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is a project I have been slowly working on over the last few years with the goal of ultimately replacing many of the "outdated" special effects shots in David Lynch's 1984 version of Dune.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

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Spice Silos

Was taking a look through the DUNE blu-ray extra materials recently and noticed a cool pencil sketch that features a spice storage yard, so have whipped up a quick model and some very temporary textures. I had originally used the spice silo design from the DUNE 2000 video game, but would rather use original designs developed for the film where possible.
Still have to work on the layout of the silos as well.

Spice Silo from DUNE 2000 video game.

Original Spice Storage yard based on video game.

Spice factory and storage area as viewed from the palace at Arrakeen.
Concept sketch from film.

Spice storage area W.I.P.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

DUNE Weapons

Here are all the untextured weapons I have made so far (From left to right: Sardaukar Rifle and pistol, Harkonnen Rifle and Pistol and Atreides Rifle and Pistol) - completed the modeling on the Harkonnen pistol yesterday. I also went back in and made a few minor geometry tweaks on the other weapons and scaled them all to suitable size.
Still have to UV map them and do the texture/shader work - that probably won't happen for a while.
Also have the Fremen weaponry to work on - Crysknife, Needle Gun and Weirding Module.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Finally got around to modeling the Harkonnen rifle today.
I only have one good reference images of the prop and some stills from the movie to work from.
Still need to tweak some of the details/proportions.

Examining the movie stills, it looks like the prop was hard to hold as the actors resort to holding onto the thick "wires" above the stock and the handle at the side (not visible in this render). There seems to be some confusion among the actors about which way up to hold the rifle - When Piter arrives and walks down the stairs all the guards are holding the guns with the wires facing down, while the two guards in the Baron's room that bring in the boy are holding the rifles wire size up.

Also IMHO, the magazine is waaaaay to small for a weapon with five barrels!

Need to do the Harkonnen pistol next.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Harkonnen Modular Environment

I'm still quietly working away on this project. A few bits here, a few bits there. Currently have been trying to build a modular Harkonnen environment based almost entirely on Piter's arrival and the introduction of the Baron and his nephews. There's not much else to work from - just the one redressed set later on when Thufir has been imprisoned.

That said, so far I have a couple of different walls, wall corners and ends, floor panels and grating and then some props - notably the TWO types of Harkonnen chair (Though I only have the one side  angle of the chair Rabban sits in) and the two tables (The one with the flowers on it and the small one next to Rabban with the squood on it), and the small wall lights.
Also noticed for the first time while reviewing some still from the movie, that one of the Harkonnen tropps carries a sort of odd looking "battle standard" - its the black pole on the right of the image with the "C" shapes at the top.

Need to UV and texture everything still... possibly going to take everything into UNREAL 4 game engine and see what I can achieve - we have had promising results at work and My directorial debut (Izzie's Way Home a full length 3d animated movie) was all rendered in UNREAL 4.

Also came across three more production paintings from DUNE that I had not seen before.

And there was an auction of the book of storyboards from the movie as well (I believe it was from a series of reductions of the storyboards made for the VFX team), so I was able to get a few still from that... though I would love to see the whole thing and put all the images online.

Other progress includes an overhaul of a lot of the old models - in particular The Emperor's flagship and Steel Tent - have been experimenting with with PBR (Physically Based Rendering), but while most of the results are good, I haven't been able to get the gold of the EMperor's ship to look right while in space as it tends to just reflect all the blackness!