DAZ 3D, and about $50 worth of models. Plus maybe three days of searching for good free stuff. Two evenings for the horse, and another two of putting them together and making all the poses work together. I don't work fast. But I try to work good.
you know 'hard' things like armor I could probably make.... I really need to find my CD-R that I put my exported DAZ characters on .. I had done up several of M3 and V3 in order to learn more about creating things for them to use - ie swords, tools, and such... I know that Blender can make clothing, but I'm not into that so much, although creating a texture for clothing would be interesting to say the least... (especially if it was to be medieval style leathers, with spikes and some gnarly critter for the logo ..
I still haven't gotten past that shredding issue when I move joints. I suppose the sweep bones might work a bit better in these cases. I still need to learn more about welding seams, fall-off zones, and IK. The bones, and their attached groups, got that. Materials groups, are coming along nicely. I still have to get that UV unwrapping down, though I HAVE had a little success. But given a few years... I'll have it by the short hairs.
I am going to do a tutorial on the this mysterious UV unwrapping (and do it in a way that makes frackin sense to someone newer to Blender)... in order that more people can learn Blender - as that is a key part of creating with Blender is that you can remove the UV - edit it externally and then re wrap it for your rendering ... it can allow photo realism if your textures of from a photograph, and of course it can allow a lower poly item to look good ... I'll be starting on that tonight and hopefully have something to put up by this time tomorrow..
maybe like 3-4 different riders with a couple of angles of each? and you could change the weapons or somethin in them just to add a bit of variety basically it all comes down to how much time u have and how much ur willing to do, cos the more angles and poses u can do, the better it will look but doing lots of angles is good, u dont need too many different riders, only enough to create a bit of diversity thanks man!
Riders? I think I'll just come up with about 20 unique horses, and the same with riders, eh? Now a different camera angle can look like a completely different character. Let me show you what I mean. I'm almost done with the warhorse and rider 2. Just need to find the right helmet.
Let's see, at two maybe three per week, I'd estimate about 8 weeks before I start in on the footsoldiers.
Seriously though, with some different angles, and a bit of darkroom type adjustment, they'll look like different warriors.
The actual render usually takes no more than about 20 minutes. It's any adjustments to the gear, etc. that takes any time in other renders. Usually no biggie. You just don't want them to have things poking through each other.