Well here is my first passes at experimentation with varying looks for the characters in final passes. We have several After Effects guru and a particularly talented one in the realm of effect generation in the form of Niles, but I still wanted to do a few 'style' passes myself to be able to give better direction. A more finished test will be uploaded when Niles has finished his own compiling based on our talks and ideas.
The first set of tests are with the shadows at full black. This shadows against flat style is used often in the works of anime director Takeshi Koike although he is, by far, not the only one. While crisp we didn't exactly plan to do this at first and so these shadows aren't ideal as heavy shadowing on characters like Aeslyn ages them abit much and also there's an issue with it not fitting the background rendering style.
The second set after the first is just Plain Jane lowered opacity shadows. These are at around fifty percent which is what you'd see on shows like Boondocks and Avatar an most standard animations. There's no blur applied here either, giving it more of a comic book look.
The next set is the same as above except with a slight gradient applied via After Effects. I would like to see us make use of gradients and colored shadows where appropriate. The real thing that will dictate the shadows is the lighting and needs of a scene.
The final is just a test with some additional filters to apply a lighting glow over Aeslyn. This is just a test and hardly the best version or way to do this but it does create an interesting, if not refined yet, look.