The Oscar-Winning Visual Effects Of Dune Do Something Fresh – They Create Scale

"Dune" has been on a hot streak at this years' Oscars ceremony, scooping up technical awards left and right. Its latest win is for Best Visual Effects, and it's definitely deserved — those effects help sell the scale of the universe within Frank Herbert's original novel. Not an easy feat, especially for a novel that has lived inside so many imaginations for so long. 

Though one could argue that "Dune" is half a movie due to the fact that it only adapts half of the original novel, it does a wonderful job of fleshing out the world of said book — and the effects bring some of the most popular aspects of the book to life. Chief among them are the sandworms of Arrakis, which are skycraper-sized serpentine monstrosities that dwarf everything in their path. VFX supervisors Tristan Myles and Paul Lambert, and their giant team of artists, make the sandworms feel like living, breathing creatures. Myles and Lambert more than deserve the award from the work their team put in, which also includes the vast expanse of space and the fluttering wings of the Dragoncopter spaceships that House Atreides uses to travel across the sandy dunes of Arrakis.

Crafting a new universe

"Dune" also marks the first time in a long time that a new science fiction universe of this scale has been brought to life. The last time somebody attempted this was in 2009, when James Cameron brought "Avatar" to the big screen. And while "Avatar" is a visual spectacle — seriously, Cameron deserves commendation for the amount of thought he put into the world of the Na'vi — "Dune" dwarfs it. It also dwarfs "Spider-Man: No Way Home", "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings", and "Free Guy"; while I enjoy those movies, they don't have the same sense of scale that "Dune" does. 

And there's more to come with "Dune: Part Two," since there's even more crazy stuff in the second half of the book that will blow the first movie out of the water. I can't wait to see how they bring it to life. Given what was put on screen in the first movie, the sequel will bring another eye-meltingly phenomenal set of images.