Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get stuff done?

Vivian The Dog

Vivian The Dog

6-foot tall dachshund

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Vivian, a 6-foot tall dachshund living in New York City. I basically eat food and sleep 24/7. I'm also working on a children's book titled, "Vivian the Dog Moves to Brooklyn." The book is all about my move from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Brooklyn, New York. New York City is not really a great place for a giant dog to be.

What hardware do you use?

Mitch: I'm gonna take over here - hi, I'm Mitch, Vivian's owner, and I work as an illustrator and photographer. As I'm sure you've assumed, Vivian is not actually 6 feet tall. She's just barely over a foot tall and weighs 13 lbs. All of the pictures in the book are photo-illustrations.

I've been shooting the images on the Fujifilm X‑T10 with a 35mm lens. I originally purchased the Fuji as a casual travel camera, but I loved the images it was taking so much that I now use it more than the Canon 5D. A lot of the scenes we shoot are in busy city areas, so it helps to have a low profile camera. Most people just assume I'm another tourist taking a picture of the New York Skyline.

I edit on my 27" iMac. I haven't pushed for the Retina version yet, maybe next time. It does the job just fine. Oh, I forgot! before I shoot the images, I make a storyboard in my Moleskin notebook. I prefer the squared pattern version. When I'm sketching I like to work in pencil first and then ink using a Staedtler Pigment Liner pen. I usually work with a 0.3mm tip. Okay, back to the Mac! I love this thing. The 27" screen is a great size and gives me space to work in several programs at once. My computer desktop is usually a mess with several windows open at once. I used to be very OCD about only having one program open at once, but I've let that go.

While editing the photos I use the Wacom Bamboo tablet. It's a little old and not the Intuos series or anything, but it works just fine. I worked for a few years on the super big Intuos while I was a VFX artist, and they really all feel the same to me. I like to work on the pixel level, so I'm always zoomed in, and a more sensitive tablet doesn't matter at that point.

Vivian: I use a standard leash and poop bags most days. Nothing fancy.

And what software?

Mitch: I process the raw files from the Fuji in Adobe Lightroom and use the VSCO Film 02 pack a lot. I'm not a fan of the strong roll off you get in the highlights with digital images, and I think VSCO does a good job of smoothing that out. I love their Kodak Portra 400 emulator.

Once I've processed the files, I pull them into Photoshop and finish them there. No special filters or plugins. Just vanilla Photoshop.

Outside of image processing, I use Sunrise for my calander - so sad they're being eaten by Outlook. I'm writing this in Grammarly because I'm constantly afraid of making stupid grammatical mistakes. I've been on a Duolingo kick lately, my girlfriend is Colombian and I've been learning Spanish, it's going pretty well. Oh, and I'm a huge Spotify junkie. I'm always listening to something.

Vivian: What's software? Can I eat it?

What would be your dream setup?

Vivian: Probably having 3-5 manservants shoveling food into my mouth at all times, while lounging in my penthouse overlooking Central Park.

Mitch: Honestly, I'm pretty happy with what I have now. I guess I'd always love to grab an iPad Pro - I've been wanting to play around with the Pencil for a while now. I've been getting back into filmmaking, so I've got my eye on a Blackmagic Cinema Camera and some nice Zeiss Primes. But that's a pipe dream for now, and it's usually better to rent that stuff. We'll see!

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