Video Copilot - Tools for Digital Artists
Subsurface Scattering
Subsurface Scattering (SSS) allows objects to give the appearance that light is penetrating through a translucent surface. This technique comes in handy when creating surfaces like skin, wax, plastic, or other objects that light may shine through the surface.
 
ENABLING
In the SSS material settings check the enable switch and use the Intensity, Scatter and Absorption values to adjust the look. In the viewer options there is a Lighting Preset called SSS that allows the effects to become more visible.
 
ADJUSTING IN AFTER EFFECTS
Hit OK in the Scene Setup and in After Effects create a light and click Cast Shadows in the light settings panel. Parallel light type typically works well. See Creating Lights for more info on Lights.

Tip: It helps to position the light so it is pointing towards the back or side of the object to see SSS.


SHADOWS AND SSS
Enable Shadows in the Element effect panel under Render Settings, as SSS works in conjunction with Shadow settings. Be sure Subsurface Scattering in the Element Render Settings is enabled as well.
Adjusting the look: In the Subsurface Scattering settings you can turn up the Samples to increase the quality, as well as adjust the Intensity, Scattering, Absorption, Falloff and Light Color Tint to change the look. You can also increase the Shadow Maps Size and Parallel Light Shadow Size to create a smoother falloff for the SSS.
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