If you haven't seen this already, do yourself a favor and check out the screenshots of NVIDIA's human head demo. And if you've got a card powerful enough to run the demo, take the time to download it and see the impressive visuals for yourself. Here's the scoop directly from the source...
NVIDIA's GeForce 8800 Ultra demo "Human Head" uses a new sum-of-Guassians formulation of subsurface scattering within a multi-layered skin model coupled to deliver a startling leap forward in realism for real-time characters. "Human Head" computes 17 off-screen textures every frame totaling over 40 Million pixels, each shaded with lengthy pixel shaders That amounts to 1.2 billion pixels every second! Ultra high resolution 4096 x 4096 color and normal textures provide photo-realistic detail even at extremely close ranges."
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