Cycles Skin Shader for Animated Characters

  • November 02, 2014
  • Blender 2.7x
  • Render: Cycles
  • Creator: tdmsiska
  • License: CC-BY
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Please give credit to Tawonga Donnell Msiska or Icon Vision

Contains 3 Materials of which each is a variation of the settings of the same Skin Node. Note that this blend file uses B-Wide Node Pack's Pass Combiner Dinoiser node group for compositing. The Material is designed for shading cartoon/animated characters, though using textures could achieve some nice realistic results

Tweak the following settings for the Material:


<li>Colour - Base difuse colour of the model (SSS colours will be calculated from this colour)</li>

<li>Redness - How much Red SSS effect to be shown (0 is 100% redish has no effect if Yellowness is 0)</li>

<li>Yellowness - How much Yellowy SSS colour to be shown (1 is 100% Yellowy/light brown colour)</li>

<li>Flatness - How much of the difuse colour to show (1 is 100% and Redness &amp; Yellowness will not work at this value)</li>

<li>Glossy - Amount of final glossyness to be added - This is a blend value for the Fresnel Layer weight node (For candles you want more of this and 0 difuse)</li>

<li>Glossy Roughness - Roughness of Glossy Reflextions</li>

<li>Glossy Colour - Reflection colours</li>


Rendering SSS requires a lot of samples for better quality, however when rendering for lower samples like 128,96,64,32,16,8, etc, there is need to use the compositor to reduce noice. Here we are using the B-Wide Node Pack's Pass Combiner Denoiser. Thus you need to enable all render passes for Defuse, Glossy, Transmission, SSS, Emmit, AO, and environment. Once rendered the following settings will reduce noise depending on the values for the compositor node. The lower the samples the smaller the values must be. Thus the lower the setting the more the noise will be removed

Defuse Detail - Amount of Difuse parts of the image that are not denoised/blured

Glossy Detail - Amount of Glossy parts of the image that are not denoised/blured

Transmission Detail - Amount of Transmission of the image that are not denoised/blured

SSS Detail - Amount of SSS parts of the image that are not denoised/blured

Have fun and donot forget to Give Credit to Tawonga Donnell Msiska, or Icon Vision


  • fedeberg profile picture

    Love it

    Written November 02, 2014
  • Bionicleboy32 profile picture


    Written November 05, 2014
  • Christinme16 profile picture

    Nice work.

    Written November 06, 2014
  • tdmsiska profile picture

    Thanks guys :) will post more of my work once i make something presentable ;)

    Edited November 06, 2014
  • MarcusMravik profile picture

    Hello, is there a version that works with Graphics cards?

    Written January 30, 2015
  • Salad profile picture

    Very nice! anyone knows a good material setting to achieve the best results?

    Written May 02, 2015
  • RussianRooster profile picture


    Written November 13, 2017
  • samuel1212703 profile picture

    This is amazing!!! Thank you so much. You made my day!

    Written February 19, 2019