The new 3D World magazine came out last week (issue #92) and there is a great article on the popularity of computer animation software based on "copies installed".
The article highlights research by Pixels from their annual Roncarelli Report.
Pixels describes the Roncarelli report:
The Computer Animation Industry is once again on its historical growth trend. But it is undergoing significant changes which are reshaping the industry. It is growing and expanding in new ways and directions. You must understand what these changes are, and their future effects, if you wish to prosper. This REPORT is the only source for this information - the one the computer animation industry has relied on since 1984. All the Data, Analysis, Intelligence, Comments, and Forecasts you, and your business, need.
According to 3D World Magazine, based on research in the 2006 Roncarelli Report, Blender had 1.8
thousand million downloads last year! Making it the number one animation program based on installed copies.
Other rankings are as follows:
- 3DS MAX
- Strata 3D
- Cinema 4D
- Hash Animation Master
- Softimage XSI
- Electric Image (EIAS)
- Realsoft 3D
- Toon Boom Studio
The issues also contains quotes from Jay Roth (Newtek), Andy Lomas (Framestore) and Ton Roosendaal (Blender Foundation) the Talking point section for their reactions on the report. In my research I even came across an interesting discussion on the Newtek forums about Jay Roth's comments. He had some harsh and encouraging comments about Blender:
Blender is a great thing for our industry; it provides access to some pretty cool features that people can get for free, as opposed to using pirated copies of professional software. I like the different approaches it takes for some user interface elements, and it will be interesting to see what, if anything, of those approaches takes hold in other applications.
I do not see Blender as a replacement for professional applications like LightWave in the production pipeline. Production people are on the cutting edge, and they need bullet-proof solutions, and support groups that are right there with answers when problems arise (which will always happen). Modelers, animators, shader writers and technical directors are very demanding, and have incredible demands placed upon them. I know of some who have experimented with Blender in the production context, but none of them have adopted Blender in the pipeline. This could change down the road, but if it does, it will likely take many years to happen.
If you'd like the issue check out your local bookstore or order it online. If you do purchase 3D World Magazine frequently in the book store you might want to consider purchasing a subscription, its quite a discount over retail value. Subscription information can be found here.
A thread has been started at BlenderArtists discussing the issue and report find it here.