For James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster Avatar, ILM was brought in late in the postproduction schedule to help complete a few sequences and get the film to the finish line. ILM created the visual effects for many of the specialized vehicles in the film, including the Valkyrie, a large shuttle used to move people and equipment, and several different types of helicopters, as well as the landscapes and environments that those vehicles appeared.
ILM also did the effects work on the film’s final battle scene, taking responsibility for the shots of all the vehicles taking off, as well as the sequence’s cockpit interior shots. The team was also responsible for shots featuring the attack the giant “home tree,” where the Navi, the humanoid alien race in the film, live. Specifically, ILM handled the shots in which the camera looks back toward the aircraft flying and ultimately firing on the tree.
The film would go on to win the Academy Award® for Outstanding Visual Effects.