Alias Systems (the Toronto software company) won an Scientific and Technical Award in 2003 for its overall contribution to the industry (its Maya had been used in more than 50 Oscar-nominated films. In 2004, Alias was arguing for a new "Best CG Character" award category, to allow characters such as Gollum, Shrek, Spiderman to qualify (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=126235). So many people are involved in the creation of a character that the group elegible for a plaque would be quite large. The category of Special Effects covers this.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has since 1929 bestowed annual Academy Awards (or Oscars) each year recognizing professional excellence in the motion-picture industry. There is no Oscar category of Best Synthetic Actor, quite simply because there have been no performances to date (2011) by autonomous synthetic performers. Synthetic character performance, as a aspect of animation, is acknowledged in Academy Awards.

Michael Bunnell, Per Christiansen and Christophe Hery won a Scientific and Technical Award in 2010 for improved atmospheric lighting (indirect illumination and ambient occlusion) techniques that make computer characters and objects look more real (Pirates of the Caribbean, Wall-E, Batman, Dark Knight) but this is incidental to character performance. Bunnell has a video game company, Fantasy Lab.

Animation versus human acting debate.