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Maya Personal Learning Edition AvailableFree educational version of Maya available for download
According to Alias|Wavefront, in the six weeks since the announcement of the free version of Maya, there have been 67,000 pre-registrations for the software.
The approach is unique in the high-end 3D space and certainly new to Alias|Wavefront, whose approach to software licensing has been on a per-seat basis. The new Personal Learning Edition is not a demo or a limited version of Maya (in terms of tools). It's the complete Maya package with three restrictions. First, the output will include a watermark. Second, the files in the PLE can't be imported into the commercial version of Maya because they use a special file format that can't be read by the commercial version. And, third, it does not include plugin support.
But for students of 3D and those looking to evaluate the software for later commercial use, the new PLE program offers a no-cost way to break in. The licenses themselves are free and renewable on an annual basis. Support comes in the form of a Web-based user center, which houses an information exchange, learning resources and a user gallery.
To download the software, visit http://www.aliaswavefront.com/freemaya. A version of the software on CD will be available in the near future for $5, plus shipping and handling.
Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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