The Tech Wizards at the WETA Digital Lab in New Zealand

Creating Oscar-winning visual effects for 'Avatar': Doing what had never been done before

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Like it or not, the motion picture Avatar has brought us to a new juncture in movie history. For the first time ever, the “Best Picture” Oscar may go to a movie whose main characters, plants, animals, vehicles, and landscapes did not exist except as ones and zeroes in a computer.

To understand the leap in visual technology Avatar brings to your movie screen, Sebastain Sylwan says its useful to look back at the "dark ages" of special effects - even if they were just a few short years ago.