A recent computer vision paper titled Learning to Cartoonize Using White-box Cartoon Representations trains machine learning software to automatically “cartoonize” photographs — a normally human-done process known as rotoscoping (at least when applied to moving images). The results are strikingly similar to the work produced for the (excellent) Amazon show Undone or the earlier animated Richard Linklater / Bob Sabiston classic Waking Life.
It’s interesting that their training data was “collected from Shinkai Makoto, Miyazaki Hayao and Hosoda Mamoru films.” These demo images definitely look akin to the American productions mentioned above, more than I’d expect from the background art of a Studio Ghibli film, say.
The good news for now for human animators: I presume these images each take significant processing power to generate, and would have trouble with consistency between frames even if it could be animated (?).