Post Magazine

September 2018

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STATE OF THE INDUSTRY 38 POST SEPTEMBER 2018 he subtext of SIGGRAPH in Vancouver has generally been about the evils and advantages of out- sourcing. The whole reason the North American version of SIGGRAPH ever left the U.S. is because so many content creation jobs had moved to Canada — many of them, just up the road from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Just how short that road can be became evident this year as the smoke clouds from forest fires from British Columbia down to Los Angeles county covered the skies above Vancouver and the cities north and south. But, in the four years since SIGGRAPH was last held in Vancouver, the equation that added up to migrant content creators having to move to where the jobs are, and worse, jobs moving to the places with lower costs of living, has changed dramat- ically. Large studios have discovered that decisions based on dollars alone does not necessarily equate to quality content. Also, the trend to outsourcing has contin- ued to the point that the industry is even more decentralized. It is an unforeseen consequence of this trend, that talented creatives have more leverage. The dynamics of the business are changing due to two big shifts. Number one is the rise of streaming video net- works, such as Amazon and Netflix, which has created an explosion of demand for content. That boom doesn't seem to be waning as people have developed a taste for long-form content. (Admittedly, however, as producers race to fill the void for content, the quality is taking a hit and the golden goose isn't always feeling so healthy.) A supporting trend is the rise of DIY subscription channels as creative people experiment with different types of content to run on YouTube and Vimeo on a subscription basis. Number two is the ongoing and un- stoppable advance of technology, which is enabling remote computing and cloud- based processing. Where one lives has become a lot less important than what one can do. JON PEDDIE RESEARCH With that backdrop, Jon Peddie Research has charted a rise in the fortunes of the CG industry, and somewhat surprisingly in the fortunes of SIGGRAPH. The chart shows the growth in hard- ware and software, and whereas the software aspects of the market have been slow to flat, the hardware segments have been varied, influenced by consum- er products such as game consoles. It's important to note that software prices are coming down, but the number of people using that software rises proportionately. Price elasticity works dynamically in the content creation industries. As an aside, virtual reality, which has gained so much attention, is hardly a factor in either hardware or software, and despite some glowing forecasts, we don't think it will be for a while. The main point of exploration for VR today is in content creation and design for professionals. VIRTUAL STUDIOS At the annual JPR luncheon discussion during SIGGRAPH, we discussed the evo- lution of software and content creation especially as companies explore the use of cloud-based resources. Individual users are grappling with the advantages and disadvantages of subscription plans for software versus open source resources and perpetual licenses. One of the conse- quences of large studios going outside for special effects, and other contract work, is an increase in independent workers who are going freelance or working for small houses. Sometimes, subscription plans, equipment rental, rendering contracts, etc. are designed for large businesses with the ability to distribute licenses through- out their workforce. The payment plans designed for large companies are not likely to suit smaller vendors and individ- uals who want to access cloud resources for collaboration and remote processors. THE STATE OF THE CG MARKET T THE TAKEAWAY FROM SIGGRAPH BY KATHLEEN MAHER VICE PRESIDENT/ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF TECH WATCH JON PEDDIE RESEARCH (JPR) TIBURON, CA WWW.JONPEDDIE.COM TOTAL COMPUTER GRAPHICS MARKET ($B) , , , , , , , , $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ Attendance CG Market ($B) Poly. (Attendance) Poly. (CG Market ($B)) TOTAL COMPUTER GRAPHICS MARKET ($B) $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ TOTAL applications CAGR 14-18: TOTAL hardware, CAGR 14-18: ˆ ‰ Š $‹. .% .‰% $‹. $‹.Š $ˆ. $ˆ.ˆ $. $. $.‰ $.ˆ $Š.‹

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