Pixar has been posting some nice papers on techniques they have used to overcome several issues in film production.
Some of the papers have been published or can be found in Siggraph proceedings, but some of them are still only found on the pixar site. It's a nice collection though, and I can only hope that some of these techniques inspire Blender developers. There are also some classic papers by Robert L. Cook (et al) from all the way back in the 80's. Great to look at from a historical perspective, to remind you of a simpler time, and show you how far the graphics field has come.