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Alias Releases Maya PLE 6 54

Posted by michael
from the render-unto-caesar dept.
Renderhead writes "Alias has released the free Personal Learning Edition of their Academy Award winning Maya software. This limited version of Maya Complete allows students, hobbyists, and professionals to learn and evaluate the $2,000(US) tool absolutely free. The catch: all rendered output will be imprinted with a 'Maya Personal Learning Edition' watermark. Although Maya version 6 has been out for some time now, the Personal Learning Edition was only available for version 5 until now."
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Alias Releases Maya PLE 6

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  • by Ryquir (172934) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @02:41PM (#10015467)
    Available for Maya 6 on the Windows® 2000/XP Professional and Mac® OS X operating systems.

    When last I contacted them they refused to believe you might want to learn their product on Linux and thus if you want Maya on Linux be prepared to shell out the $$...
    • by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @02:51PM (#10015584) Homepage Journal
      "When last I contacted them they refused to believe you might want to learn their product on Linux and thus if you want Maya on Linux be prepared to shell out the $$..."

      Refused to believe one would want to learn on Linux, or wasn't convinced enough people were running exclusively Linux for it to be cost effective to make PLE available?

      I know it's fun to aim our pitchforks at people for not supporting Linux, but be realistic.
      • Yea, right, like if maya was never used on linux.
        • "Yea, right, like if maya was never used on linux."

          Didn't say it wasn't. You should read the part of my post that talked about the number of people and the cost effectiveness etc.

          I don't know why it's such a sore concept around here that Linux doesn't enjoy that many individual 3D artists. It's not because Linux sucks it's because we need other tools like Photoshop and After Effects. Gimp and Cinepaint are a start, but they're nowhere near as broad in terms of capability. If you're a generalist 3D ar
          • The first point is that there is a lot of 3D done in maya under linux. The other point is that maya ple is a response to max equivalent edition and not an effort to develop a new user base. Your point about cost is of course part of the situation but is not worth much if you don't put it in perspective with those 2 others.
            So i guess you werent that realistic in your comment either.
            • "The first point is that there is a lot of 3D done in maya under linux."

              Sort of. It's used in studios a lot. That's not the same as saying that all those artists run Linux at home, which is coincidently where PLE would mostly be run.

              " The other point is that maya ple is a response to max equivalent edition and not an effort to develop a new user base."

              It's not to develop a new user base? Untrue. If you're an aspiring artist, you're not going to be able to drop thousands of dollars on something lik
      • I've emailed them also to ask for a linux version of the PLE but they refused politely.

        // ville
      • How much more costly would it be to put a watermark on the Linux version's output, and tweak the downloads page to add another file to download? Negligible. They're just being silly and will eventually get around to it as Blender [blender3d.org] evolves [blender3d.org].

        = 9J =

        • "How much more costly would it be to put a watermark on the Linux version's output, and tweak the downloads page to add another file to download? Negligible."

          Actually, you don't know that.

          a.) It's not clear how hard it is to make that watermark work out. One thing they'd definitely need to work on is making sure that somebody can't hack it to disable the watermark. The testing alone makes this a non-trivial task.

          b.) They'll have to perform more tech support on an even harder platform to use than Mac
          • Actually, you don't know that.

            Actually, you don't know that I don't know that. In other words, don't assume what other people don't know, and just stick to what you do.

            It's not clear how hard it is to make that watermark work out.

            There's at least one company that knows how hard it is, as they've already done it: Alias. They don't have to reinvent the wheel, they only need to apply what they've already spent money on to as wide a product base as they can. This will leverage the money already spent s

            • "Actually, you don't know that I don't know that. In other words, don't assume what other people don't know, and just stick to what you do."

              Actually I know you don't know because I know you don't work at Alias. Oops.

              "They don't have to reinvent the wheel, they only need to apply what they've already spent money on to as wide a product base as they can."

              They only need to only if they need to. If they're not dropping enough potential customers over it, then they don't need to di it.

              "As they already
            • "Actually I know you don't know because I know you don't work at Alias. Oops."

              It's a couple of hours later now, I feel like a jerk for saying that. Sorry for writing that whole post in a shitty tone.
    • ...it may be easier to cripple a proggy on Windows than on Linux, where someone could write a simple "plugin" to remove the watermarking from the renders, for instance... after all, in *ix, everything is a file.

      In Windows, is would be much easier to bury things in the registry and in general make it tougher for the statistically less-adept user to unlock.

      As a parallel example, how easy would it be to re-create the C-DILLA auth crap (and actually make it stick) for 3DS Max, on a Linux box?

      /P

  • does it run Linux?

    *BIG*No No No`s.

    from the site: "Available for Maya 6 on the Windows® 2000/XP Professional and Mac® OS X operating systems."

    and here's some onfirmation [alias.com] too...

    Then Blender has to do, for 'US' ... I guess ....

    • by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @03:00PM (#10015670) Homepage Journal
      "Then Blender has to do, for 'US' ... I guess ...."

      Blender != Maya. If you're just interested in tinkering with it, then that's a fine solution. If you're actually interested in developing a career, then you're far better off just dual booting into Windows and running Maya PLE. Frankly, the OS doesn't matter a whole hell of a lot when doing this stuff for a living. It's the wrong place to cross your arms and say "It's Linux or nothin!"
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Arguably, it depends on *what* you want to learn.

        If you're new to 3D, then Maya PLE is actually a horrible choice. Nothing will turn you off faster than not being able to produce something you can use. You need the rewards of getting your first render and showing it off, using it for wallpaper, etc. when learning.

