Baz Lurhmann's The Great Gatsby is built not around expensive sets but probably some of the best CGI ever seen (well, we should probably say "apart from Gravity" - which, although it's in a CGI league of it's own, is not exactly a historical costume drama)
It's well-documented that the VFX industry is in a state of flux. Meanwhile, there's a new generation of CGI artists. Here's a piece made by students from the Platige Academy. It's their impressive short 'How to Train Your Robot'.
The Z List: One of the great technological leaps forward that failed to really catch on the first time round was the 3D camera - a unit that could automatically capture the z-axis (the "depth axis) of a scene to create depth map information. Perhaps it’s time for the industry to look at them again.
Here's how far you can go without using CGI!