I was in the Newschool Graphics compo at the Solskogen demoscene party. Finally refined an old wip I had laying around enough to show it. Fanart of Ricardio the heart guy from Adventure Time ep http://t.co/kWcC0E6IVz
Very close to Demoscene stuff and I like it. The mindset is the same. Well except for the realtime part. Which is a big part of the Demoscene stuff. But if you look at it only from a graphic standpoint.
Check out Sprite Lamp! It is a tool to generate normalmaps/depthmaps mainly for painted/pixeled 2D sprites. Works for other stuff as well!
The technique has started to appear in some 2D games. As an example a similar use of it can be found in the Double Fine title Broken Age. If you want to know more. There is a talk that can be found here. The clip starts around 6 min in as it was a live broadcast from GDC13.