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Maya Personal Learning Edition: Hollywood-Quality 3D Animation

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Published on December 16th, 2005
Category: Audio and Video

Note: This article was originally written for The Information Bank. Because of the high volume of related posts, I've decided to move the articles here.

I learned about this program from TechTV (when it was still an awesome network). Ever wonder what Hollywood uses to create 3D animations for movies such as Shrek, Ice Age, Final Fantasy, and Toy Story? What do they use to render the stunts and visual effects in movies like Spiderman, Charlie’s Angels, and Lord of the Rings?

On many of these movies, computer animators use a program called Maya, which was created by Alias. From its website,

Academy Award winning Maya software is the world’s most powerfully integrated 3D modeling, animation, effects, and rendering solution. Maya also adds to the quality and realism of 2D graphics. That’s why film and video artists, game developers, visualization professionals, Web and print designers turn to Maya to realize their creative vision.

Basically, Maya is an extremely powerful 3D-animation program. Because of its power, it is very complicated. When I first opened Maya, I was (and still am) overwhelmed by the application. There are too many settings and configurations. Really, it’s just like a Windows user learning how to operate Linux.

Personally, I believe that a Maya-training course is necessary to use this program. It allows the designer to fully realize and take advantage of what he or she can accomplish in this animation suite. It should also help establishbest practices so that a designer can efficiently apply those techniques to an actual 3D-animationproject. But, if you don’t have the time or money to take a course, there are many tutorials in the program, on the alias website, on google, and in TechTV that are helpful.

So, what is the catch with this powerful Hollywood-quality Animation Program? Well … it can cost up to $7000. But, just think. Movies make millions of dollars in the box office. I’m sure studiosare willing to shell out $7000 for a couple of computers. “Then why is this in the freeware review?” you ask. Luckily, Alias provides a Personal Learning Edition of Maya free!

Maya Personal Learning Edition is a special version of Maya software, which provides free access to Maya for non-commercial use. It gives 3D graphics and animation students, 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.

They provide a way to “test the waters” so to speak. Unlike most learning edition software, the Maya PLE is not crippleware. You can do most things that are available in the full-priced version, even saving files! The only caveat is that there is a watermark on every video file that you create.

Watch Out
It only supports Mac and Windows 2000/XP. Plus the download is huge (more than 100MB)! You can either order it on a CD or download it.

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One Response to “Maya Personal Learning Edition: Hollywood-Quality 3D Animation”

  1. medoevil Says:

    hi there i hope this program is useful for me

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