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is a project I have been slowly working on over the last few years with the goal of ultimately replacing many of the "outdated" special effects shots in David Lynch's 1984 version of Dune.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

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Spice Mining Inspection To Start Immediately"

(Click image for larger view)
Here is the full version of the first part of the Spice Mining Inspection sequence. (Click link for video)
This sequence is interrupted midway through by a sequence featuring Dr Yueh inspecting enemy bodies. I have started working on the 2nd part of the sequence featuring the Spice Harvester and the worm attack but it is a ways off.
There are several shots in the scene that are not done yet, since they require frame by frame rotoscoping to remove the background and I am still working on it.
NONE of the shots are finals as My computer is 7 years old and struggling to generate the complex effects I am trying to accomplish at any reasonable speed.
I am hoping to improve each shot as this project progresses.
Currently the new effects are cut in to match the original soundtrack. This is ideally not how I would like the scene to run so I will have to spend time creating a new soundtrack/effects to match the new effects.
I am really keen to get your constructive feedback so I can (in the long run) improve these shots.
Yes, I know My rotoscoping could be MUCH better! LOL
This youtube version has been heavily compressed so the quality is not the best.

Monday, December 21, 2009

"We're wasting time Sire"

(Click images to enlarge)
This shot is a bit harder to do as the camera pans from right to left with a subtle change in elevation as well, so I am trying to match move this by hand as best I can. It has also been a rotoscoping nightmare but I am almost done! Then all that remains to do is render out the far background and the thopter in separate layers and composite it all together! Then I think I am almost ready to release about 80% of the 1st half of the sequence, just in time for Christmas.

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!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Well, as you may have noticed, the poll "What scene in the movie would you most like to see "redone"?" has closed and the results are in!

32%: Final battle vs Sardaukar
25%: Atreides frigates dock with guild heighliner above Caladan
14%: Folding Space
14%: Emperor's Arrival / Landsraad above Arrakis
10%: Worm chase + Paul falling from cliff
  3%: Piter's arrival by tram on Geidi Prime
  0%: Harkonnen ornithopter flight & crash

I find the results interesting, simply because I would have had a completely different order! Though I do agree with the top two results.. but surely that horrible greenscreen shot of Paul "Falling" down the cliff would be higher up the list! LOL
Sadly, I am nowhere near being able to tackle the final the final battle - would have to spend a lot of time making new assests (Fremen, Sardaukar etc) in order for that to happen.
However, on a more positive note, I have already spent some time working on a new animation for the Atreides ships docking with the Guild ship and I think that will be the next sequence I tackle once I get the Duke's spice harvesting inspection (Version 1) completed.

Happy holidays all and thanks for reading!
Hopefully the job market will pick up in the new year and I will at last be able to find work!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Update: 2nd Stage Navigator

(Click image for larger version)

I completely resculpted the 2nd Stage Navigator I had been working on.
I think it's starting to get there but I have to fix a few things like the mouth, tentacle thingies and teeth.
Have to learn how to texture him and such like now - that is the real key to selling a character like this.