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Subject: Blue and green-screen effects pioneer Petro Vlahos dies

Written By: Philip Eno on 02/14/13 at 7:03 pm

The special effects industry has paid tribute to Petro Vlahos - the pioneer of blue- and green-screen systems.

The techniques allow filmmakers to superimpose actors and other objects against separately filmed backgrounds.

He developed the procedure for 1959's Ben-Hur and then went on to win an Oscar in 1964 after creating a related process for Disney's Mary Poppins.

The death of the 96-year-old was announced by the company he founded, Ultimatte.

His innovations continue to be used and developed by the television, film, computer games and advertising industries.

"Our industry has lost a giant," Everett Burrell, senior visual effects supervisor at Los Angeles-based studio Look Effects. told the BBC.

"It's hard to even conceive of how we would do what we do without the amazing number of processes and techniques he pioneered. All visual effects professionals and movie fans owe him a debt of gratitude."

Look Effects has built on Mr Vlahos' achievements to create work for the movies Avatar, The Life of Pi and the upcoming Superman film, Man of Steel.

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