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is a project I have been slowly working on over the last few years with the goal of ultimately replacing many of the "outdated" special effects shots in David Lynch's 1984 version of Dune.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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

NEW! IMPROVED! Spice Harvester W.I.P.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it!

I've finally had a small amount of time to get back to working on this project and recently came across a whole slew of reference images I had not previously seen on the 2-disc DUNE DVD (Thanks to Joe Lawson for letting Me borrow that).
With the new reference images, I have been able to revisit My spice harvester model and really try and get as much of the detail correct as possible (though I am taking a few liberties here and there)
Worked out a new way to model all the curved parts that allowed Me to UV map them before I curved them and I think the results are looking considerably better than before.
Here's the old model:

And here's the updated one:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Spotter" Ornithopter

The "Spotter" is a small ornithopter that circles or hovers over a working spice harvester watching for "worm sign", the tell tale approach of one of the giant native sand worms that can easily lay waste to an entire harvester in moments.

While mentioned in the movie by both Dr Kynes (In a delete scene) and by Duke Leto (during the rescue of the spice harvester workers), the "spotters" are not seen on screen.

I've created several designs & models for the spotters so far but have been unhappy with all of them - as they really didn't match the design aesthetic of the film -


Found an image of a model on a website that while different from the main ornithopter seen in the movie, to Me seemed just right - that combination of similar but different enough.

So I modeled it up to match the design of My regular "Special Edition" ornithopter" and I am quite happy with how it came out so far. (Though My hypervoxel dust cloud is really lame!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Interview with DUNE producer Rafaella De Laurentiis

Link to the original Spike TV interview where producer Rafaella De Laurentiis discusses the fabled original running time of Dune.
Rafaella De Laurentiis Interview about Dune

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shameless self promotion

In a little bit of shameless self-promotion, here's the link to My new Graphic Design/Art/Illustration blog and slideshow: http://sashaburrow.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Currently not getting a lot done on the project, as I am focused on finding employment. 5 months in LA without so much as a response is really disheartening. I don't think I'll be able to get much more done until I get work.

That said... the project WILL continue as soon as possible.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sandworm Update

Have managed to get a little more work done on the sand worm...

3rd Stage Navigator Model

My friend Greg has been kind enough to help out with some modeling on the 3rd stage guild navigator and sent Me a few images of his progress today.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Link update / Atreides Frigate Model Kit

Just updated the link to my website and a couple of other bits of info (Forgot to change them when I moved back to Los Angeles).
I am currently working on updating my graphic design portfolio in the hopes of landing a full-time job - my current one doesn't seem to be working!

As far as the DUNE SE goes, I am currently working on digitally sculpting the sandworm and on reworking the Arrakeen palace/city environment model so I can finish up several shots that require it - most notably the start of the Duke's spice harvesting inspection and the later shots with the emperor's tent.

The model kit of my Atreides frigate arrived in the mail on Monday and it looks great!
(I sent the digital model to a friend who had access to a rapid prototyping 3D printer)
It's quite cool to be able to physically interact with something that I had previously only been able to view on my monitor.
Can't wait to get a little cash so I can paint it up! (NB: The last two photos were taken by the guys who printed the model - Hunk Of Junk Productions)

Friday, May 21, 2010

More Original DUNE Production Art

Was also excited recently to find some more (or better versions) of some of the original production art (By Tony Masters and Ron Miller), including a couple of pieces I had not seen before.
I present them here in rough chronological order

Sean Young (Chani) - Super 8mm Behind The Scenes Footage

Just found this today! Cool stuff!
It is behind the scenes footage filmed by Sean Young of the cast and crew of Dune.
See her being cast in plaster for her stillsuit.
See Francesca Annis (Lady Jessica) flash her panties!
See Kenneth McMillan (Baron Harkonnen) without his fat suit
See Aldo Ray - originally cast as Gurney Halleck.
See everyone sitting around half in their stillsuits,
and more!

(Click the link above the video below to see the whole thing)


Monday, May 10, 2010

Harkonnen Thopter Leaves Arrakeen

 (click image to enlarge)
Currently working redoing the shot of the Harkonnen ornithopter carrying the captive Paul & Jessica heading for the desert.

