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is a project I have been slowly working on over the last few years with the goal of ultimately replacing many of the "outdated" special effects shots in David Lynch's 1984 version of Dune.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

Friday, November 27, 2009

"They defend the spice sands... as to their relationship with the spice... who knows?"

Original shot.

Enhanced shot (v1.0)
(click on images to enlarge)

Spent the last few days rotoscoping several hundred frames to remove the thopter cockpit window from behind Dr Kynes (Max Von Sydow) so I could place the new desert dunes render in place. I also took the opportunity to lighten the really dark footage so it looks like they are out flying during the day - I really do not like the orange filtered sky used in all the original out-door effects shots.


  1. It looks just a little TOO bright. Try making the horizon a bit faded, possibly with orange, to give a real sense of distance.

    The outline around Kynes is also a bit too clean-cut, so some fuzz or something would do well.

  2. Hey man, I've been following your progress for some time now. Good work! In regards to this piece, Isn't this sky looking TOO earthlike? And I also think it's too bright (in regards to Kynes, he should have one whole side of his face illuminated by the brightness of the desert).

  3. I'm sorry but I much prefer the original look than this new brighter sky !! I'd try to do new shots that adhere more to the original Lynch photography !!

  4. Andrew: I'll go ahead and answer for Sasha, since my opinion goes both ways.

    Arrakis has an oxygen-rich atmosphere, so it should have an Earth-like sky. In fact, the atmosphere is made up of so much a larger percentage of oxygen that it would actually be *more* blue.

    For now I do prefer Lynch's Arrakis, but only because it's more polished. Once Sasha works on the new background a bit more and gets all the details just right, I'm sure I'll vastly prefer it.

  5. To quote the Dune Wikipedia - in a section describing differences between the Lynch film and the novel:

    "There are several distinctive visual and aesthetic choices made in the film that do not seem directly inspired by Herbert's novel. In the film, the Bene Gesserit women adopt shaven heads when they become Reverend Mothers and the Mentats have enormous eyebrows. The 'thopters (ornithopters) are depicted as wingless, jet- or rocket-propelled aircraft, while the color of the Arrakeen sky is changed from silver to orange."

  6. Well, I think the thing here for me is that ALL the special effects shots in the movie have an orange filter over them and it makes the sand not match the color of the dunes seen in a lot of the live action photography. Second, from a general audience point of view, it makes it incredibly hard to differentiate the ground from the sky (One of the movie's biggest problems is it's frequently confusing sense of geography).
    Third, it's a personal choice. I don't like the orange sky. LOL. It was Lynch's first color film and he originally wanted to make it in black and white.
    I tried to use a "silver" sky, but it looks incredibly dull, so I am adding a hint of blue.
    Hopefully as things progress it will start to look better and better (Note: this is version 1.0)
    Thanks for all the comments & critiques though. I really do appreciate and evaluate all your comments and input. Keep it up!

  7. I actually enjoy the orange tint, since it gives a certain "mood" to the film. But, since I'm a purist, I would love to see the sky more in-line with the novel. But, more than that, I'd like it all looking a bit more realistic.

    I'm a bit wary how it will turn, since the orange really does set the mood. Hopefully it doesn't clash, but it is something I'm looking forward to.

  8. I think I will try to save that "orange sky" look for later when the sand storm hits... so there is more of a distinction... I never really felt the difference in the movie! LOL
    (IMHO The new sky looks "better" in motion as well)

  9. Well if there's one thing Lynch really did right, it was creating a brilliant atmosphere. However, he kind of went overboard by making the entire film moody. Adding the orange sky to certain scenes would really balance it and make for a much better experience, I think.

    Good to hear it! That's the real test.