Claudio Miranda received the cinematography award. It is his first Oscar award, but he had received his first nomination for the 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. For the visual effects trophy, Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R Elliott collected the trophy.
An adaptation of Canadian author Yann Martel's 'Man Booker' Prize-winning eponymous novel, it narrates the journey of an Indian boy who survives a storm. In the best cinematography category, the film was competing alongside Anna Karenina (Seamus McGarvey), Django Unchained (Robert Richardson), Lincoln (Janusz Kaminski) and Skyfall (Roger Deakins).
The films which were in competition with Life of Pi in the best visual effects category included The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Marvel's The Avengers, Prometheus and Snow White and the Huntsman.