The computer graphics industry has been a growth industry since it was established in the late 1970s. Weathering the storms of the recession of 2009, the CG industry is back on track and showing a new, invigorated vitality and potential, according to Jon Peddie Research (JPR).
The computer graphics hardware market was worth $53 billion in 2010 and exceeded $67 billion in 2011. In 2010, the CG software market was worth $13 billion (not counting services, maintenance, and other aspects) and grew to $14.8 billion in 2011 as the industry shook off the remaining effects of the recession and started replacing software tools.
As a result of the pullback due to the recession, more people will be buying computer graphics software programs, and the industry will see the development of traditional segments, like CAD/CAM, expand as new design approaches in automotive, aerospace, and architecture are brought forth. Visualization, a market that has been almost dormant for the past few years, is poised now for great expansion due to exciting and lower-cost technologies.
Software for making movies, inspired by the thrill of 3D, computer games, high-style products, and simulations of products and activities too expensive or too dangerous to test in reality, is exploiting the features of today’s CG software. The result will be amazing realism and real-time capabilities in the next generation of films and designs.
The demand for programmers, artists, scientists, and designers has picked up again, and firms are actively looking for people who can use and exploit these new programs and their associated hardware accelerators. The economic recession has caused a slowdown, but it’s going to look like a small bump in the road by 2014.
We are seeing new opportunities growing out of more mainstream applications for the Web and consumer applications. The Web is growing as a distribution medium for graphics content, which, in turn, encourages people to pick up the tools, learn them, create content for pleasure, and even look for jobs in the field. What used to be a very closed society of experts is opening up.
Given these trends, we at JPR see the rate of growth continuing to increase.
Dr. Jon Peddie is owner of Tiburon, CA-based Jon Peddie Research, which provides consulting, research, and other specialized services to
technology companies in a variety of fields, including graphics development, multimedia for professional applications and consumer electronics, high-end computing, and Internet-access product development.