Speaking of visual effects, after the "World War Z" went over really well and newly designed tech for "Oblivion" was a major talking point at the Academy's visual effects bake-off presentation last weekend, I had been betting on each to slide into the final five Thursday morning. But then, neither landed a single nomination for the Visual Effects Society today, so maybe that'll call for some last-minute tinkering on my predictions.

Of course, it's all just a race for second place at the Oscars this year, as "Gravity" is set to win this award walking away. And as such, the film led the way with the Society's nominations today, picking up eight. "Pacific Rim" was a few steps behind with six while "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and "Iron Man 3" grabbed five apiece. I wouldn't bank on "Star Trek Into Darkness," which was nominated in the Society's top field today but only managed one other mention besides, landing an Oscar nod, but who knows? It's in the mix.

One film that could pop up is "The Lone Ranger," which has a heavy practical effects element. The special/practical effects folks in the branch can sometimes come out for such a film, but other times, like last year with "Skyfall," it's just not enough.

And on the animated side of things, "The Croods," "Epic" and "Frozen" all tied with four mentions apiece.

I'd say by this tea leaf, in addition to "Gravity," "The Hobbit" and "Pacific Rim," which are all secure, it's probably worth putting "Iron Man 3" in there. After that, toss-up, really. There are arguments to be made for most of the films still in play, and the only bake-off reels that I heard underwhelmed the crowd were "Elysium" and "Thor: The Dark World." Though the former picked up a pair of nominations today, so who knows?

Check out the full list of nominees (which I've broken down into categories) below, and remember to keep track of it all at The Circuit.

MOTION PICTURES

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity"
"Iron Man 3"
"Pacific Rim"
"Star Trek Into Darkness"
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
"Rush"
"The Great Gatsby"
"The Lone Ranger"
"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"
"White House Down"

Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2"
"The Croods"
"Despicable Me 2"
"Frozen"
"Monsters University"

Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity" – Ryan
"Oz the Great and Powerful" – China Girl
"Pacific Rim" – Kaiju – Leatherback
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" – Smaug

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
"Epic" – Bomba
"Epic" – Mary Katherine
"Frozen" – Bringing the Snow Queen to Life
"The Croods" – Eep

Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
"Elysium" – Torus
"Gravity" – Interior
"Gravity" – Exterior
"Iron Man 3" – Shipyard
"Pacific Rim" – Virtual Hong Kong

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
"Epic" – Pod Patch
"Frozen" – Elsa’s Ice Palace
"Monsters University" – Campus
"The Croods" – The Maze

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity"
"Iron Man 3"
"Man of Steel"
"Pacific Rim" – Hong Kong Ocean Brawl
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity" – ISS Exterior
"Pacific Rim"
"Star Trek: Into Darkness"
"The Lone Ranger" – Colby Locomotive

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
"Gravity" – Parachute and ISS Destruction
"Man of Steel"
"Pacific Rim" – Fluid Simulation & Destruction
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
"Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2"
"The Croods"
"Epic" – Boggan Crowds
"Frozen" – Elsa’s Blizzard

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
"Elysium"
"Gravity"
"Iron Man 3" – Barrel of Monkeys
"Iron Man 3" – House Attack
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

TELEVISION AND COMMERCIALS

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." – Pilot
"Almost Human"
"Battlestar Galactica" – "Blood & Chrome"
"Game of Thrones" – "Valar Dohaeris"
"Inseparable" – "Chernobyl"

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial
"Call of Duty" – "Epic Night Out"
"Galaxy Chauffeur"
Liberty Group Limited – "Answer"
PETA – –98% Human"
Sony PlayStation – "Perfect Day"

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
"Banshee" – Pilot
"Da Vinci’s Demons" – "The Lovers"
"Hawaii 5-0" – "Ho’onani Makuakane"
"Mob City" – "A Guy Walks in to A Bar"
"Moonfleet" – "Episode 2"
"The Borgias" – "Relics"

Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
"Game of Thrones" – "Raising the Dragons"
"PETA – 98% Human"
"Smithwick’s" – "Squirrel"
"Three, The Pony"
"Toy Story of Terror"

Outstanding Created Environment in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
"Game of Thrones" – "The Climb"
"Hell On Wheels" – "Big Bad Wolf"
"Inseparable" – "Chernobyl"
Liberty Group Limited — "Answer"

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Commercial or Broadcast Program
"Mad Max" – "Ethos"
"Murdered" – "Soul Suspect"
Qualcomm Snapdragon – "A Dragon is Coming"
"The Crew"

Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
PETA – "98% Human"
Sony PlayStation – "Perfect Day"
Toyota Avalon – "Formula"
"Toy Story of Terror"

Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program
"Banshee" – Pilot
"Game of Thrones" – "The Climb"
"The Conquering of Yunkai"
"Vikings" – "Dispossessed"

Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial
"Call of Duty" – "Epic Night Out"
Jean-Paul Gaultier – "The Sailor"
"Mercedes Sensations"
Sony PlayStation – "Greatness Awaits"
Sony PlayStation – "Perfect Day"

OTHER MEDIA

Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Video Game
"Call of Duty: Ghosts"
"Crysis 3"
"Killzone Shadow Fall"
"NBA 2K14"
"Ryse: Son of Rome"

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
"Hayden Planetarium’s Dark Universe"
"Mysteries of the Unseen World"
"Mystic Manor"
"Space Shuttle Atlantis"
"SpongeBob SquarePants 4D: The Great Jelly Rescue!"

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project
"Initium"
"Morphium"
"Rugbybugs"
"Runaway"
"Where the Dream Begins"