Welcome to the Dune Special Edition Project

This is a project I have been slowly working on over the last few years with the goal of ultimately replacing many of the "outdated" special effects shots in David Lynch's 1984 version of Dune.
The project initially began as an endeavor to build a "proper" ornithopter - one with flapping wings, that neither the movie or the mini-series managed to achieve. However, with the advent of the "fan-edit" the scope of the project has expanded with the goal of updating the effects in all those places in the movie where I feel things could be significantly "improved."
Although I am currently working on this by Myself, it's a large undertaking and if there is anyone interested in helping this project along, feel free to contact Me - We might actually be able to get this project completed with a few more skilled and enthusiastic people!

Sasha Burrow

P.S. I am now working again! Yay! Thanks Joe!
My new job should enable me to learn the skills I need to complete this project to a higher quality!

DUNE Special Edition: Showreel March 2010

Friday, April 1, 2016

DUNE - Behind The Scenes Video

Here is the behind the scenes program that was made to promote the movie at conventions and presumably on TV.

Emperor's Palace on Kaitain

Have been working a little on this scene, replacing the flat cards that previously made up the background city with some stock 3D sci-fi building models, added the searchlights on the towers and some other lights (still in progress) and finally got around to putting Kaitain's ring in the sky to draw attention down to the Palace, along with a much better sky image.

Next to do is get a decent guild ship model - right now its basically just a big rectangle as I only have the plans for the underside and the upper portion of it is a bit vague and hard to make out in the movie, and then work on the lighting, which needs considerable work - right now the palace foreground is a little too subdued and the city too "close".

 Here's the original "miniature"!!! (Below)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Emperor's "Selamlik" - Work In Progress

Frank Herbert uses the term "Selamlik" to describe the metal "tent" that the Emperor's uses as his base while dealing with the Arrakis affair.

"The selamlik (Turkish: selamlık) was the portion of a Ottoman palace or house reserved for men; as contrasted with the seraglio, which is reserved for women and forbidden to men.
Selamlik was also a portion of the household reserved for the guests (from the root word selam, "greeting"), similar to the andronites (courtyard of men) in Ancient Greece, where guests would be welcomed by the males of the household. The harem is the portion for the family."

The description from the novel:

"It wasn't the lighter that excited Stilgar's awe, Paul knew, but the construction for which the lighter was only the centerpost. A single metal hutment, many stories tall, reached out in a thousand-meter circle from the base of the lighter - a tent composed of interlocking metal leaves - the temporary lodging place for five legions of Sardaukar and His Imperial Majesty, the Padishah Empror Shaddam IV."

Other details include Gurney Halleck's observation that it has 9 levels (Instead of only 6 in the movie version).

Below you can see the original model being prepped for filming, how it appears in the movie - as seen by Paul through the oil lenses of his binoculars, then two of My work in progress renders, the first matching the same angle as the movie version but with the camera pulled further back to permit visibility of the entire structure and the second render revealing more of the environment, including two Spice Harvesters and the Baron Harkonnen's ship.

I am looking at rebuilding all the DUNE 3D models I have made to take advantage of the improvements in 3D since I first made them - in particular to take advantage of new more realistic rendering engines that should help to take the CG curse off of the images.

As a side note, the image with the sand-crawlers took 37 minutes 53 seconds to render out on My machine at home, while a render at work during My lunch break, took only 7 minutes 19 seconds!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Piter's Arrival - The Harkonnen Tram sequence

One of the more poorly edited sequences in the movie revolves around Piter De Vries arrival at the Harkonnen capital by tram. As depicted in the movie it is a really confusing set of shots which also includes some terrible compositing and blue screen work.
Only the final shot with the matte painting of the interior of the massive industrial complex is well done.
To this end I have been working away on building the two major features from that sequence - the massive industrial building and the creepy "oil burners" with the strange baby faces which are barely seen in the movie.
This is an update on what I had previously done in an attempt to make it more "movie" accurate given what references I have of it.
Still a lot of work to be don on it to match the model better and the face is nowhere near correct yet, but the elements are starting to come together.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Just for fun I decided to make some card back mock ups for "Dune SE" action figures, using a modified version of the original Kenner star wars card back - since I always felt those were some of the best looking action figure card backs.
Also found some pictures of the original LJN action figures and some custom made ones.
There are different colour backgrounds depending on which faction they belong to.

PREVIZ: Folding Space: Interior


Here is some early "Previz" animation I have been working on to try and work out a better way to handle the scenes of Guild Navigator folding space.
I would like to try and stay close to what was originally envisioned for the sequence, while keeping what is going on clear to the audience.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sardaukar Lasgun

As a follow up to the Sardaukar pistol I made recently, here is the Lagun / Rifle. It's a fairly low rez model with only basic texturing, not meant to be viewed up close, but should hold up fine for distant shots on the CG Sardaukar.

I only had the one reference image to work from (The prop looks pretty beat up as well), so it is probably missing details. If anyone has better images of the prop, I'd be interested in seeing them. A search of the net revealed nothing new.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Just finished up a low resolution version of the Sardaukar pistol - for use by eventual CG Sardaukar - so I didn't include some of the smaller details, though I may add them later.
To My knowledge this prop doesn't appear in the film, nor have I found any examples of it as concept art. However, it WAS a toy made by LJN (Called the Sardaukar Laser Gun) along with the Fremen Tarpel Gun (Which seems to have been based on the concept art for the Fremen needle gun) - Next will be the Sardaukar Lasgun/Rifle you can see in one of the examples below (along with the pistol).

Sunday, October 13, 2013

An reanalysis of David Lynch's DUNE

It's an older review by John Kenneth Muir of the Blu-ray from 2010, but it is always interesting to see other people's opinions and experiences with the film.


On a tragic note, My friend Paul Michelena was killed this weekend in a supermarket parking lot, hit and run over by a car while protecting his daughter Chani (Yes, Paul was a DUNE fan as well).
Water for the dead will be given at the appropriate time.


Thirdly, I finally spent the weekend back working on DUNE Special Edition again... mostly sorting out all My 3D assets - since the organization has been haphazard at best and working in the VFX industry for the past couple of years has taught Me a thing or two!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Guild Heighliner - HD Redux

So I have decided to sort of start over - after a fashion - in as much as I am starting at the beginning again and retooling everything for the greater detail demands of HD. Means more work of course!

Have never been happy with the level of detail on the Guild Heighliner, so I have been working out how to use the new "instancing" features in Lightwave 11.5 to create a good look. Had to remodel the ship to accommodate the way instancing works. I also have not added in the node flow that allows the instances to rotate in 90 degree increments for more variety.

Here's a couple of in progress comparison shots... Same model with instancing turned off and instancing turned on. (It's not lit properly yet though and I will eventually play with the surface textures when I have finished modeling - still have to do the three large vertical doors)