About the Author
I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.
Are those background shadows "real" and composited under, or were they directly painted on the background?
The shadows are real shadows... of textured plans. No compositing here, but two layers with independend lightning, one with the puppets, and one with two plans using alpha textures and the background to recieve shadows.
I like the concept, and those shadows are great! Well done!