MWSF: Maya 4.5 PLE now ready for download

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Alias|Wavefront has released Maya 4.5 Personal Learning Edition -- the free version -- and it's ready for download from the company's Web site.

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The first release of Maya Personal Learning Edition was downloaded more than 250,000 times, according to Alias|Wavefront. The software provides users with a way to learn the tools and technology in Maya, an industry-standard 3D rendering and animation software package. The new version uses the same underpinnings as the full Maya Complete 4.5 release, and includes new modeling tools, subdivision surfaces, integrated 3D Paint, user interface and workflow enhancements, and more.

Alias|Wavefront general manager of product development Bob Bennett said that Maya users were early and aggressive adopters of Maya PLE, totalling 30 percent of the software's downloads to date. "We are thrilled to make the free download of Maya Personal Learning Edition available in time for Macworld," said Bennett.

Although images created with Maya 4.5 Personal Learning Edition are watermarked to make them easily distinguishable from images created with the full version, the watermark is invisible when working in wire frame mode. This helps neophyte Maya users develop their modeling skills, according to the developer. What's more, the new version imports different data types, including files from the commercial Maya release.

Other than the watermark, Maya 4.5 Personal Learning Edition also restricts users to a non-commercial file format. It can't be used with standard plug-ins, and it's specifically intended for private users who want to get to know the software, not educational institutions or training facilities. But, it's free, and it'll give you a taste of the full package.

Look on the Web site for the download and training resources, and if you're at Macworld Conference & Expo this week, look for Alias|Wavefront at booth 3729.

This story, "MWSF: Maya 4.5 PLE now ready for download" was originally published by PCWorld.

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