Star Wars: The Force Awakens, starring John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, led the nominations with seven, and it converted four nods into wins including the night's top prize, Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature.

The winner of the organisation's most coveted trophy often goes on to claim the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, with nine of the previous 13 winners enjoying Oscars glory.

The sci-fi adventure saw off competition from its closest rival, Leonardo DiCaprio's survival drama The Revenant, which took three prizes at the Visual Effects Society Awards. The two films will face off again at the Oscars later this month (Feb16), along with Ex MAChina, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Martian.

Other big winners at the Visual Effects Society ceremony included fantasy TV show Game of Thrones, which was feted with four prizes for its special effects, Mad Max: Fury Road and animated movies Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur.

The Martian director Ridley Scott was presented with the lifetime achievement award by actress Kate Mara.