A Spectral BSSRDF for Shading Human Skin

Craig Donner
Henrik Wann Jensen


Different skin colors
Illuminated and textured skin model


We present a novel spectral shading model for human skin. Our model accounts for both subsurface and surface scattering, and uses only four parameters to simulate the interaction of light with human skin. The four parameters control the amount of oil, melanin and hemoglobin in the skin, which makes it possible to match specific skin types. Using these parameters we generate custom wavelength dependent diffusion profiles for a two-layer skin model that account for subsurface scattering within the skin. These diffusion profiles are computed using convolved diffusion multipoles, enabling an accurate and rapid simulation of the subsurface scattering of light within skin. We combine the subsurface scattering simulation with a Torrance-Sparrow BRDF model to simulate the interaction of light with an oily layer at the surface of the skin. Our results demonstrate that this four parameter model makes it possible to simulate the range of natural appearance of human skin including African, Asian, and Caucasian skin types.

Reference: Craig Donner and Henrik Wann Jensen:
"A Spectral BSSRDF for Shading Human Skin"
EGSR 2006

skin_bssrdf.pdf (13.2MB)

Last update: May 20, 2007
Henrik Wann Jensen