3D CAD development,not games
What percentage of developers out there work with CAD and 3D graphics, but not games?
My assumption would be that the rate of non-game 3d programmers to game programmers would be at least 50-50. Game programmers might be on the cutting edge of consumer level graphics but the industries use graphics boards that make consumer level equipment look like toys (though they are more optimized on some features). Non-game uses of 3d include physics simulations, geophysical data visualization (oil and natural gas companies), and most advanced engineering of vehicles (aerospace, automobile, tractor :), engines in general). Last I checked there were many jobs on monster for OpenGL programmers, which I think you would consider the other side of 3d programming that's not games. In any case, there are opportunities out there, though sometimes firms will want a person with a Masters in the respective field (such as Aero E) as well as OpenGL experience. YMMV.
In addition to the industries Tim mentioned, there are also a lot of folks working on 3D graphics in the realm of cross-sectional imaging in medicine. They tend to focus more on image processing issues like segmentation, registration, and tomographic reconstruction but the end results generally include some sort of graphical representation (maximum intensity projections, multi-planar reconstructions, endoluminal views, volume renderings, etc.)
What's a "3d Programmer"? What Tim's describing is simulation. Visualization is something different. And no, in that regard consumer level hardware is not "toys" but definitely cutting-edge.
I work on 3D CAD, but I and nearly all of my colleagues have little to do with graphics cards. I and a few others work with 3d geometrical algorithms (at least sometimes) but only a small fraction of our code deals with the geometry but it is a vital foundation for the rest of the systems.
I simply meant that while GeForce and ATI cards are nice, you seldom find scientific/engineering that use anything but Wildcat, Quadro, or SGI/SUN's latest crop of video hardware. I didn't mention DX or intend to say that dx is less professional than OGL. I also forgot to mention medical imaging. Simulations and visualization both use hardware that is not exactly consumer level (by that I mean, you don't find dell pc (home)/laptop's with the hw used, generally speaking). At least, none of the clients my employer works with do. afaik. ymmv. is that enough acronyms? :) Have a good day.
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