About 15 years ago, having been a technophobe for most of my life, I attempted to leave my Luddite ways behind and embrace technology and its' potential for good. I'd avoided Macs like the plague when they were introduced to the classroom at art college, foolishly believing that they would never replace traditional media. However, it's embarrassing to get into your late twenties and be unable to perform the most basic tasks on a computer while everyone around you is managing just fine with the things. I took evening classes, bought my first PC, and finally - miraculously - got a job in programming. Not long afterwards, I started to explore the potential for producing images on a computer, and discovered that you could get hold of programs at a very modest price, or even free, that could be used to model characters, rig and pose them and render scenes with very impressive results. However, there was a massive learning curve involved, and progress was slowed by the limitations of my own technical knowledge, poor documentation, and bugs in the software.
I still have a love-hate relationship with this medium. The satisfaction of what you can achieve with programs like Poser and Blender is balanced out by the length of time that it takes to produce even the most simple image, particularly when simply drawing the same picture would take about five minutes.
Some characters (all modelled in Wings and rigged in Poser)...
And some pics featuring those and other characters...
Generally, my pipeline is as follows:
Model the characters and props in Wings 3D (a very intuitive free modelling program).
Import the models into Blender for UV mapping.
Produce a texture in a photo editor (my current one is Clip Studio).
Import the textured model into Poser 10 for rigging.
Either set up a scene in Poser 10, or import the models into Bryce to produce a finished image.
Links to the programs that I use are given on the Links & Downloads page. You can also download some of my models from there.