ILM team wins Oscar for best visual effects

After 13 years, ILM's Oscar wait is over.

With its victory in the best visual effects category for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic broke its Academy Awards dry spell, which had lasted since it won for Forrest Gump in 1994.

On Sunday evening, ILM's John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Alan Hall were rewarded for their work on Pirates II, work--particularly on the film's "Davy Jones" character--which had left many in the visual effects industry shaking their heads.

"Davy Jones was 100 percent CGI," Aaron Muszalski, a former ILM artist who now teaches at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, told CNET last month after the Oscar nominations were announced. "True, the animations were derived, at least in part, from the tracked data of the actor's performance, but the resulting imagery was totally synthetic. It's simply amazing, really. John Knoll (and Hickel) really deserve this Oscar."

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