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is a project I have been slowly working on over the last few years with the goal of ultimately replacing many of the "outdated" special effects shots in David Lynch's 1984 version of Dune.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, December 14, 2009

Judge of the change... and Imperial Ecologist...


Well, here is a little taste of what I am currently working on... rotoscoping out the original background from behind Dr Kynes (Max Von Sydow), and replacing it with My new ornithopter model and the landing pad (based on a mix of the original concept art and the final production model of the Arakeen palace and grounds).
In the original shot, the ornithopter is housed at the base of a shaft deep inside the palace, but I really wanted to open it up so it didn't feel like a small soundstage set.
Since the new shot features outdoor lighting, I have had to lighten the shot a bit and give it more of a daylight tint.
This is currently a concept composite to see how the shot will look when assembled.
There are 3 primary layers:
1: The original shot of Dr Kynes (Rotoscoped, lightened and color corrected)
2: The ornithopter and landing pad (Have to turn of those front lights on the thopter though and the thopter is smaller because it is further back)
3: The palace wall and shield effect with the mountainous shield wall cliffs in the distance (Distorted by the shield effect).
Luckily there is no sky visible in this shot, so there is no need to worry about the color of it for now! LOL
Would love to get your constructive feedback on this shot, so comment away!


  1. I much prefer the scene brighter, as you've done. I also like the new open background, but I'll wait until I see the scene before I judge the 'thopter. I fear it may look too obviously 3D and shiny, so we'll see how well it blends.

  2. The current thopter model has no texture maps on it, so it IS a bit shiny... hoping to match it a bit more to the actual on set prop eventually. Looks a little narrow too, but I think that is a lens issue... since I have no info on the lenses used and it is almost impossible to get the camera in the right position.
    I also need to be careful with the shimmering shield effect as I do not want it to distract from Dr Kynes.

  3. Well, from reading the book, I always had the impression that shields were simply transparent, or if anything a "heat-in-the-distance" kind of distortion. You could try for something like that, which I think would at least vastly improve the opening scene of Paul and Gurney fighting. Those big brown blocks of "shield" just looks really dated.

  4. While that would be ideal, I'm really going to have to stick with the established look, since I can't change how it looks during the knife fight where the effect is first introduced.

  5. Yeah, that would be ideal. I would much prefer that, but I don't think its possible without footage of that scene without the special effects added.