Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Lyndsey Gallant

Lyndsey Gallant

Art director, concept artist

Posted in artist, game, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hey, I'm Lyndsey Gallant!

I'm an Art Director & Concept Artist with a decade of game industry experience. I'm currently in the VR space as the Heart Director (ha ha get it?) of absurd:joy, where we're making some ridiculous, wonderful, playful experiences.

My work is generally high level pre-production art on the visual development of games. Put simply: figuring out what a game should look like, based on what we want the player to do, experience, and feel. I achieve this through visual research, painting concept art, having lots of conversations while looking at those concepts, then creating and implementing art prototypes to test the visual theories. This process is iterative, cyclical, and will often be repeated multiple times, sometimes for many months, before the art direction of a game is finalized.

What hardware do you use?

Tablets

I have a Cintiq 27QHD that I've DIY velcro'd a Razer Tartarus to for faster and more ergonomic hotkey usage. My Cintiq (whom I've lovingly nicknamed "Monster") is mounted on the Wacom Ergostand. I've never liked dual-monitor setups, so I use the Cintiq as my only display.

I also have an Intuos Pro that I swap in when I don't need extreme drawing precision (like when I'm 3D modelling, making UI, etc). I find long sessions on the Cintiq are really uncomfortable so I try to alternate between the two as much as I can to stay healthy.


Computer & Peripherals

I built my own PC back in 2017, and she still does a really great job even with the intensive 3D & VR work I do. I also have a MSI Gaming Laptop (the GS43VR 7RE Phantom Pro) that I use when I'm travelling.

For a keyboard I use the Corsair K70 MK.2 and my mouse is a Corsair M65 PRO. Honestly I used to scoff at the rainbow light-up hardware but now I've really come around and now I think they're so fun and cool! Why not live your most colourful neon cyberpunk fantasy?

I'm a true believer in the idea that our bodies aren't designed to be in any position for 8+ hours straight, no matter how ergonomic, so in addition to my nice chair, I use a standing desk on and off throughout the day. The best part about a standing desk is that it also doubles as a dancing desk if your music is on point and the mood hits you!

VR

I have both an Oculus Rift and an Oculus Quest. Despite the lack of wireless option, I really love the Rift. I find it really cozy and the weight is nicely balanced.

And what software?

Photoshop has always been the most important piece of software in my creative work. I started using it when I was 13, and the very foundation of my art education is pretty intertwined with it.

For creating production art, I use Blender for 3D modelling work, and use the Unity engine. It's immensely useful as an art director to be able to test my own visual theories and designs in-engine and use that as a basis for my iterative concept work.

I'm also a huge proponent of using Dropbox for some light version control on art files, it's saved me a few times on corrupt files and accidental overwrites.

I've also been using Tilt Brush for creating concept art directly in VR. It's really useful for directly creating an immersive atmosphere, and building things to scale because you're occupying the environment as you create it, and using that as a base for cleaned-up Blender models.

I like to put on some jams, strap on the Rift, and immerse myself in my own art piece. It's a really new and exciting way to make concept art, I've been having a blast with it. It's reinvigorated, for me, some of that magic feeling of what it's like to make art when you're a kid.

What would be your dream setup?

I have the privilege and freedom of working from home with a remote team (and have for a few years now), but my huge, unwieldy Cintiq setup means I'm still desk-bound most of the time.

I'd really love to have a mobile workstation so I can have more workdays in cafes, parks, or travelling instead of always creating art in isolation. I haven't really found an option that I love yet, but I've heard great stuff about the iPad Pro + Procreate. Someday!

Uses This is supported by ZSA, makers of the Moonlander, ErgoDox EZ and Planck EZ keyboards. They also publish an awesome newsletter.