THE CG MARKET TO EXCEED $130 BILLION BY 2019
The computer graphics industry has been a growth industry since it was established in the late 1970s. It has weathered the storms of recessions and has emerged with renewed vigor and potential, partly due to a big boost from mobile and the move to 4K, but also from emerging technologies, including 3D scanning, 3D printing, augmented reality, and virtual reality.
However, the growth has leveled off due to the decline in the PC and mobile industries, as well as slow growth in consoles and software.
The CG hardware market was worth $118 billion in 2015 and is expected to drop to $112 billion by 2019, with software growing slightly better than hardware, predicts Jon Peddie Research (JPR).
The hardware segment of the CG industry has seen steady growth, with the exception of overall PC sales, which dropped by 10% over the past year. The largest growth has been in workstations and monitors, with the mobile graphics segment, gaming PCs, and consoles having all declined due to fewer units being sold and dropping ASP as the suppliers try to remain competitive.
The year 2015 saw the induction of new APIs with Khronos’ Vulkan, Google’s driver extensions for OpenGL ES, Apple’s Metal, and Microsoft’s DirectX 12, which contributed to faster, richer, and higher-resolution graphics for everyone.
In 2015, the CG software market was worth almost $16 billion (not counting services, maintenance, and other aspects) and is expected to grow to $17.6 billion by 2019 as the industry shakes off the remaining effects of the recession and starts upgrading software tools. The software suppliers (ISVs) have also changed their sales model, moving more services to the cloud and transitioning to a subscriber system.
We will see the development of traditional segments like CAD/CAM expand as new design approaches in automotive, aerospace, and architecture are adopted. The visualization market is showing significant growth due to the availability of more powerful and less expensive visualization technologies. GPU compute employing OpenCL and CUDA is penetrating further into new as well as traditional applications.
The software content creation market has been tough for the market leaders. They’re living with a mature market, with little growth, but stability among the competitors. However, there are new opportunities emerging as new approaches to content creation become practical, new distribution channels open up, and young generations arrive with a new fascination for 3D.
The demand for programmers, artists, scientists, and designers has picked up, and we’re seeing start-ups arrive in emerging and reborn markets such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and casual games. The arrival of new APIs and platforms are also stimulating development. Firms are actively looking for people who can use and exploit these new programs and their associated hardware accelerators.
New opportunities are also growing out of mainstream applications for the Web and consumer applications. The social Web remains a strong engine for growth. Social networks are encouraging people to learn new tools, create content for pleasure, and even look for jobs in the field. What used to be a very closed society of experts is now opening up due to the democratization of CG, fueled by Moore’s Law and price-elasticity due to lower software costs.
Given the trends in dropping costs, and the increasing users and usage of CG tools and hardware, JPR predicts that the rate of growth for the CG industry will remain fairly steady for the foreseeable future. Computer graphics is truly a worldwide industry now.
HP WORKSTATIONS GET XEON BOOST
HP has introduced upgrades to its Z440 and Z640 desktop workstations, providing faster performance and robust memory features. The Z440 and Z640 will incorporate Intel’s new Xeon processor E5-1600 v4 product family.
Some of the key enhancements include up to 4.0GHz dual-core performance; up to 2400MHz max memory speed with DDR4; up to eight cores/16 threads; and optimized AVX behavior.
REALLUSION OFFERS 3D COMP
Reallusion has unveiled a 3D composting solution for video editors, the iClone 3D Video Compositing Studio pack. The bundle features real-time animation for virtual newsrooms, dynamic 3D video montage, 3D layering effects, and transparent videos inside Reallusion’s iClone 6, in collaboration with Digital Juice, starting at $399.
SIDE EFFECTS UPDATES HOUDINI TO 15.5
Side Effects Software has released Houdini 15.5, which includes improvements to modeling, crowds, and light-ing, as well as a new VR camera lens and support for third-party rendering in Houdini Indie.
Modeling tools, such as PolyBevel, PolySplit, and Dissolve have been rewritten from the ground up. Retopo tools now have splitting, straightening, edge loop, and brush tools for positioning and relaxing points.
Crowd tools now feature advanced locomotion controls, accurate foot planting and terrain adaption, and more sophisticated crowd steering. The all-new Mocap Biped 3 comes with a library of motion clips. Crowd tools now support direct FBX imports as agents for better integration with other applications.
Houdini 15.5 is available now, with base Houdini available starting at $1,995 and Houdini FX at $4,495. Houdini Indie costs $199 per year.
VICON LAUNCHES NEW CAMERAS
Vicon has added two new cameras, Vero and Vue, which will join the company’s flagship Vantage, to form a new product family.
Vero is suited to a wide range of applications. To meet this need, Vero features on-board sensors that continuously monitor performance, camera position, and temperature. The Vero range includes a custom variable focus lens that delivers an optimized field of view, as well as a 2.2 megapixel camera. The range also includes a 1.3 megapixel camera.
With full-HD resolution, Vicon Vue incorporates a video image into the mocap volume. It also enables seamless calibration between optical and video volumes, ensuring the views are perfectly aligned.