E-on software has released a Personal Learning Edition of The Plant Factory (or ‘TPF PLE’ if you like acronyms): a free, non-commercial edition of its new vegetation-generation software.
The software enables users to create plants by drawing shapes manually, assembling pre-built components, or using a node graph. The results can be animated, and rigged and animated meshes exported to other software.
Access to all the features, but rendering and export are limited
The PLE provides access to the feature set of the $1,495 Producer edition of the software, although only “a limited subset of the total content available in the commercial product”.
The edition isn’t time-limited, although it does become more restricted over time: renders generated with the PLE during the first 30 days of use carry a logo; after that, they carry a full watermark.
Still renders are limited to 1920×1080 resolution, and animations to 1280×720 resolution.
In addition, scene files cannot be exchanged with other TPF users; and one in five polygons is removed from exported geometry, effectively rendering plants generated in the PLE unusable in production.
Free 30-day trials of the lower-end editions of the software
E-on has also released trial editions of the $995 Studio, $495 Designer and $199 Artist editions of the software. The three come in a single download, with the user choosing which to activate during installation.
The trials carry the same restrictions on output resolution and file export as the PLE, but are also time-limited, ceasing to work after 30 days, and are save-disabled.
The PLE and trial editions are available in English for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 (the PLE also works on Windows 8), and on Mac OSX 10.5+ (Mac Intel only) for both 32 and 64 bit.