[Images from Stardust and Paths of Hate via their sites]
First up Stardust, inspired by the death of Dutch graphic designer Arjan Groot, this team (PostPanic) created a mesmerising trip through galactic space showing planets, starts and our little blue ball. The sun and planet sequences with the particle effects are beautiful and show a real flare for how gorgeous destruction and explosions of this sort can be as well as showing great technical skill. The other inspired short here is Paths of Hate which brings us some grand cell shading in an interesting 3D scape. Check out the short and SIGGRAPH presentation by Director Damian Nenow below, and see the full piece right here. Use of 3DsMax and VrayTune were important along with the 'drawing layer' in delivering the look --- and it does look great.