- Catlinman -

fx


Setup & Tools

This page contains tools and programs I used on a regular basis in my workflow. The page is divided up into multiple sections to make browsing things a bit easier. As you can probably tell I have included almost every single program I use to avoid having to attach any further details that you might want to find out!

To answer a question I receive on live streams, tutorials and timelapses: what kind of a system I am running on? I work on my main desktop setup for the most part but also own a MacBook Air which I use for development on the go. It's not nearly as powerful as my main rig but it gets most jobs done well with enough time.

TYPE MAINBOARD CPU GPU RAM
Desktop MSI Z87-G45 GAMING Intel Core i5-4670 @ 3.40GHz 2x NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB 2x Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB 1600Mhz DDR3
Notebook MacBook AIR 13" A1466 Intel Core i5-5250U @ 1.60GHz Intel HD Graphics 6000 1536MB 4GB 1600MHz DDR3

Most applications on this page are for Windows unless specifically stated. The reason for this being that Windows is my main development operating system when I am at work and at home. There are also some sections with more command line focused applications which either run under Bash for Windows or just in a Unix shell on either my notebook or one of my servers.

I have omitted programming languages from this selection since those are constantly growing while everything else on this page is carefully curated and only changes every few years as something else comes along. Old entries are then moved to the deprecated section at the bottom of the page.

General

This list contains programs that I use on a day to day basis. Rather normal applications that most people use are in here as well. My setup is rather specific though to save me as much time as possible meaning that I use a lot of automatically syncing applications so that I have my most basic configurations with me on the go at all times. On top of that another big point is the setup time that it takes for all of the applications as it should be as short as easy as possible.

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Application Description
Google Chrome Robust and fast Internet browser
Firefox Fallback Internet browser
LastPass Password manager that also saves and syncs your private data
Launchy Open programs fast and saves time
Foobar2000 Music player and library manager with over the top customization and functions
iTunes Primary music player on OS X and fallback on Windows
HexChat Mostly stable and easy to set up IRC client
Textual 2 Good and fast OS X IRC client that gets the job done
Teamspeak 3 The basic Teamspeak Client
ShareX Extensible Windows file and image sharing system integration
Nextcloud Dropbox but instead you are entirely in control of everything
Franz Combines multiple web applications into one program
Tweeten Lightweight and fast Twitter management application
Steam Gaming and chatting platform
Skype Used for video calls and quick screen sharing
Slack Versatile company collaboration and chat application
WhatsApp Messenger for real life people that relies on use of your phone
Messenger Facebook dedicated messenger that works quite alright
Gitter Chat for open source programming projects
Discord Alternative voice chat that a lot of people/communities prefer
Google Hangouts Another chat and contact option
f.lux Changes screen color at night to spare your eyes from extra strain

Development

This list contains applications that I use in programming and general development oriented environments. This field ranges from game development all the way over to web server file editing. The main focus though is on editing of projects and their files.

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Application Description
Atom Extensible editor for absolutely everything
Sublime Text Alternative text editor that is good at handling large files
Vim Extensible command line file editing and development environment
Unity Easy to learn and versatile game engine for quick and even large project setups
Unreal Engine 4 Complex engine aimed at high end systems and large projects
CryEngine Complex engine with heavy emphasis on real time editing and testing
PICO-8 Great toolkit for teaching programming and game development
Cheat Engine Open source memory scanner, hex editor and debugger

Artwork & Graphics Creation

This list contains most applications I use on a day to day basis for artwork and general graphics creation. This means that tools for graphic assets in games and other work are also included in this list. This is probably the most active list with new additions and removals over time as I find more suited tools for certain tasks to work faster. The list should provide a great start into general content creation as it focuses on a lot of areas at the same time so there should definitely be something in here that will be of use to you.

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Application Description
Blender Very robust modelling, animation, simulation, rendering and video editing suite all in one (Plugins: Hard Ops)
Cinema4D Prefer motion graphics and general animation suite (Plugins: Cycles4D, X-Particles)
ZBrush Insanely powerful sculpting suite
Paintstorm Studio Digital painting suite with an abundance of brush manipulation options
Adobe Photoshop Image manipulation program useful for almost any task (Plugins: Coolorus, GuideGuide, Nik Collection)
Affinity Designer Vector design and editing application allows for rapid workflow
Affinity Photo Similar to Photoshop but more suited and target for Photo touchups and editing (Plugins: Nik Collection)
Quixel Suite Texturing and normal mapping interface application right in Photoshop
World Machine Realistic procedural terrain map and geometry generation application
DesignDoll Placeholder character and assets posing application
FlamePainter Procedural partical trail effect generation system
Hexels Custom layout artwork creation program with a lot of extra features
MagicaVoxel 3D Voxel art creation and rendering suite
Lazy Nezumi Pro / Hej Stylus Pen and mouse stabilization software to make freehand drawing less frustrating

