Elycia writes: This year’s list of Academy Award winners already has a LOTR connection.

(From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Atlanta-based Giant Studios has won a technical achievement award and in a Feb. 12 ceremony will receive an academy certificate noting the development of the company’s motion-capture technology, instrumental in the creation of Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” movies.

Matt Madden, vice president of research and development for Giant Studios, will be among four recipients being honored at next month’s “technical Oscars” for the company’s innovation. The others are Nels Madsen, Vaughn Cato and Bill Lorton.

Giant Studios’ technology was also used to capture the movements of Tom Hanks for the computer-animated “The Polar Express” and for special effects for “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Giant Studios recently signed a contract for its motion-capturing technology to be used in director Peter Jackson’s “King Kong,” expected to open Dec. 14.

The studio is also working on motion-capturing for director George Miller’s “Happy Feet,” expected in 2006, and Andrew Adamson’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe,” expected to open Dec. 9.