The Subsurface Scattering in Principled BSDF is a bit confusing:

  • Where can I find some material presets?
  • What is the difference between Scattering Color and Radius?

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1 Answer 1


Subsurface amount

  • Use it to scale Scattering depth down to realistic values
  • When set to 0, scattering is disabled

Values of around 0.01 are normal, since you're scaling from meters to milimeters

Subsurface Radius (aka Scatter Color)

  • Visible on edges and translucent parts (like ears and fingers)
  • Connect an RGB node or a texture. This is a good place for a subdermal map
  • The RGB values represent how deep light penetrates in meters

Scale the radius down using the Subsurface slider

Subsurface Color

  • Visible on opaque parts and in shadows
  • Use the same image/color you used for Base color to avoid color mixing

Subsurface Anisotropy

  • Bias between forward-scattering rays and backward-scattering rays
  • Realistic skin has an anisotropy around 0.8

Example of Subsurface Scattering Result

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Easy to use chart

(just drag it into image editor and colorpick the values)

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Subsurface Scattering values

  • Drag the chart into Blender's image editor and use color picker to select colors
  • For SSS to work correctly, your model needs to be in real world scale.

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Source chart from Pixar. Original paper here.

Link - Henrik Wann Jensen, Stephen R. Marschner, Marc Levoy and Pat Hanrahan: "A Practical Model for Subsurface Light Transport". SIGGRAPH'2001.
An Introduction To Real-Time Subsurface Scattering, Stanford Dragon - Stanford University Computer Graphics Laboratory, Subsurface - Arnold Renderer, Subsurface - Substance Painter, Subsurface - Renderman


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