Which film had the single best visual effect of 2009? Avatar!

3-D cleaned up at the Visual Effects Society Awards last night, with James Cameron's Avatar snapping up six top honors, including the big one for outstanding visual effects in a visual-effects-driven motion picture, and Disney-Pixar's Up taking three animation awards. Luckily for the VES Awards, Cameron was there to accept a VES lifetime achievement award, and Pixar's Ed Catmull was on hand to accept the George Melies Award for pioneering. Smart move, VES people!

The 3-D epic Avatar also snagged best single visual effect of the year for the "Neytiri drinking" scene, animated character in a live-action motion picture (Neytiri), matte paintings in a feature, models and miniatures in a feature, and created environment in a feature. By winning six awards, Avatar ties for the second most VES Awards ever won, with The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers winning seven during its year and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest winning six.

As for Up, which was also done in 3-D, its three animation awards included best animation film, animated character and effects animation. Sherlock Holmes grabbed a win for supporting visual effects, while District 9 took home an award for compositing in a feature film.

Battlestar Galactica was the big winner for the television awards, with a win for best visual effects in a broadcast series for the episode "Daybreak." V got top kudos for created environment in a broadcast program or commercial for its "Atrium and Ship Interiors." CSI won for supporting visual effects, and Disney Prep and Landing took the miniseries, movie or special category.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 3: ODST—the Life won vidgame visual effects honors.

Do you think Avatar was the best visual effects film of the year, or did Star Trek or District 9 get dissed?

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