I am always interest in using 3D to render a 2D painterly anime style background. This is due to the strong re-usability of 3D assets. Here are some of my Blender3D test to render 2D foliages. The main objective is to avoid the use of texture plane and uv projection mapping method, which I am pretty sure it will give a 2D look easily at the cost of more limited camera movement in the 3D space.
Below are some of my initial test. All are model 3D objects, not a texture plane facing the camera.
All the renders look not too bad, but there are too much details and colors. More over, the 3D look is still there. So I removed some models and did the following render. It seems to look more 2D with less details and colors, but it became less interesting.
I also did another test which use color ramp material for all the 3D objects in a wide scene. The 3D look are still there. Will do more test and experiment next time.
3D scene using Makoto Shinkai style colour palette
ReferenceDeviantArt Find Danbo
DeviantArt Anime Background 3D render