photoshop creative

Check out the inspiring new film from SmugMug, ‘Dreams of a Digital Artist’

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Blog, by Mark White
September 29, 2015

Renee Robyn’s incredible story is the eleventh film of the series

SmugMug’s latest film in its behind-the-lens series looking at the world’s most exciting photographers, is available to watch now on YouTube! Previous films follow NASA astronaut and photographer Don Pettit taking breathtaking pictures of earth, and extreme surf photographer Chris Burkard.

The 11th film of the series focuses on Renee Robyn, Canadian model and photographer, who turned to the world of digital art after a devastating motorcycle crash that almost took her life and left her unable to walk. Renee began creating surreal and mysterious worlds that stretched the boundaries of imagination, and this latest SmugMug film tells her inspirational story.


“I read way too many fantasy books, and I probably played too many video games. When you’re creative, I don’t think the ideas come from you,” says Renee of where she gets her creativity. “Every single image is like playing with a Rubik’s cube. Turn things around and eventually you’ll find something that works.”

A seasoned Photoshop user who uses a Wacom tablet, Renee also believes in starting a project with the end result in mind, but what other tips and tricks can she share? “Use brushes, masking, colorizing, liquefying, and, of course, layers. I like to use channels for colour, masking, and doing luminosity adjustments,” she says. “Zoom in really, really close, usually 300–400% when masking. Editing non-destructively always results in tons of layers. Make groups! If you build good organisational habits when you’re starting, it gets easier to keep track of what you’re doing once you start building more complicated composites.”


Check out more about how Renee works by watching the video above!

SmugMug Films is an award winning film series that gives a behind-the-lens look at the world’s most epic photographers, our heroes.