Here's a diagram showing how the elemental shape language guided the design of characters and environments. DreamWorks Animation has tried to stay away from a general house style, and as a result, each film has a different look to suit the story.
Presumably they arrived at this decision because many of the images are the result of the combined talent of several artists. Instead, credits for the topline directors are given at the beginning of each film's chapter.
Some of the characters, such as Shrek, went through many startling rejected versions.
DreamWorks should be commended for including these "roads not taken," because other studios have at times suppressed such alternate character designs, so as not to weaken the unified marketing image.
Throughout the book, the artwork is not identified as digital or hand-made. Probably many pieces are a combination of the two. As the years progress the work becomes increasingly digital, but it's really hard to tell and maybe it doesn't matter.
DreamWorks Animation has become the largest animation studio and has released thirty animated films, and they're all covered in the book. Each film gets about five double page spreads.
More info about the book on Amazon: The Art of DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation in Australia through October 5
and there will be public lectures and discussions at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
And here's an interview with DWA production designer (and AD of the book) Christopher Lautrette
All images ©DreamWorks Animation, SKG.