Create believable skin in Maya

There are many challenges a character artist will strive to overcome, and believable skin is one of them. Good use of textures and the shader setup can give you something approaching this, but by incorporating subsurface scattering (SSS) into your shaders you can take the effect further by giving the illusion that light is not only interacting with the surface, but also travelling beneath it.

This is, as the name suggests, what SSS is all about. So how do you achieve something like this in Maya? (See our Maya 2013 review for more on the software.) There are a number of approaches available: some quick but basic, and others more complex. Here, I’m going to focus on the misss_fast_skin_maya shader. With your scene ready, open the Hypershade (Window > Render Editors > Hypershade) and, under the mental ray tab, select the misss_fast_skin_maya shader.

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