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Us2 banner.jpg

What's New

UberSurface2 is the follow up the successful UberSurface shader which is now included as part of DAZ Studio 4.

New.pngUberSurface2 provides the following improvements to UberSurface

  • US2 is a layered shader giving you the features of 2 UberSurface shaders on top of each other with multiple blend options
    • Layered Diffuse, Specular, Reflection, Bump, Displacement, Normal Map, Velvet, and Ambient.
    • Choose between Add, Multiply and Mask Blend layer blend modes.
    • Apply blur, gamma, contrast and invert operations to the blend mask.
    • Separate tiling controls for Layer1, Layer2 and the Layer2 Mask.
  • Improves Subsurface Scattering
    • Absorption Color and Strength controls
    • Scatter Color and Strength controls
    • 11 Subsurface MAT presets
      • Skin1
      • Skin2
      • Skin3
      • Skin4
      • Apple
      • Meat1
      • Meat2
      • Marble
      • Cream
      • Skim Milk
      • Potato
  • Increased control over indirect lighting and reflection bounces in order to optimize render times.
  • Fresnel controls now affect Specular for more realistic effects.
  • Normal Mapping support
  • Control shadow casting/receiving at the surface level.
  • Includes 10 2048x2048 tileable textures with MAT presets--perfect for adding a second layer of interest to existing materials.
    • Cell
    • Corroded
    • Dust
    • Gauze
    • Dust
    • Plasma
    • Scratched Metal
    • Scratched paint
    • Stain
    • Stucco

User Guide

UberSurface2 uses many of the controls familiar to you in HumanSurface and UberSurface with a number of powerful additions.

Getting Started

The Shaders/UberSurface2 folder contains a number of presets to help you get started.

Us2 ui presets.jpg

In order to apply one of the presets you should:

  1. Select the object in the scene you would like to apply the preset to.
  2. In the Surfaces editor, select the Material(s) you would like to apply the preset
  3. Double click the preset to apply the preset.

!UberSurface2 Base

Use this to apply the shader in its default state. This should be used when starting fresh on a new asset. Consider using !UberSurface2 Upgrade if you want to preserve the current look you have while adding the additional controls UberSurface2 provides.

!UberSurface2 Upgrade

This preset will upgrade the selected Surfaces to use the UberSurface2 shader but will not change any parameters. This is very useful in the case that you have Elite presets or assets that currently use the UberSurface or the HumanSurface shaders. Simply apply this preset to upgrade the Surface to use UberSurface2 while keeping all current texture map and material settings.

MAT L2 Presets

These presets will only affect the Layer2 controls of the selected Materials. These presets allow you to quickly add a second layer of visual complexity and interest to existing Materials.

MAT SSS Presets

These presets will only affect the Layer1 Subsurface controls.


The following sections describe the individual controls available in UberSurface2


UberSurface2 supports tiling textures via the Tiling parameters. If tiling is set to 3, the texture will be repeated or tiled 3 times. Smaller numbers can also be used--0.5 will scale up the texture to twice the size.

HumanSurface ui tiling.jpg

Tiling 1 1 Tiling 3 2
HumanSurface tiling 1.jpg HumanSurface tiling 3 2.jpg

Diffuse Roughness

UberSurface doc diff rough control.jpg

The Diffuse Roughness control allows you to tighten or broaden the diffuse response. For very diffuse surfaces like clay, you may want to lower the value slightly; for very specular surfaces like metal, you may want to increase the roughness.

Roughness 0.5 Roughness 0.8 Roughness 1.0 Roughness 1.5 Roughness 3.0
UberSurface diff rough 05.jpg UberSurface diff rough 08.jpg UberSurface diff.jpg UberSurface diff rough 15.jpg UberSurface diff rough 30.jpg

Indirect Diffuse Max Trace Depth

New.png You can now control the number of indirect light bounces per surface. This can be useful when using UberEnvironment2 in one of the Indirect Lighting modes in order to speed up renders.