        Maya PLE is really for *learning Maya* - not learning 3D. Once you know that 3D is for you, and you know what modeling/rendering are and the different types - then PLE is good for learning how th
        • Hmm yeah I see what you're saying. You got some strong points I needta chew on.

          Wish I had something more insightful to say, but I figured it's worth a karma hit to let you know I'm listening to what you said.
  • by quantax (12175) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @03:12PM (#10015782) Homepage
    As a Maya user since version 3.5, the latest 6.0 release is dissappointing, mainly because it seems to be more of a PR release than a real finished release. If you are unaware, SGI recently sold AliasWavefront to a holding company who'll likely sell it to another company sometime in the future. Shortly after this holding company aquired AW, they released Maya 6.0 (previous version was 5.01) breaking their tradition of using the .5 release (in this case 5.5) for bug fixes & general feature additions.

    Maya right now is in the position to either solidify their market hold (which is pretty good) or lose it to its competitors, 3D Studio Max and SoftImage XSI. As of right now there are many low level issues (not quite bugs) such as the export/import skin weighting being broken, a debatable method of storing vertice information which makes it difficult to correct these issues yourself, built in IK-FK blending is broken, and so on. In addition they changed the documentation around (like they do w/ every new release), only this time they altered it to the way it was catagorized during v4.0/4.5 which IMO (and to most people I've talked to) is inferior to the interface in 5.

    This doesn't mean Maya is bad but youd think that the company would fix these issues which have existed since (in many cases) since the first version. While I think the ocean generator is awesome, the new hardware rendering tools very useful, as well as the inclusion of the built-in Mental Ray render engine, and so on, a higher priority should be attached to these baseline issues which affect Maya often on the lowest level. I hope Maya 6.5 offers some solutions to these issues and we don't get another PR release. If AW does this again for a v7 release, I think they can expect to start losing users as these are the most basic of issues.
  • BAH! (Score:5, Informative)

    by escher (3402) <the.mind.walrus@ ... AH.com minus cat> on Thursday August 19, 2004 @03:25PM (#10015923) Homepage Journal
    I can't stand to use Maya PLE because that watermark also appears in the smooth-shaded window as well! Annoying as hell to work with.

    If the watermark was just on rendered output then I'd be fine with it but having it right in the perspective window? Hate it. Won't use it.
    • by tomee (792877)
      Well, you can understand that they don't want people making screenshots of the professional quality smooth-shaded previews to make movies and then not paying them, right?
    • check it out again .. they announced to make the watermark less nerving this time
  • Blender (Score:3, Informative)

    by craigmarshall (679127) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @03:50PM (#10016218)
    For those of us that can't afford to buy Maya (and no time to try), what does Maya do that Blender [blender.org] doesn't?
    • Re:Blender (Score:3, Informative)

      by black mariah (654971)
      Practically everything. Far better modeling, texturing, and animation tools. Import/export without the use of incredibly cumbersome scripts. No reliance upon scripts to do simple as fuck tasks (see aforementioned import/export). Hair, GOOD particles, excellent physics... there's a LOT. Anyone that tries to tell you Blender is even in the same league as Maya has never used Maya or any other high-end 3d app. Period. Blender is total shit compared to those programs.
      • However, what it lacks in raw features can be made up for with patience, and a little bit of manual work, for a LOT lower cost to provide the same results. It might take some actual talent on your part, as the 'main-stream' tools do a lot more of the grunt work for you, but it can do the job.

        While I do agree we have a ways to go before we can be considered 'mainstream professional', it is useful today for many professional tasks.. its not just for the hobbyist anymore.

        Since you asked, there are scripts/p
    • Re:Blender (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zarthrag (650912)
      Being an industry standard for the most part helps. But I think the fact that it's a several thousand dollar piece of software helps.

      But seriously, Maya is much more widely known than Blender. More importanly, It has a VERY large market share and a community to go with it. Head over to 3DBuzz [3dbuzz.com] and check out all of the FREE training videos you can get, which I watch religously. (Then look for the blender section.) Living out in the middle of nowhere, I can't get easy access to blender training materia
  • by bobthemuse (574400) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @04:54PM (#10016895)
    Does this mean that a graphics/animation shop can run this for free on all their development machines, then just have a single server dedicated to the final rendering?

    I wonder if this is why the watermark is in some of the work windows, it make it too annoying to do this?
    • by Quarters (18322) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @05:12PM (#10017088)
      MayaPLE (at least v5) can not read files created with Maya (V5 or earlier). I would assume that this still the case in 6 and that Maya can not read PLE files. Additionally, there are probably restrictions in the EULA to prevent you from using PLE for commercial purposes.

      Discreet did the same sort of thing with GMax. The binary files created with GMax are not understood by Max and GMax can not load .MAX files. They restricted MaxScript in GMax to prevent the user from creating disk files and prohibit GMax from running plugins that are not digitally signed by Discreet.

  • Odd that this is in the "developers" section? You can't actually develop anything for Alias PLE, because it doesn't have the OpenMaya API.

    • Are you implying that anyone involved in the development process for software who isn't a coder isn't a "developer"? All of the modellers, riggers, animators, and particleFX artists in the games industry wouldn't agree with you.
      • Not in the slashdot sense of the term, no.

        Besides the overwhelming majority (possibly all) of the modellers, riggers, animators and particleFX artists in any industry don't use the PLE anyway, since you can't do much with it except learn.

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