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December 15, 2019
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Making a cake house for dessert themed games- Part I

by Junxue Li on 12/29/14 02:17:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

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It’s quite popular to use dessert theme for game graphics recently, you can find lots of such Match-3, bubble shooter, and puzzle games in App store, which have ginger bread houses and whipped cream trees. For female players like them and lots of people like sweet food (me too).

Our team makes art works for a few such games. In this article, I share the workflow of making an isometric cake house. For at current stage, our clients don’t allow us to disclose the in-game pictures. That the pictures in this article are demo art works made by us, for this little tutorial. 

The  blog posts have two parts, for the making of two different cake houses. By the end of this post, I have attached some useful links for reference photos of desserts.


Step 1: Finding photo references

Most of our works are inspired by real world architectures and desserts, here are the reference photos we find for this demo work.

For architecture style:

For desserts and materials: These are important guides for depicting the feeling of the food:


Step 2:  Concept sketch

We make cartoon style house based on the photos, and blend the characteristics of the cakes to it. This rough sketch blocks out the general 3D form of the house, combining a few basically geometries.  And we add a few interesting small things, to make the design rich. And of course the perspective should match the game definition.


Step 3: Finer line art

In this step we make the forms more defined, and give good considerations to how different geometries should connect. The line art should give good sense of spacial form, and depth. And the soft & hardness of materials should be dealt with.


Step 4: Color design

Mind the color palette, the coloring style should be crisp, fashionable and harmonious. No stand-out colors. Pink jam with white cream, makes the cake look lovely and appetizing .


Step 5: Further polishing

Assign the main light, give basic shading. Start to build the feeling of different food. For example, the shape of the frosting, the crisp feeling of the ginger bread, adding some cracks which come up during baking, the stickiness of the jam, the softness of the cake.


Add more polishing. Then add cast shadows, and top-down gradient, to make the whole thing more 3D.


At last, add some cold fill lights, to give better color contrast, and better build the form.      


Useful links for dessert photos:

  Having a good stock of reference photos is essential for doing this type of projects. Here I share all the links we have for now.

  These links can’t give you a lot of photos, instead they give you dessert names, that you can put into Google image search to get lots of photos.


For desserts naming:


List of French desserts:


Some French dessert with names and photos:


10 most loved desserts:


Hundreds of Italian dessert with names and photos:


More of my articles about games & art production:

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