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After Effects and Final Cut Pro Top Visual Effects Software, Study Shows

43% of all visual effects shops plan to buy video manipulation/editing software this year By Charlie White
TrendWatch published its much anticipated Visual Effects/Dynamic Media report today covering visual effects firms in the feature film, commercial, interactive media, industrial film/video, television/cable, and Web (animation/streaming) markets. This report is based on original research with hundreds of owners and senior executives of visual effects firms of all sizes throughout the U.S.

Report Highlights:

-- 43% of all visual effects shops plan to buy video manipulation/editing software (such as Apple's Final Cut Pro, Adobe's After Effects, dpsVelocity).

-- The top 3D-capable software, even though it's not technically a 3D modeling and animation package, was Adobe's After Effects -- 61% of all shops surveyed own this. Also among the top ten 3D titles owned were Alias|Wavefront Maya and Avid Softimage 3D, both at 13%.

-- The top software programs "used most often" by all visual effects shops surveyed, were After Effects (44% selected this) followed by Avid Media Composer (31%), Digi Design's Pro Tools (23%) and Apple's Final Cut Pro at 17%.

-- The primary/most essential operating platform for visual effects shops was Mac OS/9 or earlier for 46% of the shops surveyed. 63% of shops doing work for interactive media said they plan to upgrade in 2002.

-- 32% of all visual effects firms expect business in 2002 to be excellent, despite the economy -- those involved in interactive media see the brightest future.

-- Managing production and "creating/producing our own promos/reels" were among the top business challenges with 49% and 43%, respectively, of visual effects firms.

-- Nine out of ten visual effects shops (91%) reported that "new projects" were their top opportunity for 2002 and half of the visual effects firms doing work primarily for feature films also selected TV/cable projects as a top opportunity.

-- 63% of all visual effects shops do "initial creative/story board development" in-house while 45% do visual effects production in-house. 26% of these shops have sound/foley effects done by an outside company.

The TrendWatch Visual Effects/Dynamic Media report is the first of its kind in this industry where the research is on-going and representative of the overall markets. TrendWatch first developed this methodology in 1995 in the graphic arts markets. Each report is based on original market research and includes four core topic areas:

-- Business conditions

-- Business challenges

-- Sales opportunities

-- Planned investments.

This report also includes:

-- Number of full and part time graphics employees

-- Computer platform used for visual effects work

-- Software owned and 'used most often' for 3D, audio/sound, DVD authoring, video production/editing, post production, and rendering

-- Where production tasks are done

Available directly from TrendWatch, the cost of this report subscription is $13,500 USD and includes two issues per year. Each issue includes an Executive Report with survey highlights and TrendWatch analysis plus an Excel spreadsheet containing the detailed survey response data for each question with over 80 cross-tabulations. More information about this report is available at

About TrendWatch
TrendWatch is among the most trusted and respected market information brands in the graphics industries. Started in 1996, by Dr. Joseph Webb and Mr. Jim Whittington, TrendWatch reports are used by leading suppliers and analysts worldwide. TrendWatch reports are based on original market research with business owners/executives. Each week via email, thousands of industry executives receive TrendWatch Fast Facts, one of the largest opt-in email services and most widely quoted resources throughout the global graphic arts markets. By mid-year, TrendWatch will publish the 2002 Visual Effects/Dynamic Media Demographic Atlas and Market Segmentation Guide detailing the number, size, and geographic location of visual effects firms in the U.S.

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