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is a project I have been slowly working on over the last few years with the goal of ultimately replacing many of the "outdated" special effects shots in David Lynch's 1984 version of Dune.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

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sand, Sand Everywhere...

Sand dunes are a real pain in the ass to model convincingly... they are very distinctive looking, and quite tricky to texture... I initially just put a few bumps and dips into a subdivided plain and while it was fine for just getting an idea of scale and motion, they really doesn't look like "real" sand dunes...

So I have tried a different approach - this time using a greyscale height map that I drew using an aerial photo of sand dune formations in the Namib Desert...

As you can see it looks a bit more convincing (The dunes in the back are still the original "bumps") ... still not quite there and I suspect I am going to have to hand model some "Hero" dunes for close up work as these dunes do not hold up under close scrutiny.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Plans within plans...

(click to enlarge images)

For those of you who are interested, and since My own model is a modified "shorter" version (See earlier posts), I am uploading the plans for the Harkonnen "Hammer" ship, in case someone is interested in making the full version of it.
These are scans from the reduced version of the blueprints kindly loaned to Me by Ron Miller, who has been very helpful to Me throughout this project.
However, I think there are some minor changes between the plans and the actual miniatures that were built, so you may want to check other references as well.
I am always looking for more references - especially photos of the filming models and scans of other blueprints, so please contact Me if you happen to have any!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

2nd Stage Navigator

Since zbrush is a program I have been needing to learn, I decided to have a crack at sculpting the 2nd Stage Navigator head... still learning though... have to try and create a texture for it. SO here is a look at what I've come up with so far... added the eye and "spice gas" very quickly in photoshop just to give an idea of how it will look...

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)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Harkonnen Frigate (Special Edition Version)


(Click images for larger version)
So I managed to get some more time this weekend to go in and really try and finidh up My special edition version of the Harkonnen Frigate.
It took quite a bit of work to get the main hull into the shape I wanted, since it was not designed to be so short and getting all the shapes to blend together was a challenge.
I think over all that it has been fairly successful - though I have had to change many details, but will have to wait to see how it looks rendered.
There are still plenty of small details I need to add to it but wanted to show you how it is coming together.
You can see the new orithopter launcher doors on the underside of the main "wings"... originally these were along the side of the hull - but remained mostly unseen and definitely unused in the final movie.