So, I've been a hobbyist using Poser and other 3D software since 2004. I do not consider myself in the same league as the professionals who create blockbuster movies or amazing artwork. At the same time, I really do think some of my freebies do match the quality and skill level of some other creators who dare to sell their products and ask a fee for that level of .... nevermind, no need to talk about other people but let the market decide. Anyway, that is not the focus of my post here.
I want to say that I acknowledge that I have learned a lot since 2004. I did not attend formal classes, but there were people who were helpful in their own specialisations, and I learned from them along the way. I have witnessed a lot of online squabbles and drama in the 3D CG communities I have been member of - some of these slugging fests happen even today. I have also seen many fakes and pirates who have knowingly taken other people's work and passed them off as saleable items under a holy halo. Well, you can get away with anything, unless you get caught; and if you do get caught, be prepared to pay the price. As for warez, I understand how painful it is for sincerely-motivated creators of high-quality content, to see their work pirated one week after they release it for sale. In the end, it is only the pride and moral standards of the user base that keeps these merchants in business, while the rest of the warez world has an orgy with the pirated versions. Which brings me to the point that you cannot make money out of digital content because of piracy in all its forms.
During the last couple of years, I started to create my own figures and rigged them for use with Poser software by Smith Micro. I spent a lot of time, made a lot of mistakes, cracked my brain to find out why some things did not work, and cracked my mind to find out solutions to weird problems during the modelling and rigging process. I can say that now, I understand what other creators are doing when they organise their models in certain ways. It is like looking at computer code and understanding why different programmers did their code in their own particular way.
I have always wanted to prove the relevance of Poser as capable of generating anime-style scenes with Non-Photorealistic Rendering and anime-style characters. With Terawell's Design Doll software, I am able to do that now. Also, there are some models from the MikuMikuDance universe (and more recently, the MikuMikuMoving universe) which do not restrict use to within the software, so I am also able to learn how to use those models inside Poser. I learned a lot from using the FBX format. Needless to say, Blender 3D, Shade3D, and Mixamo, are instrumental tools in the processing stage before the models can be used inside Poser.
I have created an otome visual novel, which I plan on revisiting and updating. I used Poser renders for it, and I intend to update the graphics, and release the game in a different format than RenPy.
Looking back, my journey into 3D CGI started in 2004, when I wanted to create photorealistic human versions of Minekura Kazuya's Saiyuki characters. I sort of achieved my goal in 2007, and had by then shifted my interest to other types of scene formulas. One on-going theme was the creation of large high-rise cities. The other remained the anime-isation of content. I tended to support Japanese creators who were more familiar with the idiom, and who sold products for Poser. Meanwhile, I slowly learned how to create my own content. That was a painful journey, but a necessary one. I am not a texture artist. So, I won't say that I can digitally paint the marvellous textures which get applied to content surfaces. But I can translate Cycles procedural material nodes into Poser Cycles node setups. And I have devised some of my own. So call me a creator of procedurally-generated node-based materials.
So, that's my stock-take of how far I've come as a dabbler in the 3D CG arts. I won't be working for a big studio or earning a stash of money because of my 3D creations. Perhaps I will create avatars for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, but that's just dependant on what the backbone hardware chaps are doing with their technology.