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3-D Graphic & Animation Software for Students

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By Clay Hougland

A terrific resource is available free to students who want to learn to create games, 3-D animation, and visual effects. Alias|Wavefront™ produces software used by companies like Dreamworks SKG, Industrial Light and Magic, Disney, and Pixar. They also have a unique program offering students a chance to use their software for free. Let's take a look at just what that means.

Maya Personal Learning Edition
This is version Maya 4.01 for Windows 2000/XP and version 3.5.1 for Mac OS X.
Maya Personal Learning Edition is a special version of Maya, which provides users with free access to Maya for non-commercial use. Maya Personal Learning Edition gives 3D graphics and animation students, current industry professionals, and those interested in breaking into the world of computer graphics (CG) an opportunity to explore all aspects of the award winning Maya Complete software in a non-commercial capacity. Those using Maya Personal Learning Edition have access to the main toolsets of Maya Complete including NURBS modeling, animation, inverse kinematics, Maya Artisan, Maya Paint Effects, particles, dynamics and Maya's advanced rendering capabilities.

The Maya Personal Learning Edition restricts users to non-commercial applications through the display of a watermark on images as well as through the use of a special non-commercial file format. Registration is renewable yearly.

Hardware Requirements:

  • Pentium processor, at least 600 MHz
  • 512 Mbytes RAM
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics card
  • Overlay plane capability is recommended.
  • 3-button mouse with mouse driver software

Minimum disk space requirements:

  • 440 Mbytes temporary space needed for download and installation startup.
  • 270 Mbytes needed for the Personal Learning Edition software installation.

Hardware Requirements:

  • G4 processor (though G3 systems are not specifically qualified to run Maya, these systems may be acceptable for general Maya use)
  • 512 Mbytes RAM
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics card (ATI Radeon, Rage, rage mobility, nVidia geforce 2, 3)
  • 3-button mouse with mouse driver software

Minimum disk space requirements:

  • 430 Mbytes of free disk space to download and install Maya Personal Learning Edition

Maya 4.5 Complete sells for $1999.

Download Maya Personal Learning Edition

To get full access you must register for the Alias|Wavefront community. This gives you additional benefits including access to additional content such as tutorials, shaders, models and scenes, access to discussion forums and a newsletter.

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