By Luke Whyte, Editorial Director
When Nicole Ruggiero began work on “Escapism Room” it felt like the end. These were the early days of the pandemic in NYC. Hospitals were filling up. Toilet paper was disappearing. People were trapped and afraid.
“Escapism was an important mechanism used to cope in the tight quarters of NYC before masks and hand sanitizer were accessible,” the New York-based 3D artist said. “Going outside felt as dangerous as driving blindfolded.”
With her piece, the natural landscape inside of the bedroom “was inspired by the deep longing to experience a walk in the forest alongside the inability to do so dwelling inside the concrete jungle,” she said.
Working in Cinema4D, Ruggiero composed “Escapism Room” during a series of Twitch streams where friends and fans contributed ideas and gave advice. She recorded the streams, stitched them together, and compressed them into the two-minute speed run video below.
“Lighting was a key element, adding balance to the composition and color palette: contrasting blues and greens with hints of orange, yellow, and red,” she said. “Other tools used included Octane Render, Quixel Bridge and Photoshop.”
“I prefer Cinema4D + Octane Render for compositing and rendering because it’s great to work with material, shaders, and lighting,” she said. “It feels more streamlined than a program like Maya. However, I use Maya quite often when working with characters. Other programs I use often are Daz3D, Substance Painter, Zbrush, Unreal Engine 4, and After Effects.”