Video & Visual Effects

This list contains video editing and visual effects suites as well as playback and streaming applications for more casual use. This does not include applications that are used to create specific graphic assets to a degree as you will find those in the graphic and artwork category. The programs below focus more on video editing, encoding, playback and other essential features.

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Application Description
Adobe After Effects Layer based compositing and animation program with a low entry barrier (Plugins: Red Giant Suites, Optical Flares)
Adobe Premiere Pro Timeline based video editing suite with good file and encoding support
kdenlive Free and extensible timeline based video editing suite
HandBrake Open source video transcoder that never fails
mpv Barebones, cross platform, extensible and blazing fast video player that can handle almost any format
Syncplay Video playback synchronization across multiple media players
OBS Studio Live streaming and content capture suite
Nvidia Shadowplay GPU accelerated screen recording solution that works ahead of time

Audio Editing & DAWs

This list contains applications used in audio recording, editing and manipulation as well as complete digital audio workstation solutions for music and sound effects production.

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Application Description
Renoise Tracker focused DAW
Adobe Audition Stable and fast audio editing solution
FL Studio Simple to learn but hard to master DAW
Audacity Open source and cross platform audio editing software
BFXR Chiptune game sound assets generator

Support & Hardware

This list contains applications that I use on a regular basis in hardware debugging, monitoring and client support. There are also some security applications in this category as well and overclocking assistants.

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Application Description
CPU-Z Hardware and system specification inspection utility
BlueScreenViewer Enables easy viewing of Windows minidump file data
OpenHardwareMonitor Excellent hardware load and temperature monitoring tool
Sandboxie Runs applications in a sandbox to protect the base system from unwanted changes
TeamViewer Remote control application that does not require a lot of time to set up and deploy
MSI Afterburner NVIDIA GPU monitoring and control application

System Administration Tools

This list contains applications used for interaction with remote servers as well as monitoring and dissecting of network traffic.

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Application Description
cmder Windows command line where the sky is the limit
iTerm2 Good OSX terminal with good system integration
Wireshark Network protocol analyzer and monitoring solution
FastGlacier Amazon Glacier access client

Command Line & Server Applications

This list contains command line applications and utilities that I run on Unix systems once I have set them up. Obviously depending of the tasks that the system has to handle there are a lot of other applications that you will not find on this list actually running on the server but to show a base set of what I run you can take the following list as a good starting reference point.

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Application Description
zsh Unix shell that makes life better through powerful commands, plugins and themes
tmux Terminal multiplexer that does not get in your way
htop Interactive process viewer for everything
git Sane version control system that works for almost any project
haveged System entropy daemon that improves the base random number generator
nginx Fast web server
fail2ban Ban rude people and bots from your web server
netdata Cross server monitoring suite

Deprecated Applications & Previous Tools

This list contains applications that I have previously used in my workflow at some point but have become deprecated either because they are not supported anymore by the developer or a better alternative has come along. To avoid table clutter I have compiled everything into a single table to make things easier. Descriptions have been omitted to keep things clean and should not be necessary as a quick online search should show enough information about the given application.

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Category Application Deprecation Reason
Development Webstorm Switched web development to Atom
Development IntelliJ IDEA Switched Java development to Atom
Development FlashDevlop Switch Actionscript and Haxe development to Atom
Development GitExtensions Started using the command line git interface
Development Eclipse Had to use this for university
Development PuTTyTray Switched to cmder with
Development WinSCP Windows file transfer client
Development Cyberduck OSX file transfer client
General Puush Switched to ShareX for image and file sharing
General Rainmeter No current use after cleaning up desktop
General DesktopFusion Was in use on Windows 7 before better multiple monitor support
Graphics Krita Switched to Paintstorm Studio
Graphics Sculptris Switched to Blenders sculpting tools
Graphics GIMP Switched to Adobe Photoshop
Graphics InkScape Switched to Adobe Illustrator
Graphics Adobe Illustrator Switched to Affinity Designer
Video VLC Switched to mpv
Video Chronolapse Using OBS Studio now to record timelapses