The Visual Effects Society (VES) said today that it is adding a new category recognizing Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal Project.

In announcing the news, VES officials underscored that the field of practical effects is as important to cinema as ever. Despite the obvious ascendancy of CG effects, the organization said, VFX artists actually collaborate closely with practical effects to create convincing shots on screen.

“Special effects is stronger than it has ever been, working in close conjunction with visual effects, and there is a lot of interest and enthusiasm around this new opportunity to celebrate the outstanding work of our peers,” said Neil Corbould, a renowned special effects supervisor (GravityMission: Impossible – Fallout) and recently named VES Fellow. “It’s gratifying that the special effects award is coming back this VES Awards season and that we have this highly visible platform to keep special effects at the forefront of modern day film production.”

Also today, the VES said it had opened new categories to animated films. Animated projects will now be eligible to compete in the categories of Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project as well in all of the VES compositing categories honoring work in feature films, episodic television and commercials.

The addition of Special (Practical Effects) brings the total number of VES Awards categories to 25. For a complete list of categories, including eligibility requirements and submission deadlines, visit the official VES Awards site.