Paul and I have been working for ages (or half an hour) on turning my 2D drawing into 3D. The cannon ball is going to be travelling and spinning in slow motion in the shot, so animating the gas/plasma it vents by hand would be tricky. Here's our first CG test...
Here's Paul's particle smoke:
And here's it again after I played with it in After Effects:
It's early days but we're on the way to getting a good 2D-style effect. I've devised a way to make it fade out like the picture, and Paul's working on getting it wavier.