How to set up subsurface skin material without losing all of the details in the diffuse map.


im working on a realistic skin shader.
for subsurface scattering, I’ve been following this guide:

I’m pretty happy with the SSS effect BUT…

it blurs all of the details in the diffuse map.

8K texture without SSS:

8K texture with SSS:

any ideas? how can i improve this? i want those details back, because that diffuse texture is really unacceptable right now.

follow up:

i had an idea how to do this. at first, it looked like layerd materials with an alpha would deal with this. but theres a problem. i have to use material functions to combine them. but material attribute commands in those doesnt have the SSS profile function because i cannot set any shading model on them.

so my question is: Is there a way to combine existing materials in a layered manner without material functions?

last time, one year ago, the answer was no. how about now?

Wouldn’t the scattering of light in the upper layers of a material reduce the visibility of any fine details, or blur them?

Anyways, it looks as though the whole face has a single value for the SSS, you would only get a decent amount of really visible scattering from the nose and ears, the rest having a significant less amount (we’re not made of marble).
To change this, you would need to plug in a texture to the opacity channel, places where you want more SSS is whiter, less is darker.

And I don’t know if you’ve already seen this but it does contain useful information, if you’ve seen it already, the ignore this bit. Subsurface Profile Shading Model | Unreal Engine Documentation

i tried using a mask for the opacity to preserve those details but it didnt do the trick.

im opened for suggestions ho to make this work.

It looks like your textures on the second screen is mid mapped.

b2t: Try multiplying your normal map so you can enhance the normal effect on your mesh this is what i am doing and/or try to crank down your subsurface profile to a lower value.