Maya 2011 Student Edition – A Complete Overhaul

Maya Student Edition 2011So, Autodesk has finally released the long-awaited 2011 version of Maya with all the bells and whistles that we expect from new releases of this cool CG animation software.

As in the 2010 edition, Maya (full “Unlimited” version) is now bundled with student versions of the following high-end CG softwares, in the Autodesk Education Suite For Entertainment Creation:

Autodesk 3ds Max (2011)
Autodesk Softimage (2011)
(Windows Only)
Autodesk MotionBuilder (2011) (Windows Only)
Autodesk Mudbox (2011)
Autodesk Sketchbook Pro (2011)
(Windows Only)

(Note above: Mac users should note that only Maya, Max and Mudbox are compatible with Apple computers. Windows users can access all of them.)

So this is all cool…but how is this year’s edition different for students and educators looking to purchase educational licenses of the software?

Changes To Licensing – 13 Month Licenses Are Now…FREE!

As some of you may already know from reading my previous posts on the 2009 and 2010 student versions of Maya, Autodesk used to sell 2 separate educational licenses:

  • A 13 month license
  • A perpetual license (no expiry date)

The 13 month license used to retail for around $150 in the 2010 version.

However, the 13 month license of the 2011 student edition of Maya can now be downloaded absolutely free from Autodesk’s new educational platform:

You must be a student or academic professional to access this community.

As far as I’m aware you can download 13 month licenses of the latest editions of the most popular versions of the Autodesk software, including Maya 2011, 3DS Max 2011 and Softimage 2011.

Previous versions can also be downloaded but only with 3 or 6 month licenses.

(Note: I don’t work for Autodesk nor do I represent them in anyway…therefore for complete accuracy I recommend you check out their site  or contact them for the most up-to-date information)

Obviously, this is a huge advantage for many students especially in these economic times, and allows them to get full access to official versions of the software, and helps to tackle software piracy.

So Then, What Are The Benefits Of Buying The Perpetual License?

The perpetual license of the Maya 2011 student version IS still available for purchase and costs around $350.

I’m going to give my thoughts on why I think this is still a very smart purchase for those who are interested…

Since software, like Maya, is never actually owned by the purchaser but merely licensed to them by the developer, a perpetual license (i.e. one that never expires) is the closest thing you can get to “owning” it.

While the 13 month license might be ideal for folks who are looking to use the software on a temporary basis during their period of study and then not bother with it afterwards, many of us who are passionate about VFX and animation have an insatiable appetite to learn and keep improving our knowledge and skillset with this software package…

It therefore makes sense to get a perpetual license since there’s nothing more frustrating to open up your software one day and find an Error message telling you that the license has expired.  :(

If you’re still a student at the time then sure, you can download a new one from the Autodesk educational area and be up and running again, but…

what if you’re no longer a student?

You’re now locked out of the education program and can’t get access to those short-term licenses.

Having a perpetual license eliminates this problem and allows you to keep developing your skillset at home and in your own time.

Plus, there is one more HUGE benefit to buying a student version of Maya…

Big Discount On Commercial Upgrades

If you own a student edition of Maya you qualify for a commercial upgrade to the full version later on at a significant discount…

How Much?

Well, currently the commercial upgrade from a student edition retails for around $1,250 which as you know is about a 66% discount compared to what you would pay normally for the commercial version (saving you around $2,600).

So, in this sense you should look at the perpetual student license as an investment for the future.

Getting started as a professional in the media and film industries can be tough, so being able to save thousands of dollars on software is a major plus.

Check out the latest deals on the Maya 2011 Student Edition here

For a Commercial Upgrade from the student edition, you can check out this page here ==> Student to Commercial Maya Upgrade