Breakfast a`la Baroque

This one was part of a larger industrial design project (the filter coffee maker) but I wanted to do something a bit more creative for one of the in-situ shots, instead of the standard, canned beauty shots that often get used for something like this - usually on a blank background that doesn’t tell you much about the vibe of the product, or have much in the way of character.

Really got inspired by the style of dark food photography - love me some dramatic lighting! This ended up turning into a very baroque piece with the overall mood. Re-used some old assets and used rigid bodies to scatter and pile up some coffee beans. Mantaflow sim for the liquid coffee pouring. The coffee machine itself was modelled in Solidworks (full CAD) and the final image was rendered in Cycles. (Side note: I wish Blender natively converted CAD files - would be so much less hassle).

The colour grading for this one was a bit tricky to get down. On one hand, pushing it too dark kind of blurred all the shadows together, esp. given that the background is also pretty dark. Dropping the lighting down gave it a bit more softness at the sacrifice of clarity.

Which one do you think works better in terms of contrast? 1 or 2?

Really had fun with this one - a bit more classical than anything I usually do…

Full project here, if anyone’s interested:


I’ll see you on the featured row

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Clay (sort of) render here for reference.

Got some questions about (of all things) the bubbles in the coffee. Wow … you’re really…zooming in there. Thank you? I guess? Anyway - it’s pretty straightforward - it’s not a displacement or a map or anything like that. It’s just a bunch of spheres with a bubble/volume material, which is then used in a hair particle system, weight painted onto the tops of the coffee fluid (both the cup and the carafe). If you wanted to be even more accurate about it - you could cut the sphere in half to have proper bubble formation - but it’s so small that you’re not really going to notice at this distance.

To be clear, this isn’t necessarily best practice - if this were an animation for example, I’d be more inclined to use either the default mantaflow particle system or dynamic paint. But! Given that the output was just a still image, this was quicker to art direct and get exactly what you want for the shot you want - without having to bake out a whole bunch of stuff. Sometimes the best way is just the way that works!


I featured you on BlenderNation, have a great weekend!

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Thank you!

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Had a follow up question to the bubbles: so here’s the material node setup. Very simple - the layer weight node with the facing output just lets you get that thinner-center- thicker-outer that bubbles tend to have. Not super accurate - more eyeballed here because again - they’re so small that it’s hard to even tell - you’re almost just hinting at detail. It’s something that if it wasn’t there - it’d feel off.

Follow up - been getting some questions regarding the jam and toast models - yes - they are the same ones from my previous post. I’m recycling, OK.

This looks really good! I think I like 2nd pictured more.

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Thanks! And yeah, the second one does seem a bit smoother and pops more overall…