There are many references related to the physically-based rendering of several natural features of the numan body, such as skin, hair, eyes.
However, I could not find specific information about the simulation of visually realistic nails. For example, I did not find specificities of the characteristics of the reaction of human nails to light.
A few ideas I had:
According to the Wikipedia article, nails are "made of a tough protective protein called keratin. (...) It is made up of dead skin cells".
Hair is also composed of keratin, so nail rendering might have a few similarities with hair rendering? However I think the main feature of hair rendering is the coloring of specular highlights due to internal reflections inside the hair fiber. Is that phenomenon significant or does it even happen for nails?
Examination indicates that nails are transparent and that they host sub-surface scattering effects. Are there models combining these phenomenons?
The proximity to skin also seems to suggest that the skin under nails has singular appearance properties. Should this layer require some specific techniques to be simulated too?
What kind of technology would be involved to simulate accurately the rendering of human nails?
What kind of tricks digital artists use to simulate the appearance of human nails?