‘Life of Pi’ Wins Big at Visual Effects Society Awards

Ang Lee's visionary "Life of Pi" beats "The Hobbit" to win top honors at VES Awards; "Brave" sweeps animation awards, "Game of Thrones" dominates TV categories

The 3D poetry of "Life of Pi" beat the 48 frames-per-second extravagance of "The Hobbit" at Tuesday night's Visual Effects Society Awards, with Ang Lee's international hit taking home four awards, including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture.

Life of PiIn a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton, the film was also honored for its CG character of the tiger named Richard Parker, and for the compositing and FX simulation in its "Storm of God" sequence.

Also read: How Ang Lee Took a Tiger by the Tail to Create 'Life of Pi'

Pixar's "Brave" was the big winner on the animated front, winning four awards and sweeping the VES animated categories.

Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" won a single award, for its virtual cinematography, while "The Impossible" was honored for its supporting visual effects.

The Oscar race was once considered a likely showdown between "Life of Pi" and "The Hobbit," but the VES results reinforce that all the momentum is with "Pi." The film's effects were done by the Rhythm & Hues effects house, which this week received an infusion of capital from three studios to prevent bankruptcy.

Also read: Troubled Visual-Effects Company Rhythm & Hues Gets $20M Studio Infusion (Exclusive)

In the television categories, HBO's "Game of Thrones" won four awards.

In addition to watching his film win four awards, Lee was himself given the VES's Visionary Award. "It's not visual effects, it's visual art," he said in his acceptance speech.

Pioneering visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund received the VES Lifetime Achievement Award.

The winners:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture:
 "Life of Pi"
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture: "The Impossible"
Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture:
 "Brave"
Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture:
 "Life of Pi" – Richard Parker
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture:
 "Brave" – Merida
Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture:
 "The Avengers" – Midtown Manhattan
Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture: 
"Brave" – The Forest
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture:
 "The Avengers" – Helicarrier
Outstanding FX Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture:
 "Brave"
Outstanding FX Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture:
 "Life of Pi" – Storm of God
Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture:
 "Life of Pi" – Storm of God
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program: "Game of Thrones: Volar Morghulis"

Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Video Game: "Call of Duty: Black Ops II"       

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program: "Boardwalk Empire": Episode 308

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial: Nike: "Biomorph"
Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial or Broadcast Program: "Game of Thrones: Training the Dragons"

Outstanding Created Environment in a Commercial or BroadcastProgram: "Game of Thrones"
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Commercial or Broadcast Program: "ZombiU"

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Commercial or Broadcast Program: Guinness: Cloud

Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial: Chevy 2012 Silverado
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project: "Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem"

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project: "Natalis"

Visionary Award:
 Ang Lee
Lifetime Achievement Award: 
Richard Edlund