Alias on Wednesday announced the release of a free Software Development Kit (SDK) that enables developers to incorporate support for the FBX format. What’s more, Alias announced the release of MotionBuilder Personal Learning Edition, a free version of its 3D animation technology. Alias is exhibiting at this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Calif. at booth 230.
FBX is an authoring and interchange format developed by Kaydara, which Alias acquired in 2004. The cross-platform file format supports 2D and 3D data elements alike, and also supports audio and video media elements. With the SDK in hand, developers can incorporate support for FBX in their own applications. The SDK has been released in C++ format and is available in Windows and Mac OS X versions.
The fee to license the SDK has been eliminated, but Alias is now offering new developer support services that charge US$149 per incident. Developers can call an Alias hotline number and receive free followup until the incident is resolved. The new developer support service is available in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Alias is also offering custom support and consulting services for developers who need more.
Alias is taking a page from its own success with the release of Maya Personal Learning Edition, and is now offering MotionBuilder Personal Learning Edition — a scaled-down version of their 3D character animation software. A free download for Mac OS X and Windows, the software is aimed at students, hobbyists or graphics professionals interested in learning more about how MotionBuilder works.
MotionBuilder PLE incorporates all the features and functionality of MotionBuilder Standard, like real-time animation, animation blending, pre-built animation “solutions,” non-linear animation and import support for FBX files (FBX export is disabled in the PLE version). Like Maya PLE, MotionBuilder PLE watermarks its viewports to prevent the software from being used commercially, but it’s enough to give users an idea of how the software works. System requirements call for PowerPC G4 or G5, Mac OS X v10.3 or higher, 256MB RAM, OpenGL-compatible graphics card with at least 16MB VRAM and 300MB hard disk space.