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Alias Launches Maya Personal Learning Edition 5

Alias Systems released Maya Personal Learning Edition 5, a fully functioning version of Maya Complete software for non-commercial use. Maya Personal Learning Edition was first launched in February 2002.

"Alias is committed to offering a complete solution to artists and hobbyists looking to experience the creative power of learning 3D software," said Chris Ruffo, Maya industry marketing manager. "The free version of Maya Personal Learning Edition now features numerous enhancements to online help and searching, a new beginner's self-paced Learning Tool specifically for this version and an online user community center with tutorials, movies and user to user discussions. There has never been a better opportunity to explore the ever expanding world of 3D graphics."

Maya Personal Learning Edition 5 contains almost every feature found in the full commercial version of Maya Complete including these new additions:

A new hardware rendering option that takes advantage of the power of next-generation graphics cards to produce near software-quality images at often dramatically faster speed.

A unified rendering workflow providing easy and consistent access to the Maya renderers through a common interface.

Animation enhancements to constraints, forward/inverse kinematics and ghosting give animators new levels of flexibility.

Maya Paint Effects to polygon conversion offers a whole new range of looks, as well as more editing and output options.

An improved polygon reduction method is valuable to users making lightweight game models and MODs.

Maya Personal Learning Edition is for creative professionals and hobbyists, who have never tried 3D, to advanced professionals seeking to enhance their skill set. Improvements have been made to numerous online help features including: an improved Maya 5 online help search engine that supports both phrase and Boolean searching; and a new guide titled, Extra Learning Resources, that presents a series of recommended steps to learning Maya and suggests self-paced Learning Tools and resources. All 3D enthusiasts are also invited to access the Maya Personal Learning Edition resource center at www.alias.com/maya/ple/resource.

In a continuing program to regionalize content, Japanese documentation is available for Maya Personal Learning Edition on both the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X platforms. The experience of learning Maya is multi-lingual as Alias presents the Learning Maya Beginner's Guide, containing a one-hour instructional DVD, an introduction to Maya booklet and a Maya Personal Learning Edition 5 CD with English, French, German, Japanese and Korean language tracks. Also new in this version of Maya Personal Learning Edition, is a one-step documentation installation in either English or Japanese.

Maya Personal Learning Edition 5 is initially available as part of the Learning Maya Beginner's Guide for $19.99 on the Alias online store at www.alias.com and at the Alias booth #3015 at SIGGRAPH in San Diego, California. A no charge download of Maya Personal Learning Edition 5 will begin in fall 2003 at www.alias.com/mayaple. Maya Personal Learning Edition is for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems.

The Maya Personal Learning Edition restricts users to non-commercial applications through the display of a watermark on images as well as through the use of a special non-commercial file format. Maya Personal Learning Edition does not ship with the Maya API and cannot be used with standard plug-ins. Use of the software is restricted to personal, non-commercial applications only: use in schools and training center classrooms/labs or courses is considered commercial use. As such, educational institutions and training facilities should contact their local sales office for more information about Alias' extensive academic and training center programs.

As a leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias develops award-winning software, custom development and training solutions for the film and video, games, Web, interactive media, industrial design, education and visualization markets. In 2003, the company was awarded an Oscar for Technical Achievement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its development of Maya software, the professional 3D animation and effects package. Alias (www.alias.com) is a wholly owned, independent software company of SGI with headquarters in Toronto and the Custom Development Center in Santa Barbara.