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‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘Apes,’ ‘Despicable Me 3’ and ‘Thrones’ Top VES Noms

Winners in 24 categories will be announced Feb. 13 at a gala awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. 

LOS ANGELES -- Blade Runner 2049 and War for the Planet of the Apes tied for the most nominations in feature film categories for the 16th annual Visual Effects Society Awards, with Despicable Me 3 the top animation feature contender and Game of Thrones ruling the television categories.

Nominees in 24 categories were selected by VES members via events hosted by 10 of its sections, including Australia, Bay Area, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, New Zealand, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington. The VES Awards will be held on Feb. 13 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

As previously announced, the VES Georges Méliès Award will be presented to Academy Award-winning visual effects master Joe Letteri, VES. The VES Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to acclaimed producer-writer-director Jon Favreau. Award-winning actor-comedian-author Patton Oswalt will once again host the VES Awards.

“The artistry, ingenuity and passion of visual effects practitioners around the world have come together to create truly remarkable imagery in a variety of media,” said Mike Chambers, VES Chair. “We are seeing best in field work that elevates the art of storytelling and engages the audience in new and innovative ways. The VES Awards is the only venue that showcases and honors these outstanding artists across a wide range of disciplines, and we are extremely proud of all our nominees!”

“The Visual Effects Society Student Award recognizes the stellar work of emerging VFX artists worldwide, and we're proud to sponsor the award again. Each year, the submissions grow more impressive, and we’re excited to collaborate with the VES to recognize, applaud and celebrate this year’s talented nominees," said Amy Bunszel, Autodesk Senior Vice President, Design & Creation Products.

The nominees for the 16th annual VES Awards in 24 categories are:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

  • Blade Runner 2049 -- John Nelson,Karen Murphy Mundell, Paul Lambert,Richard Hoover,Gerd Nefzer
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 -- Christopher Townsend, Damien Carr,Guy Williams,Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
  • Kong: Skull Island -- Jeff White, Tom Peitzman, Stephen Rosenbaum,Scott Benza,Michael Meinardus
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi -- Ben Morris, Tim Keene, Eddie Pasquarello,Daniel Seddon,Chris Corbould
  • War for the Planet of the Apes -- Joe Letteri, Ryan Stafford, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, Joel Whist

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

  • Darkest Hour -- Stephane Naze, Warwick Hewitt, Guillaume Terrien, Benjamin Magana
  • Downsizing -- James E. Price, Susan MacLeod, Lindy De Quattro, Stéphane Nazé
  • Dunkirk -- Andrew Jackson, Mike Chambers, Andrew Lockley, Alison Wortman, Scott Fisher
  • Mother! -- Dan Schrecker, Colleen Bachman, Ben Snow, Wayne Billheimer, Peter Chesney
  • Only the Brave -- Eric Barba, Dione Wood, Matthew Lane, Georg Kaltenbrunner, Michael Meinardus

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

  • Captain Underpants -- David Soren, Mark Swift, Mirielle Soria, David Dulac
  • Cars 3 -- Brian Fee, Kevin Reher, Michael Fong, Jon Reisch
  • Coco -- Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson, David Ryu, Michael K. O'Brien
  • Despicable Me 3 -- Pierre Coffin, Chris Meledandri, Kyle Balda, Eric Guillon
  • The LEGO Batman Movie -- Rob Coleman, Amber Naismith, Grant Freckelton, Damien Gray
  • The LEGO Ninjago Movie -- Gregory Jowle, Fiona Chilton, Miles Green, Kim Taylor

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; Orientation Part 1 -- Mark Kolpack, Sabrina Arnold, David Rey, Kevin Yuille, Gary D'Amico
  • Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall -- Joe Bauer, Steve Kullback, Chris Baird, David Ramos, Sam Conway
  • Legion; Chapter 1 -- John Ross, Eddie Bonin, Sebastien Bergeron, Lionel Lim, Paul Benjamin
  • Star Trek: Discovery; The Vulcan Hello -- Jason Michael Zimmerman, Aleksandra Kochoska, Ante Dekovic, Mahmoud Rahnama
  • Stranger Things 2; The Gate -- Paul Graff, Christina Graff, Seth Hill, Joel Sevilla, Caius the Man