Anisotropic Specular

UberSurface doc ani controls.jpg

Keep the following in mind when using Anisotropic Highlights:

  • Toggle Anisotropic Active On in order to turn the specular from a traditional response to an anisotropic response.
  • The highlight shape is dependent on the uvs of the object; the object must have uvs in order for anisotropic highlights to work.
  • Use Anisotropic Direction to control whether the highlight will follow the U or V axis
  • Alert.png The Specular Sharpness control does not currently have an effect on anisotropic highlights.
Anisotropic Direction = U
Glossiness 40% Glossiness 65% Glossiness 80%
UberSurface spec aniu gloss 40.jpg UberSurface spec aniu gloss 65.jpg UberSurface spec aniu gloss 80.jpg
Anisotropic Direction = V
Glossiness 40% Glossiness 65% Glossiness 80%
UberSurface spec aniv gloss 40.jpg UberSurface spec aniv gloss 65.jpg UberSurface spec aniv gloss 80.jpg


HumanSurface ui opacity.jpg


HumanSurface ui specular.jpg


The specular model of HumanSurface is greatly improved over the Studio default shader. The shader uses a proprietary BRDF that pays special attention to glancing lights; preserving the specular shape and avoiding ugly clipping and harsh falloff.

DAZ Studio Default HumanSurface
HumanSurface glossy dz p50.jpg HumanSurface glossy om p04.jpg
Glossiness 50% Glossiness 4%

Alert.png You will notice that the DAZ Studio Default and HumanSurface Glossiness values do not map directly across. This is because HumanSurface has a unique specular model. The OpenGL preview should show you approximately what the specular will look like.

Glossiness 0% Glossiness 4% Glossiness 20% Glossiness 50% Glossiness 100%
HumanSurface spec gloss p00.jpg HumanSurface spec gloss p04.jpg HumanSurface spec gloss p20.jpg HumanSurface spec gloss p50.jpg HumanSurface spec gloss p100.jpg

The following images were rendered with specular only; Glossiness of 4%.

Sharpness 0% Sharpness 50% Sharpness 100%
HumanSurface spec gloss p04.jpg HumanSurface spec gloss p04 sharp p50.jpg HumanSurface spec gloss p04 sharp p100.jpg


HumanSurface allow for HDR/Environment mapped reflection maps (in latitude/longitude format) as well as ray traced reflections. Both Modes of reflection can be blurred to achieve oily skin effects.

Alert.png More info on creating HDR can be found in the Creating Environment Maps section on the UberEnvironment page.

HumanSurface ui reflection.jpg

Reflect Strength 400%; Blur 0% Reflect Strength 400%; Blur 5%
HumanSurface refl strength400.jpg HumanSurface refl strength400 blur05.jpg
Reflection Max Trace Depth

New.png Control the number of reflection bounces will be traced per surface. Keep this number as low as possible in order to keep your render times in check.


Fresnel's law basically states reflection at glancing angles is stronger than direct. The provided Fresnel controls give us explicit control over this effect.

Sharpness 0% Sharpness 50% Sharpness 100%
HumanSurface refl strength400 fstrength100 ffalloff1.jpg HumanSurface refl strength400 fstrength100 ffalloff1 fsharp50.jpg HumanSurface refl strength400 fstrength100 ffalloff1 fsharp100.jpg
Falloff 1 Falloff 5
HumanSurface refl strength400 fstrength100 ffalloff1.jpg HumanSurface refl strength400 fstrength100 ffalloff5.jpg

New.png When fresnel is used, specular will also be attenuated in a similar way.


The velvet component is designed to simulate the effect of tiny hairs on the surface. This helps to provide the look of "Peach Fuzz" on a face but can also be used to make a surface look like fabric like in the HumanSurfaceExpansionPack1.

HumanSurface ui velvet.jpg

Falloff 5 Falloff 20 Falloff 50
HumanSurface velvet falloff05.jpg HumanSurface velvet falloff20.jpg HumanSurface velvet falloff50.jpg

Subsurface Scattering

Subsurface Scattering can be used to simulate the scattering of light through translucent surfaces like skin.

All images were rendered with a gray diffuse and red Subsurface Color.

Alert.png Subsurface Scattering is based on Diffuse; Diffuse does not have to be Active but it does have to have some strength associated with it (if it was active, it would be visible). Changing a Diffuse map will affect the scattering.

Us2 ui sss.png


Subsurface refraction represents the refraction or how much light is bent as it enters the simulated surface.

