...yeah, I'm laughing too.
I wrote a comic script that turned out pretty well, so I downloaded Daz 3D studio, which is a free download that gives you some stuff to start experimenting with. They get away with this because you can buy content from them, like more advanced versions of the software but also models and landscapes and clothing for your models and lighting rigs and ways to make your models change their faces and bodies and -- why, yes; it *is* like crack, and by the time you realize you're a grown man playing with intangible dolls you have meant thrown more money at your problem than you initially meant to, because you started writing the story first and thought, "Oh, I could use *THAT.*" As opposed to "Well, here's what I have; what can I do with it?"
(Case in point: I started trying to make a scene with a woman and a dragon because the program offered me a woman and a dragon, and before I knew it the two of them were having an argument and formed the weirdest buddy team since Linda Hunt and Kathy Bates teamed up in that action movie that exists entirely in my fevered imagination. Okay, fine, apparently I'm churning out a three-panel gag webcomic like there's no tomorrow, but at least I'm using stuff that won't cost me much of anything. Then the jerks screwed me: they teamed up with a knight, and naturally he needed a suit of armor, and his squire, and naturally the squire needed a haircut AND YOU CAN SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING, CAN'T YOU.)
Anyway, I figured I'd put up a post about it for anybody else who's got a vague interest in this sort of thing.
http://www.daz3d.com/ is where I got the program, and where you can get lots of content. Some of it is free, some of it is cheap, some of it is more pricey. If you join their Platinum Club, which is a hundred bucks for a year, you can get a big discount on their products and a whole lot of stuff for two bucks a shot. I feel it is very safe to say they do not ever lose money with this deal. But that's not the only source for content. Oh, no. http://sharecg.com has stuff for download, and you can get lots of terrific free and/or cheap content at lots of places;
http://www.most-digital-creations.com/freestuff.htm has really good selections, and their store is cheap if you want to buy special characters or horrifyingly anatomically accurate genitalia for your computer-generated porn. I am still figuring out what the hell I am doing, but just from my glances http://blog.microlite20.net/ has excellent tutorials for the newbie, starting at http://blog.microlite20.net/tag/tutorial/page/6/ and going forward. And for a model to look up to, I found a CG-rendered SF webcomic, "Crimson Dark," at http://www.crimsondark.com/ -- don't spoil me, as it's got close to 300 episodes and I've read maybe 2. I'm going to try for a different art style, but that's a great-looking CG comic. Incidentally, if any of y'all are mucking about with this already, feel free to leave useful links in comments.
I now get back to doing thirty-six things at once.