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RAKIS - DUNE Fan Project
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RAKIS - DUNE Fan Project

“RAKIS” is a short full-CG environment inspired by Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel “DUNE” and Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 film adaptation, made by three students from the Netherlands Film Academy.

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Introduction

“RAKIS” is a short full-CG environment inspired by Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel “DUNE” and Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 film adaptation, made by three students from the Netherlands Film Academy.

Scope & Goal

Our goal this project was to create an environment as efficiently as possible, balancing custom assets & and adding detail by using kitbash packs where necessary.

Instead of focussing on something with a beginning, middle and end we decided to go with more of a teaser shot, leaving the viewer to ask questions and draw conclusions as to what events transpired in this scene.

Background

The scene itself is set in the aftermath of an attack on an underground outpost deep in DUNE’s desert set on the planet “Arrakis” where some sort of explosion left a once peaceful library in shambles. The room consists of a central sand-pit, a nod to Japanese Zen gardens surrounded by multiple concrete bookshelves.

Process

When the scenes setting & story was decided on, Olaf Gillot started blocking the environment and did quick drafts of the general look & feel.

Once the blockout took shape and was able to be rendered with clay shaders in the Arnold Render for Maya, Cinque Kelie started working on lighting the scene and later on a per-shot basis, drawing inspiration from stills taken from the 2021 “DUNE” Film.

A benefit of working as quickly as possible is that when it came to set-dressing/layout we had time to iterate on a majority of assets. The best example of this would be how, even while the shape of interior didn’t change much, locations of the “light wells” changed quite a few times to provide more interesting options for the lighting stage of the project.

Stevenson Lacroes joined in to add cloth & paper simulations which made the shot feel a lot more dynamic and helped motivate camera movements contextually.

Summary

Working together in such a small team for a project with a still relatively challenging scope considering the short time we had was both challenging but most of all helped push decisions and motivated a certain workflow that was strict when it mattered but quite casual and artistically liberal which helped the speed at which feedback & ideas were implemented into the end result.


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