Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

The Foundry releases Mari Non-commercial

The Foundry has released Mari Non-commercial, a free, non-watermarked, non-time-limited version of the 3D texture painting software intended for personal learning and personal projects.

The announcement makes Mari the second of The Foundry’s applications to get a non-commercial edition, following the release of Nuke Non-commercial last year.

Most of the features of the commercial edition, but some workflow restrictions
As with Nuke Non-commercial, Mari Non-commercial includes most of the functionality of the commercial version of the software, although there are some important restrictions.

First, the software saves in its own native MNC file format which cannot be loaded into the commercial edition.

Export is capped at 4K resolution and 16-bit colour per channel, and limited to PSD, PNG, TGA and JPEG formats: you can’t export TIF, HDR, DDS or Ptex files.

Users are also limited to five objects, and six UV texture patches per object, although the number of channels and layers that can be used is not restricted.

In addition, Python scripting is disabled, as is the use of custom shaders.

As you might expect, you don’t get one-to-one product support with the non-commercial edition, although there is a dedicated area of The Foundry’s forum for users to post questions.

The restrictions are designed to enable users to learn Mari, or to produce demo reel material, but not to make the Non-commercial edition a viable tool for commercial production work.

Updated: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Mari Non-commercial as having fewer functional restrictions than the commercial Mari Indie edition, which lacks Mari’s advanced Node Graph and colour-management options, and support for C-API plugins, as detailed in this announcement on Steam.

Although at time of posting, not all of them are listed in the FAQs for the Non-commercial edition, The Foundry tells us that “MARI Non-commercial has the same restrictions [as MARI Indie], with the exception of the EULA agreement (non-commercial vs. commercial) and the inability to share MARI Indie files with other Indie users”.

Not available for schools, non-profit organisations or plugin developers
As with Nuke Non-commercial, The Foundry also defines ‘non-commercial use’ quite strictly: it doesn’t include unpaid servies provided to commercial clients, or unpaid work done on pitches or pilots, for example.

You also can’t use the non-commercial editions for teaching – unlike Autodesk, The Foundry charges for educational licences – or at non-profit organisations.

Users are also prohibited from using non-commercial licences in the same pipeline as commercial ones, running them in “clusters”, or using them to develop commercial plugins.

Mari Non-commercial is available for 64-bit Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. You’ll need to register for a free account to download it. Users are allowed to install the software on up to two machines.

The licence works on a rolling 30-day basis, so you’ll need to go online at least every 30 days to reactivate it.

Read more about Mari Non-commercial on The Foundry’s website
(Includes download link and starter video tutorials)