Uses This

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A picture of Kate Welch

Kate Welch

Podcaster, designer (ArenaNet)

in designer, game, interface, mac, podcaster

Who are you, and what do you do?

My biggest passion is video games: their creation, their following, and the business that surrounds them. To that end, over the years, I've been a reviewer and all-around fan on YouTube, a panel speaker, a booth representative at tradeshows, a silent protagonist, and a UI designer & livestream host at ArenaNet, working on Guild Wars 2. I also podcast about Game of Thrones with three lovely nerdos.

What hardware do you use?

I'll break this down by section: video, audio, and... arteo? Draweo. Picture stuff.

Video: For my YouTube show, I used a Canon Rebel T1i on a tripod hooked up to a 2007 MacBook Pro. My lighting setup consisted of a desk lamp from Target behind me as a backlight, and a bright floor lamp with a sheet of wax paper clothespinned over it to diffuse it. Pretty pro stuff. For the Guild Wars 2 livestream, we use a Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera with a Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 ASPH lens, hooked up to a pretty beefy Windows PC whose sole purpose is broadcasting the livestream, thus (hopefully) ensuring the highest stream quality possible. We use a large three-point lighting setup. For low-fidelity webcam streaming, I use a TeckNet C015 Webcam Camera. It's $10 and it'll do.

Audio: My podcast setup is pretty simple. I use an Apogee MiC with a Nady pop filter, hooked up to a 2012 MacBook Air. The mic's tripod is itty bitty, so it sits on my coffee table and I sit on the floor. Pants are optional. God, I love podcasts.

Art: All of my art is done on one of two Windows PCs, either at home or at work. Both setups include a Cintiq 21UX, which is probably the third or fourth model of Wacom drawing products I've used, and it is by far my favorite. Once I started using it at work, I was hooked and had to buy one for home as well.

And what software?

Video: For the YouTube show, I captured the video recording using the camera's default software, then edited (early on) in iMovie and later in Adobe Premiere. For livestream work, I use XSplit Broadcaster and ArenaNet has just started using Wirecast.

Audio: Editing and distributing the podcast is, thankfully, not my job, so I can't speak to the more robust software used for this. For my part, I capture using QuickTime and upload the raw audio file using Dropbox. In fact, I think Dropbox facilitates 90% of my productivity in general.

Art: Photoshop and Illustrator are by far the most used programs for me creatively. Surprise! I like to prototype and iterate in Illustrator to get the behavior and "feeling" of an interface, then take that flow into Photoshop and art the hell out of it. For personal work, I've tried just about every drawing program under the sun, but I always come back to regular ol' Photoshop for illustration and design work. The color profile of the Cintiq is, shall we say, a challenge to work with... so usually my trick (especially if I'm working on small finicky details or icons) is to open a second window containing my working file and drag it to the monitor with the proper color profile, leaving it at 100% zoom, while I work up close and personal with it on the Cintiq. Lifehack! Just kidding. This is a useful tip for probably 17 people on earth.

What would be your dream setup?

Every time Wacom releases a new Cintiq, I want it. That said, my dream setup would probably be a Cintiq Companion or Surface Pro 3 or similar that would allow me to sit under a tree on a sunny afternoon and do my work with accuracy and precision.

As for audio-visual setups, the quality of the Double Fine livestream usually blows me away, so maybe my dream setup is having 2 Player Productions run all my AV stuff. And while we're dreaming, maybe a Han Solo lookalike who leans rogueishly against the wall just behind the camera and winks at me every so often.