Refraction 1 Refraction 1.5 Refraction 5
HumanSurface sss strength100 kfr1.jpg HumanSurface sss strength100.jpg HumanSurface sss strength100 kfr5.jpg


The Scale of the objects; this effects how far the light scatters through the object.

Scale 2 Scale 4 Scale 6 Scale 10
HumanSurface sss strength100 scale2.jpg HumanSurface sss strength100.jpg HumanSurface sss strength100 scale6.jpg HumanSurface sss strength100 scale10.jpg
Backscatter Boost

New.png Backscatter Boost allows you to make lights that are facing towards camera have a greater contribution to scattering.


11 Subsurface presets are included to cover a wide variety of common materials. These presets only affect Subsurface Scatter Color/Strength, Absorption Color/Strength and Refraction.

Us2 sss preset.jpg

The above image shows the presets from left to right:

  • Skin1
  • Skin2
  • Skin3
  • Skin4
  • Meat1
  • Meat2
  • Marble
  • Apple
  • Skim Milk
  • Cream
  • Potato


Translucency is a cheap simulation of backscattering and is most effectively used for thin surfaces like paper, leaves, etc. For materials with more volume to them (like skin), it is recommended that you use the more render-intensive Subsurface Scattering, possibly with the addition of Backscatter Boost.


The displacement controls are the same as the default shaders with one import addition: the ability to properly ray trace displacements.

3Delight allows ray tracing before or after displacing geometry. Since displacing the geometry generates micropolygons and a more dense mesh, displacing after will negatively impact render times but give you better visual results and can get rid of black splotchiness in renders.

In order to ray trace after displacement, turn Trace Displacements on.

Layer2 Controls

New.png A powerful new feature of UberSurface2 is its layering capabilities. Layer1 and Layer2 each have their own material properties. You can then blend the 2 layers together in a number of incredible ways.

Us2 ui blend.png

Layer2 Blend Mode
Choose how Layer 2 is applied to Layer1--options are Multiply, Add, and Mask Blend (Layer2 * Blend Strength Map over Layer1).
Layer2 Strength
The opacity of Layer2. Apply a map to this parameter to use a mask.
Blend Mask
Blur the mask. This map is blurred in texture space--very small values will go a long way.
Blend Mask Gamma
Apply a gamma correction to the mask.
Blend Mask Contrast
Apply a contrast correction to the mask.
Invert Blend Mask
Invert the mask (what was white is now black and vice-versa).

Us2 blend.jpg

Shadow Controls

The following provide you with how shadows are cast/received.

Us2 ui shadows.png

Trace Displacements
When using raytracing (occlusion, shadows), this must be turned on in order for geometry to shadow properly. This will slow down renders.
Cast Shadows
New.png This surface will cast shadows onto other surfaces.
Accept Shadows
New.png Other surfaces can cast shadows onto this surface.
This surface will be seen by occlusion rays.

Visibility Controls

UberSurface doc fantom control.jpg

When Fantom is On, the surface will not be visible to the camera, but will be visible to shadows and raytracing. This can be useful when an object is used to create a reflection or shadow, but we do not want to see the object.

When Raytrace is Off, the surface will not be seen by diffuse or specular rays. For example, this can useful if you do not want your hair to be seen by UberEnvironment to speed up your renders.

Additional Resources

Also check out the UberSurface2Tutorial page for great video tutorials.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use the 'Active' toggles to isolate the contribution of individual components. For example turn off the Basic Specular, Reflection, Diffuse, etc, when dialing in the size and sharpness of the Secondary Specular. This helps to make it more clear what the controls are doing. When you turn everything else back on, you then only need to worry about dialing in the Strength of the Secondary Specular.
  • Often Better results can be achieved by using Reflection in stead of Specular. The reality of it is Specular is simply a gross approximation of Reflection. Try using blurred reflection and apply the specular map and a Reflection Strength map (Ideally using HDRI like the ones provided).


What versions of DAZ Studio does UberSurface2 work with?

  • and above (including DS4 and DS4.5)

Does UberSurface2 require DAZ Studio 3 Advanced?

  • No. UberSurface2 is a stand-alone shader and can be used with DS3, DS3A, or DS4 without prior purchase of other shaders.