LVXIFER, shmud , TeamFox, meanboythecat , selwy, bzsolt , davidness - thank you all so much for your kind words
there is really nothing special about my workflow. I usually make very simple basemeshes in maya, and when i found the main forms using very low subdivisions, it usually requires retopoligizing for example cutting new edge loops around the eyes and mouth to add more
detail to sculpt with (actually now with qremesher it can be easier, but i'm old school for now ), but i don't like to work with too detailed meshes. with the characters i sculpt i use symmetry until i find the likeness that works for me, than pose it with transpose tools.
this is true for the animals also. first i try to find the main forms, big blocks of muscle, shoulders, hips and other joints, etc. then pose them, then add the details. actually i played a lot with the poses. i used tons of images, and videos, and of course real life for reference.
the fur sculpting method isn't too tricky either. i love to use clay build up tool for the big chunks of hair. often rotate the modell to be sure that it works from every angle, and the silhouette works from every angle. when i'm satisfied i begin detailing them with slash 1 -2
and the standard brush with some pointy alpha
as for the rendering, Dan helped me with that, he describes it a bit in dandan's junkyard - its basicly a setup very similar to Ryan Kinglsien's
gnomon dvd - photorealistic rendering in maya mental ray. It doesnt have GI, FG, nor hdri, just 2-3 area lights. Its fairly easy to setup, and its a
really good tutorial, so I can just recommend it. after making the scene once I just have to import the decimated obj-s, re-light them a bit, and hit
the render button. I would gladly share a basic maya file with the setup, but since it's Ryan Kingslien's workflow it wouldn't be very etical.