Ages ago (or, at least, what FEELS like ages ago) when we were nailing down the art style for Elemental, one of the key factors was creating a world where the cutscenes weren't in glaring opposition to the in-game graphics.
This was around the same time that Fable 2 was released, where a beautiful pre-rendered intro felt (IMHO) fairly out of place in comparison to the mid-game cutscenes (which were beautiful in their own right). It was that realization - that paintings brought to life can be as appealing as their 3d counterparts - that helped fuel the artistic style of the game.
Unfortunately, the dream of these moving paintings weaving a tale as you play the game was never realized in WoM. We got as far as the 'wedding' cutscene and the 'you killed a dude' cutscene before needing to shift the focus onto other things. In FE we want to revisit that idea and have mini-cutscenes that underscore major points in your adventures.
This is a painting done for "The Bilge" wildlands cutscene, a vast swampland dotted with the ruins of a former kingdom, now overrun with trolls and spiders who protect treasures of the dead.
There are several bits of this image that beg to be animated, for which we use a program called Anime Studio Pro. It allows us to take a 2d image and attach bones to it, letting us animate much like we do in 3d.
Once all those vines are animated, and the rest of the scene is put together in After Effects, we do a simple flythrough to get the first of our mini-cutscenes.
Sorry - no Blood or fantasy Violence in this video. We'll try and do better next time
Also, since mini-cutscenes are total polish and very data driven, we can keep adding more and more right up until gold (if the budget and time allows) . By bringing our paintings to life and really punctuating those key points in your adventure, we also breathe some extra life into FE itself.