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i am trying to make a photorealistic human head render and i was wondering... real human heads have a skull inside them, which probably shadows the sss, stops light from bouncing around inside in certain parts where the skin isn't deep. do i need a skull model inside the head too? is this something you're supposed to do or am i hallucinating? how is this done in production? would this even work with the sss shader cycles uses

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Even though SSS fakes a kind of transparency, it is not real transparency, so creating a skull inside the head won't change anything. SSS already takes the thickness of the object into account, but if it's not enough, you can use a black and white image as a mask to only apply the SSS on certain parts of the surface, here is the setup:

enter image description here

If I paint black on the ear, it remove the SSS effect:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ ahhhhh thanks. how do i know where to use less and more sss for a human head? $\endgroup$
    – Walter
    Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure that you'll find any scientific document about that, just increase the value or create a mask as I did, see if it's realistic, give some corrections, etc? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 16:27

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