Your art is very inspirational to all of us artists and at Shadowness we like to thank our amazing artists for all they do, to show our appreciation for you, your artwork has been featured in todays Daily Inspiration #724
Poser isn't exactly cheap, but it's a lot less expensive than programs like 3D Studio, Maya, Lightwave or C4D. PLus, they sometimes offer deals. There are two versions, Poser 9, and Poser Pro 2012. 9 is the cheaper of the two, but it has a few less features.
Um...supposed to be, but I think it's really open to debate. As far as I know, Maya is favoured for film work, and Studio Max is often the choice for gaming studios. I've seen C4D stuff, and it looks fantastic as well. But any of those will produce fantastic results if you know what you're doing. I'd love to get my mitts on any one of them, but they all have 4 figure price tags.
$3000 or more, I haven't checked in a while. At one time 3D Studio was $5000 here in Canada, and C4D was $4000. Lightwave is only around $1400, and Zbrush is $700. (cool program and very different in operation.)
There's also Blender, free, but it has a learning curve that goes straight up if you catch my drift.
That's the one I have! It's better than my old one, it's twice the size and I don't have to go hunting for AAAA batteries. Still...drawing on a tablet feels weird, I prefer drawinhg on good old fashioned paper.
Just to outfit a decent rendering machine is $3000, add on a ciniq and Adobe and the price is redonculous! If I was selling poser content, then I could justify it as a long term expense, but not otherwise.
Hmmm....I fiddled with some IDL lighting and atmospherics to give it a bit of a hazy look. The main light is basically a bright white infinite light, set to 90% and a specular light, that's it. I think [?] the atmosphere is from one of Vikike's sets from rendo that I modified. My render settings were fairly high, IDL quality at 60%, but irradiance was only 32%, and raytrace bounces were only set at 2, I usually have them higher for a scene with any reflective materials.