Something which interests me very much, is the use of 3D to achieve interesting effects
without neccessarily striving for a photoreal look.
This image is from an animation I did for fun using a 'toon shader' which gives the impression of inked cells and almost looks like something off the page of a Tintin comic.
Here's what the original models looked like.
The toon shader, really adds a lot of interest to the scene.