Dedalo-3D, the makers of MakeHuman (an open-source, stand-alone software program for modeling of three-dimensional humanoid characters) recently posted two items on their website that are worth a look.
1) This is certainly worth every Blender user's attention since it a very interesting article on how to get great fake subsurface scattering in Blender. You can find it here. The short of it is that it uses a shadow map to produces the results. From the article:
By changing the mixing method of the shadow map contribution , we can, in fact, transform it into a model of local illumination that has the interesting property of, in effect, multisampling (which is what is needed to give the translucence, certainly not in correct way physically speaking, but still convincingly). What is needed, therefore, is simply a flat shader (to add to standard models of illumination as diffusion and specularity), a shader that suffers however the influence of the shadow map, that subtracts the light. Through the parameters of the shadow map we are then able to control the effect, the bias controls how much the light penetrates, the spot size and the softness together with the number of samples control how much the light is spread. The idea of using the shadows map to calculate the translucence is known, but this implementation uses it directly, and even though it cannot be defined as correct, it certainly gives agreeable results.
There is a .blend file available on the site so you can take a look at the material settings for this "SSS map" as well as some example images and a node tree shot of how it can be added to an object (though nodes are not required to get the effect). Definitely a great approach to get an SSS effect in Blender. You can find more on the BA thread concerning the subject.
2) A preview video of the upcoming MakeHuman 0.9 pose engine has also been posted. It looks pretty nice, though it's hard to make a call on how good it is from the video. You can see the video here or get it direct from here (remember to right click and save as).