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

  • Black Sails; XXIX -- Erik Henry, Terron Pratt, Yafei Wu, David Wahlberg, Paul Dimmer
  • Fear The Walking Dead; Sleigh Ride -- Peter Crosman, Denise Gayle, Philip Nussbaumer, Martin Pelletier, Frank Ludica
  • Mr. Robot; eps3.4_runtime-err0r.r00 -- Ariel Altman, Lauren Montuori, John Miller, Luciano DiGeronimo
  • Outlander; Eye of the Storm -- Richard Briscoe, Elicia Bessette, Aladino Debert, Filip Orrby, Doug Hardy
  • Taboo; Pilot -- Henry Badgett, Tracy McCreary, Nic Birmingham, Simon Rowe, Colin Gorry
  • Vikings; On the Eve -- Dominic Remane, Mike Borrett, Ovidiu Cinazan, Paul Wishart, Paul Byrne

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

  • Assassin's Creed Origins -- Raphael Lacoste, Patrick Limoges, Jean-Sebastien Guay, Ulrich Haar
  • Call of Duty: WWII -- Joe Salud, Atsushi Seo, Danny Chan, Jeremy Kendall
  • Fortnite; A Hard Day's Night -- Michael Clausen, Gavin Moran, Brian Brecht, Andrew Harris
  • Sonaria -- Scot Stafford, Camille Cellucci, Kevin Dart, Theresa Latzko
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy -- Shaun Escayg, Tate Mosesian, Eben Cook

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

  • Beyond Good and Evil 2 -- Leon Berelle, Maxime Luère, Dominique Boidin, Remi Kozyra
  • Kia Niro; Hero's Journey -- Robert Sethi, Anastasia von Rahl, Tom Graham, Chris Knight, Dave Peterson
  • Mercedes Benz; King of the Jungle -- Simon French, Josh King, Alexia Paterson, Leonardo Costa
  • Monster; Opportunity Roars -- Ruben Vandebroek, Clairellen Wallin, Kevin Ives, Kyle Cody
  • Samsung; Do What You Can't; Ostrich -- Diarmid Harrison-Murray, Tomek Zietkiewicz, Amir Bazazi, Martino Madeddu

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

  • Avatar: Flight of Passage -- Richard Baneham, Amy Jupiter, David Lester, Thrain Shadbolt
  • Corona; Paraiso Secreto -- Adam Grint, Jarrad Vladich, Roberto Costas Fernández, Ed Thomas, Felipe Linares
  • Guardians of the Galaxy; Mission: BREAKOUT! -- Jason Bayever, Amy Jupiter, Mike Bain, Alexander Thomas
  • National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey -- Thilo Ewers, John Owens, Gioele Cresce, Mariusz Wesierski
  • Nemo and Friends SeaRider -- Anthony Apodaca, Kathy Janus, Brandon Benepe, Nick Lucas, Rick Rothschild
  • Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire -- Ben Snow, Judah Graham, Ian Bowie, Curtis Hickman, David Layne

Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature

  • Blade Runner 2049; Rachael -- Axel Akkeson, Stefano Carta, Wesley Chandler, Ian Cooke-Grimes
  • Kong: Skull Island; Kong -- Jakub Pistecky, Chris Havreberg, Karin Cooper, Kris Costa
  • War for the Planet of the Apes; Bad Ape -- Eteuati Tema, Aidan Martin, Florian Fernandez, Mathias Larserud
  • War for the Planet of the Apes; Caesar -- Dennis Yoo, Ludovic Chailloleau, Douglas McHale, Tim Forbes

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature

  • Coco; Hèctor -- Emron Grover, Jonathan Hoffman, Michael Honsel, Guilherme Sauerbronn Jacinto
  • Despicable Me 3; Bratt -- Eric Guillon, Bruno Dequier, Julien Soret, Benjamin Fournet
  • The LEGO Ninjago Movie; Garma Mecha Man -- Arthur Terzis, Wei He, Jean-Marc Ariu, Gibson Radsavanh
  • The Boss Baby; Boss Baby -- Alec Baldwin, Carlos Puertolas, Rani Naamani, Joe Moshier
  • The LEGO Ninjago Movie; Garmadon -- Matthew Everitt, Christian So, Loic Miermont, Fiona Darwin

Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project

  • Black Mirror: Metalhead -- Steven Godfrey, Stafford Lawrence, Andrew Robertson, Lestyn Roberts
  • Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall; Zombie Polar Bear -- Paul Story, Todd Labonte, Matthew Muntean, Nicholas Wilson
  • Game of Thrones; Eastwatch; Drogon Meets Jon -- Jonathan Symmonds, Thomas Kutschera, Philipp Winterstein, Andreas Krieg
  • Game of Thrones; The Spoils of War; Drogon Loot Train Attack -- Murray Stevenson, Jason Snyman, Jenn Taylor, Florian Friedmann

Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial

  • Beyond Good and Evil 2; Zhou Yuzhu -- Dominique Boidin, Maxime Luère, Leon Berelle, Remi Kozyra
  • Mercedes Benz; King of the Jungle -- Steve Townrow, Joseph Kane, Greg Martin, Gabriela Ruch Salmeron
  • Netto; The Easter Surprise; Bunny -- Alberto Lara, Jorge Montiel, Anotine Mariez, Jon Wood
  • Samsung; Do What You Can't; Ostrich -- David Bryan, Maximilian Mallmann, Tim Van Hussen, Brendan Fagan

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

  • Blade Runner 2049; Los Angeles -- Chris McLaughlin, Rhys Salcombe, Seungjin Woo, Francesco Dell'Anna
  • Blade Runner 2049; Trash Mesa -- Didier Muanza, Thomas Gillet, Guillaume Mainville, Sylvain Lorgeau
  • Blade Runner 2049; Vegas -- Eric Noel, Arnaud Saibron, Adam Goldstein, Pascal Clement
  • War for the Planet of the Apes; Hidden Fortress -- Greg Notzelman, James Shaw, Jay Renner, Gak Gyu Choi
  • War for the Planet of the Apes; Prison Camp -- Phillip Leonhardt, Paul Harris, Jeremy Fort, Thomas Lo

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

  • Cars 3; Abandoned Racetrack -- Marlena Fecho, Thidaratana Annee, Jonjai Jose, L. Ramos Serrano, Frank Tai
  • Coco; City of the Dead -- Michael Frederickson, Jamie Hecker, Jonathan Pytko, Dave Strick
  • Despicable Me 3; Hollywood Destruction -- Axelle De Cooman, Pierre Lopes, Milo Riccarand, Nicolas Brack
  • The LEGO Ninjago Movie; Ninjago City -- Kim Taylor, Angela Ensele, Felicity Coonan, Jean Pascal leBlanc

Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

  • Assassin's Creed Origins; City of Memphis -- Patrick Limoges, Jean-Sebastien Guay, Mikael Guaveia, Vincent Lombardo
  • Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall; Frozen Lake -- Daniel Villalba, Antonio Lado, José Luis Barreiro, Isaac de la Pompa
  • Game of Thrones; Eastwatch -- Patrice Poissant, Deak Ferrand, Dominic Daigle, Gabriel Morin
  • Still Star-Crossed; City -- Rafael Solórzano, Isaac de la Pompa, José Luis Barreiro, Óscar Perea
  • Stranger Things 2; The Gate -- Saul Galbiati, Michael Maher, Seth Cobb, Kate McFadden

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project

  • Beauty and the Beast; Be Our Guest -- Shannon Justison, Casey Schatz, Neil Weatherley, Claire Michaud
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; Groot Dance/Opening Fight -- James Baker, Steven Lo, Alvise Avati, Robert Stipp
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Crait Surface Battle -- Cameron Nielsen, Albert Cheng, John Levin, Johanes Kurnia
  • Thor: Ragnarok; Valkyrie's Flashback -- Hubert Maston, Arthur Moody, Adam Paschke, Casey Schatz

Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

  • Blade Runner 2049; LAPD Headquarters -- Alex Funke, Steven Saunders, Joaquin Loyzaga, Chris Menges
  • Despicable Me 3; Dru's Car -- Eric Guillon, François-Xavier Lepeintre, Guillaume Boudeville, Pierre Lopes
  • Life; The ISS -- Tom Edwards, Chaitanya Kshirsagar, Satish Kuttan, Paresh Dodia
  • US Marines; Anthem; Monument -- Tom Bardwell, Paul Liaw, Adam Dewhirst

