The 3D Modeling and Animation Market Shows Resilience says New Study by Jon Peddie Research

Despite recession people keep playing games and going to movies and new markets for 3D modeling and animation are opening up

Robert Dow

TIBURON, CA- JUNE 18, 2009-Jon Peddie Research (JPR) the industry’s research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, has just released a new report on the 3D modeling and animation market is poised for growth. The same software that is used primarily film/TV production and game development is also being put to work for rendering and visualization in architecture, manufacture, and science and is on the verge of major breakthroughs due to demand from new vertical markets as well as hobbyist and consumer sectors.

Like all others, the 3DM&A industry is going through a period of contraction and consolidation. However, as difficult as it is for all participants, the JPR study points out that this is often a prelude to growth.

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Worldwide forecast 3D Modeling
and Animation ($M US dollars)
CAGR – 6.8%, 2007 to 2013

219 237 221 238 262.05 293.49 328.71

The 3D Modeling and Animation market includes software tools that are used for TV and movie special effects, creating content for games, product design, and for the web. Over the years the industry has grown steadily, but the 3DM&A tools are still expensive and used primarily by professionals.

Mainstream Markets Open Up for 3DM&A

Beyond traditional industries, new markets are also opening up for more casual users of 3D modeling and animation tools, defying barriers posed by high cost and complexity. Free 3DM&A tools are becoming available and millions of copies are being downloaded every year suggesting a pent-up demand for easy-to-use 3D tools. In addition, there is a hard core of hobbyists and casual users who are using 3D tools even though the learning curve is steep. New distribution models are just now opening up including online worlds, YouTube, MyToons, the Daz communities, and more. By the end of this decade, new growth will come in mainstream markets, the report says.

Professional Markets Trim

In the meantime, the DCC market in general and the 3D segment specifically have suffered as industries where 3D tools are used but are not core to their businesses tighten their belts and look for the inessential markets they can cut from their sales and marketing budgets. Some of the areas that have been hardest hit include the advertising industry, marketing, visualization for architecture, science and research, and manufacturing. .

“Ironically, although the 3D modeling and animation market has been one of relatively slow growth, it has been more stable than other graphics markets during this economic downturn,” says JPR analyst Kathleen Maher, author of the new report. “The market did not grow as fast but it did not decline as dramatically as other industries involved in digital content creation. In fact, 2008 was a record year for the market.”

This report includes data on the number of users (casual and professional) market share for the companies, the market segments they participate in, and geographic distribution.