweaking.

I will upload a exsample of what I want from C4D, am just rendering a animation in Modo as I type now. When you look at Digital Tutors XSI mental Ray SSS exsample on the creature, your see what I mean about the quality.

Normaly SSS is way over done, which is why a bit of control is needed in terms of back and front scattering. With a subdermal map for SSS colour this makes a good deal of difference for control.

Idealy we need to see SSS with no texture maps added. Some texture maps are Photo based projected, and include caught SSS from the photo images used.


Here is a quick video of SSS in Modo. Keep in mind SSS normaly takes a good while to get just right, in this case it took 30 seconds. Each frame took 6.2 seconds.

No noise bump.

Back light + Noise bump.

As above but side lite.

Over applied SSS.


I saw a technique used on an ArchViz animation, they were flying by the people and getting some really nice close ups on their bodies.

I asked the animator what he’d done in post for the sss look and he said that he’d made a separate material illumination pass (w/object buffer & strong SSS). In post it looked as though he’d simply added some color correction and additional glow to the layer, but it really worked nicely.


Hey Rectro, what’s up with the dumb test link you posted? I went to do it and it really appears to be a scam to trick one into changing phone providers. Is this true? And if it is, why are you linking it to everyone?



Ay? No trick, works fine. I just clicked on it again and its playing fine?


Jim if you’re referring to the video file, it does work fine here…

         I did some skin shader tests using c4d's sss & chanlum some time ago. I don't think there's any doubt modo's sss is a few lightyears ahead, but everything on modo is relatively brand new. I expect C4D to get a proper sss eventually.
Here are my tests:
         [[img][/img]](  [[img][/img]](
         [[img][/img]](  [[img][/img]](
        Top 2 are SSS with & without bump, and bottom 2 are chanlum with & without bump. No texture maps or vertex weighting were used, everything is procedural.
  The same lighting was used for all of them, just a couple of lights (a key and a backlight).
    Render time is around 11-14 seconds on R11 for all of them, on a coreduo 2.4ghz macbook pro.
        In 10.5 rendertime is around 22-27 seconds.
        For the SSS shader, I used a layer in the luminance channel, with a few noises, fresnel, falloff and SSS, trying out various tips I found in posts around cgtalk, pixelplanetemporium that George Drakakis posted and others.
        For the chanlum, I just used chanlum on the luminance channel.


Hmmm … strange, when I got through the test, it asked me to fill out a bunch of info to see my score, and in the fine print I was consenting to switching my phone provider.


That Modo skin looked good! and superfast rendered :slight_smile: btw, that videoclip worked fine here too. No problems

Lately i been trying to create a generic skinshader for Maxwell, it’s still in progress but here’s a few testrenders of it from today. I’m trying to get a good color at the moment… but i have to say that this is no easy beast to master, i know how to create just about any other type of surface, this one was complex to create with Maxwell. :slight_smile:

/ Magnus


One major speed factor to setting up Modos sss, is the realtime preview. Another factor is there is so little to setup to get reasonable results.

I was so dam close to ordering C4D but this could be a major factor in me not. Setting up SSS in XSI is no major deal, iv seen the free clip from Digital tutors and the results are exelent.

Its such a shame C4D just has everythink I dont need, and the one thing that I do, it cant do as well. I cant take it likely as this is all my savings, my next application has to be my workhorse that can do this kind of things.

Carrara has reasonable hair yet has poor SSS. In a few years from now, Modo will be achiving some very special things, I hope Maxon gets their thinking cap on, as essencial things like proper Motion blur, and SSS should be there back in r9.

Mite be worth sending Maxon a few emails asking for these things in the next update. C4D has everything els there.


Your Pu Yi, render is the best iv seen done so far in C4D. I bet that took some time to get as good as you did.


hi Rectro,
could you post the scene (.3ds maybe?) to run some tests?