Free Maya Personal Learning Edition Released

Autodesk has announced the release of a new version of Maya Personal Learning Edition (PLE), the free version of its 3D modeling and rendering software. The new release is based on Maya Complete 8.5, and provides free access to many of the major features of Maya for students and others who want to learn how the software works. It’s available for Mac OS X and Windows XP.

Maya PLE walks new users through the interface and how to use it via a series of tutorials and documentation. It also directs new users to books, DVDs, classroom training options, events and seminars where they can pick up other information. Free shaders, models and sample scene files are also available through the Autodesk Media and Entertainment community portal, called The Area.

Maya PLE features NURBS, polygon and subdivision surface modeling tools, character rigging and animation technology, “Maya Trax,” a nonlinear animation editor, soft and rigid body dynamics, particle effects, “Maya Paint Effects,” a brush-based interface, toon shading capabilities, integration with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, four renderers including mental ray for Maya, documentation, and support for importing and exporting FBX files to and from Autodesk’s MotionBuilder 7 PLE.

Maya PLE is restricted to non-commercial use and displays a watermark on images and uses a non-commercial file format.

System requirements call for Mac OS X v10.4.8 or later.

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