These last weeks we’ve been researching a little bit more on skin rendering, and found a really interesting discovery that allows our shader to run in only two passes (as any separable convolution). The results are not the same, but quite close visually! We hope it will be much more Xbox 360 EDRAM-friendly than our previous 6 pass approach, and the implementation is now easier than ever.
The SSS effect is now fully customizable, including the generated gradients colors, the per-channel filter strength and more. We also setup various defines that allows to customize the quality, allowing to adapt the shader to diverse hardware targets. The shader takes 0.27ms@720 and 1.69ms@1080 in the lowest and medium settings respectively, in a GeForce GTX 295 (we used the medium setting for these shots). We are releasing the source code privately to interested game developers, with a public release being scheduled for 2011 Q4.
I recommend looking at the images at their native resolution to better appreciate the details.
I’ll be talking about this in SIGGRAPH 2011, in the session CG in Europe (Wednesday 10th from 11.30 to 12.30, in the International Center, Harbour Concourse). If you are attending SIGGRAPH 2011, I invite you to come by!
The 3D head scan used for the images was obtained from Infinite Realities.