Not quite sure how I am going to do all the flame elements as I don't have a library of them, and I need to work on the lighting and the model of the Arrakeen Palace/Mountain needs a lot more work too.
Still, I am liking how this is looking so far as I think showing the relationship between the city and the palace gives the whole thing a "larger" feel.

Here's a frame from the original shot.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Whale Design Concept

(Click image to enlarge)
Since the whales featured in the factory previs are just stand-ins, I have been working on some concept art - Here's an example showing the whales in their natural environment on the planet of Lankiveil - not trying to go too bizarre as the audience has to be able to work out what it is in the few seconds its on screen. This one is sort of a killer whale/humpback/blue whale mash up.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Whale Fur Factory Previs / Comparison

Here is a link to a comparison between the original Harkonnen scene that has the Baron and Feyd with cat/rat thing and the new version featuring a previz animation of the whale fur factory cut into place.

View it in the new video window above!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sand Scout

(Click image to enlarge)

Here is the last of the four lo-res vehicles from DUNE that I have been working on.
This is the 2nd one that is featured in the movie briefly zipping up a ramp into the spice harvester. The shot was apparently only included in the movie so they could have some marketable toys to sell.

I made it by eyeballing it - I couldn't find the "plans" for it, so its definitely a bit "off".
It's not quite finished - there are a few more details to add and of course texturing, but since you won't be seeing this one up close I'm not going to put in too much more time on it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Harkonnen Whale Fur Factory

Right before the scene where the Baron and Feyd (carrying the cat/rat thing) go to talk to Thufir, there are 3 "transition" shots.

To Me the first one in particular seems like a real "nothing" shot - it does not add anything to the audiences knowledge of Geidi Prime.

Now recently I happened to have reason to look up the old Gregory Peck version of Moby Dick, and then someone sent Me a link on Facebook to a thing against Japanese whaling and I recalled that in the novel of Dune, the Harkonnens had returned to power through the adroit manipulation of the "whale fur" markets.
In the novel, the whale fur business is concentrated on the Harkonnen colony planet of Lankiveil.

However, since Lankiveil is NOT in the movie version, I had the idea to expand the Harkonnen city environment with a shot that passes through the gruesome whale fur factory and ends with the existing shot of the hose washing the meat off the floor.
If it doesn't end up working here, I may use it in the 2nd filmbook sequence I am developing.

 (click image to enlarge)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sand Roller

 (Click On Image To Enlarge)
Here is the lo-res model of the Sand Roller

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sand Crawler 3D Model

  (click image to enlarge)
Well, here is the 3D version of the model - it's pretty plain Jane at the moment as it is not really supposed to be seen in close up.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Managed to track down some detailed pictures of the old Revell model of the Sand Crawler vehicle briefly seen in the movie right before the sandworm attacks the spice harvester.

I wasn't going to model it, but I really need a few vehicles to help populate the city new version of Arrakeen city and make it come to life a bit more, so I am going to model a low poly version of this and the other toy vehicles that were made from the movie at the time.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Blu-Ray DVD Review

Here is a review of the Blu-Ray version of Dune over at the Digital Bits.


The reviewer is not a fan of the movie, but more interestingly are the comments about the quality of the release and in particular the omission of the photo gallery and the extended edition (which I thought was going to be on there).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Atreides Frigate Rework

 (click images to enlarge)
Took some time out today detail up the doorway on the frigate. There seemed to be something really funky going on looking at the set photos and it took Me a while to work out that there is a sort of "inset" inside the door frame. Have to detail up that little area (the angled area on each side of the gold door area).
There is also another beam that sticks out where the handrails are that I have not yet modeled as I am not sure how that part fits together.
Also ligned the three little insets that run around the "legs" and the front just above the doorways and fixed up that area so tha panels are all connected and not just "floating"
I think this is about as far as I am going to go at the moment. (Save for some more details on the doorway)
Could of course keep going berzerk with detail but I think I am going to texture/bump/normal map some of the more ornate details.