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is a project I have been slowly working on over the last few years with the goal of ultimately replacing many of the "outdated" special effects shots in David Lynch's 1984 version of Dune.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

If you are curious about My professional work, I have been working as a VFX artist (Among other things) at The Asylum for the past 6 years, including visual effects on all 4 Sharknado films (Mainly stuff blowing up!).

DUNE Special Edition: Showreel March 2010

Monday, November 2, 2009

2nd Stage Guild Navigator

Here's something on My wish list... head replacements for the 2nd stage guild navigators.
Although originally conceived as an animatronic head (Image Here), ultimately it appears there was not enough time or money to complete development and in the final movie, the 2nd stage guild navigators wear some rather silly looking "gimp" masks.

(2nd Stage Gimp Navigator with translator microphone)

With advances in technology, most notably Star Wars Episode 3, where Christopher Lee's head was successfully composited over the stunt double's head for much of the climactic duel at the start of the film, I feel it would be possible to replace the heads with the originally designed ones (Which bridge the evolution between the human 1st Stage Navigators seen prominently in the movie, and the giant mutated 3rd Stage Guild Navigators). Today I had some time on My hands, so I did a ROUGH composite in photoshop to see how the final product might look (Only better!).

(Concept of 2nd Stage Guild Navigator)


  1. It looks really good. Hopefully you can impose some decent special effects over it for some realistic nostril-breathing, mouth-talking, and eye-blinking. Really bring it to life.

  2. Speaking as someone in the industry, doing convincing CG head replacements are a huge challenge. You will need to have really good tracks of all these scenes to prevent the 3D head from floating and not properly following the body it's supposed to be attached to. I don't know if you know boujou or pftrack, but I find boujou easier to work with. Your also going to need roto on all the foreground elements that may cross in front of the head at any time and then a good composting package (not After Effects) something like Nuke perhaps. The biggest trick to getting this to work properly is good lighting. Obviously you can't go back to the set and shoot a bunch of HDR's or anything, but trying to find an HDR to at least get you in the ballpark before you start adding fills and other lights, would be suggested. All your texture maps need to be at least 4K as I assume this will be done in HD, same goes for any displacement maps -those may even need to be higher to pull more detail out, depending on how close to camera you get. I assume your rendering in Mental Rey if your using Maya or Vray if your using Max. This is quite the ambitious project, I wish you all the best.

    May 8, 2010 9:28 AM

  3. Hi

    Interesting project. Just a quick observation - the guy you are changing here is a Spacing Guild representative. The navigator is the huge creature in the spice filled tank.

    The novels (and perhaps especially the prequels and sequels by his son) go into a lot of detail regarding the relationship between the navigators and the rest of the guilds hierarchy especially when they start to look into using navigational computers to end their reliance on the spice.

    Looking forward to seeing this project finished - especially if you are planning to enhance the nice giger inspired exteriors which I always liked but thought were a bit flat.

  4. This is a great idea! I hope you were/are still able to pursue this.