*Warning: Contains Male Frontal Nudity*
For the shading I wanted to try the "SSS Fast Skin" for Mental Ray, which is a Material Phenomenon compiled by HÃ kan Anderson (many thanks to him!) that incorporates - in the default Skin Shader of Mental Ray - the nice and glossy reflections of the Arch & Design materials. I tweaked every single layer of the subsurface material first of all, zeroing out the weight of the other layers, starting with the Back Scatter, then the Subdermal and finally the Epidermal layer, and I mixed all of them together at the end, adjusting each weight as necessary (Fig.17). I find this step-by-step approach to SSS much more intuitive than adjusting the weight values all at once.
For the pedestal I used an Arch & Design material with blurred reflection - nothing fancy here!
At the end, I generated a Beauty pass, an Ambient Occlusion pass, an additional Reflection pass with a different reflection setting, a different HDRI map, and finally a Final Gather pass (Fig.18). All of the passes were then put together in Photoshop and tweaked. I spent some time at this stage trying to find the right mood, colour balance, and so on.
I also find it very useful to have an Object ID pass for masking - it can save you a lot of time isolating what you need in a complex image! I used a Mental Ray shader with an Output node mapped in the Surface slot - very easy and very effective!
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