SupermanOne of the Academy Award categories that is fast becoming not only an industry favorite, but a fan favorite, is Best Visual Effects -- and for good reason. VFX have made it possible to tell impossible stories, ever more adeptly selling the illusion that what's up on-screen, be it Ryan Stone adrift in space or Tony Stark's exoskeleton, is absolutely real. With this year's Oscars is proving to be another big year for visual effects, with the nominations of Gravity and Iron Man 3 to name a couple, let's take a look at the last 37 years of Academy Award-winning VFX in this great retrospective by Nelson Carvajal.

The use of illusion, whether through special, visual, or other effects, has been employed since the days of Georges Méliès. Films like MetropolisThe Wizard of Ozand Jason and the Argonauts, displayed some of the most advanced and impressive special and visual effects of their time, but we've come a long way since the use of miniature models and matte paintings. CGI has taken effects from the top of the Empire State Building with King Kong to the deepest reaches of the universe (and beyond), but Visual Effects only solidly became a legitimate Academy Award category in 1995. (Special awards were given as early as 1938.)

It's absolutely incredible to see the evolution and growth of the art in this video by Carvajal (who also did that beautiful tribute to the career of Philip Seymour Hoffman). He includes films like Star WarsAlien, Terminator 2, and Spiderman -- which employ not only visual effects like CGI, but special effects like puppets and models. It makes one wonder what the future will hold for the art form.

Take a look at Carvajal's retrospective below:

In which ways do you predict visual effects with evolve -- what will be the next big thing? Who do you think deserves this year's Oscar for Best Visual Effects? Let us know in the comments below.

[via Nelson Carvajal & Studio Daily]