chocolate cake

chocolate cake and raspberry cupcakes

Behold my second portfolio piece! I hope this post leaves you wanting dessert.

chocolate cake and cupcakes on a bench 1
This scene has two lamps. One casts shadows.

I had some difficulty getting the lighting to look acceptable. In hindsight, white plates aren’t the best color to showcase a brightly lit exterior scene. As in a physical world photograph, the white porcelain material looks flat and overexposed under bright light.

chocolate cake
This is an interior scene with a single point light. The white plates look properly exposed and show their contours.

The plates in the image above and below are the same models with the same material. The contour is hard to see in the image below.

chocolate cake and cupcakes on a bench 2
The place mat uses a voronoi procedural texture.

I like how the serving spoon reflects the pink icing in the next image. The serving spoon and fork both use a bump map for the engraving on their handle.

chocolate cake and cupcakes on a bench 3

Focal blur helps this partially consumed cupcake stand out from the background. After enabling focal blur for this image, I added to all the other exterior images.

Check out the rim lighting on the raspberry!
The raspberries use a voronoi texture as a bump map.
chocolate cake and cupcakes on a bench 6
Got milk?

Areas for improvement

To take this work to the next level, I need to add a lot more imperfections. All the intact cupcakes are identical other than the color of their cup, and the plates lack errant sprinkles and bits of cake. The icing on the cupcakes perfectly meets the raspberries. None of that looks real under scrutiny.

I could model the sprinkles, as I did with my donut renders. In some of the images, you can tell that the sprinkles are part of an image texture.

I could probably fix the exposure problem with the plates by moving them to a separate render layer with less intense lamps. It would be like enabling the HDR setting when taking a photograph.

Making these changes might take me as much time as I’ve already spent on this project. I’m getting the impression that getting from “good enough” to “great” is 80% of the effort.

Assets used

  • The world texture and glass model are from
  • I found the wood, chocolate cake, and chocolate icing textures with an image search and saved them directly from that display. I’m not sure who to credit.

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