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  1. #1
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    Representing the range of colour in skin

    I'm struggling a bit recently with some skin shaders I'm working on my 3D models with. I get the basic principles of skin - there are multiple layers, the upper layers have the "skin tone" we expect and lower layers have blood. With enough light the blood gets illuminated and creates the red subsurface scattering we see.

    I've been able to have some decent shaders that are essentially pale pink + red, affected by light to show varieties of tones. But I also know sometimes people's skin appears green or purple or blue, and I'd like to represent this as well. Are there particular regions that tend to show more green or blue than other regions? Is it a lighting condition, or is it an anatomical one? For instance I know older women tend to have many dark blue veins going up and down their legs, but I'm not exactly sure what makes this visible and so blue as compared to, say, the veins in the pit of someone's elbow. Can someone give me a rundown on how these more complicated tonal variations happen?
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  3. #2
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    There are some general guidelines to follow, anatomy does affect skin color, extremities and joints tend to be redder, fat deposits tend towards yellows and greens. Grays and blues for areas of hair or where veins are close to the surface. Study academic painters like Bouguereau. Also, life drawing classes are a good way to see different subtle shifts in hue for skin tones. Remember skin also reflects the colors near it so clothing color will affect skin color.

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