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I want to make a Cycles material that looks like these images:

example 1

example 2

example 3

The material should be slightly translucent and have thin veins underneath it.

I understand how to make the translucency, but the veins are giving me trouble. Is this something that can be made procedurally in Cycles, or will I need to make a vein texture in GIMP and somehow combine it with a skin material?

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You can generate a skin material with veins like this using wave textures, musgrave texture, and translucent materials. The waves are distorted to get the meandering of veins. Different wave textures are combined with different orientations to get the veins running in different directions. The musgrave textures is used to make the veins appear and disappear in different areas.

The bright spot is from a lamp below the 'skin' illustrating the translucency.

veins material


This material is generated as shown below:

material


A good reference for generating veins in skin is at https://gooseberry.blender.org/shading-kenny-the-caterpillar/


The blend file:

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You might want to isolate the veins from your Vein texture. This could probably be done by using some green screen method. With this, mostly the veins will show on the texture, and not the rest of the things on it.

However, you might want to consider making your own texture as the one you have there doesn't seem "seamless" nor would it look natural as the same veins would repeat everywhere :P

Another thing you could do would be to layer the textures and materials and see what best fits your preferences. Add some transparency to the Vein Texture and Materials, and I think that might look ok.

Gd luck.

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