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

  • Kong: Skull Island -- Florent Andorra, Alexis Hall, Raul Essig, Branko Grujcic
  • Only the Brave; Fire & Smoke -- Georg Kaltenbrunner, Thomas Bevan, Philipp Zaufel, Himanshu Joshi
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Bombing Run -- Peter Kyme, Miguel Perez Senent, Ahmed Gharraph, Billy Copley
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Mega Destroyer Destruction -- Mihai Cioroba, Ryoji Fujita, Jiyong Shin, Dan Finnegan
  • War for the Planet of the Apes -- David Caeiro Cebrián, Johnathan Nixon, Chet Leavai, Gary Boyle

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

  • Cars 3 -- Greg Gladstone, Stephen Marshall, Leon JeongWook Park, Tim Speltz
  • Coco -- Kristopher Campbell, Stephen Gustafson, Dave Hale, Keith Klohn
  • Despicable Me 3 -- Bruno Chauffard, Frank Baradat, Milo Riccarand, Nicolas Brack
  • Ferdinand -- Yaron Canetti, Allan Kadkoy, Danny Speck, Mark Adams
  • The Boss Baby -- Mitul Patel, Gaurav Mathur, Venkatesh Kongathi

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

  • Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall; Frozen Lake -- Manuel Ramírez, Óscar Márquez, Pablo Hernández, David Gacituaga
  • Game of Thrones; The Dragon and the Wolf; Wall Destruction -- Thomas Hullin, Dominik Kirouac, Sylvain Nouveau, Nathan Arbuckle
  • Heineken; The Trailblazers -- Christian Bohm, Andreu Lucio Archs, Carsten Keller, Steve Oakley
  • Outlander; Eye of the Storm; Stormy Seas -- Jason Mortimer, Navin Pinto, Greg Teegarden, Steve Ong

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature

  • Blade Runner 2049; LAPD Approach and Joy Holograms -- Tristan Myles, Miles Lauridsen, Joel Delle-Vergin, Farhad Mohasseb
  • Kong: Skull Island -- Nelson Sepulveda, Aaron Brown, Paolo Acri, Shawn Mason
  • Thor: Ragnarok; Bridge Battle -- Gavin McKenzie, David Simpson, Owen Carroll, Mark Gostlow
  • War for the Planet of the Apes -- Christoph Salzmann, Robin Hollander, Ben Morgan, Ben Warner

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode

  • Game of Thrones; Beyond the Wall; Frozen Lake -- Óscar Perea, Santiago Martos, David Esteve, Michael Crane
  • Game of Thrones; Eastwatch -- Thomas Montminy Brodeur, Xavier Fourmond, Reuben Barkataki, Sébastien Raets
  • Game of Thrones; The Spoils of War; Loot Train Attack -- Dom Hellier, Thijs Noij, Edwin Holdsworth, Giacomo Matteucci
  • Star Trek: Discovery -- Phil Prates, Rex Alerta, John Dinh, Karen Cheng

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial

  • Destiny 2; New Legends Will Rise -- Alex Unruh, Michael Ralla, Helgi Laxdal, Timothy Gutierrez
  • Nespresso; Comin' Home -- Matt Pascuzzi, Steve Drew, Martin Lazaro, Karch Koon
  • Samsung; Do What You Can't; Ostrich -- Michael Gregory, Andrew Roberts, Gustavo Bellon, Rashabh Ramesh Butani
  • Virgin Media; Delivering Awesome -- Jonathan Westley, John Thornton, Milo Paterson, George Cressey

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

  • Creature Pinup -- Christian Leitner, Juliane Walther, Kiril Mirkov, Lisa Ecker
  • Hybrids -- Florian Brauch, Romain Thirion, Matthieu Pujol, Kim Tailhades
  • Les Pionniers de l'Univers -- Clementine Courbin, Matthieu Guevel, Jérôme Van Beneden, Anthony Rege
  • The Endless -- Nicolas Lourme, Corentin Gravend, Edouard Calemard, Romaric Vivier

Source: Visual Effects Society

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Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.