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3DSMax is pretty expensive. I haven't used it since the late 90s (and remember complaining when the cost hit $1000!) -- it's now around $4000USD, which is pretty pricey. It's also great, and I find working with Blender difficult (the UI is pretty hard to work with.)

Anyway, excluding the 30-day trial, is there any affordable way to legitimately acquire a 3dmax license? With Photoshop, I was able to snag a copy of CS3 at a very reasonable price from someone who upgraded to CS5, but I don't see something similar working here.

What does everybody else do?

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closed as off topic by jhocking, Ali.S, Trevor Powell, Josh Petrie, Noctrine Feb 3 '12 at 17:41

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I see a close vote and DV without any comment. Dudes, if choice of 3D rendering software is not gamedev related, and if 3dmax is not used primarily for game development, the universe has just turned inside-out. – ashes999 Feb 3 '12 at 14:08
Sorry, but this is kind of a silly question. Similar to asking: I want this brand new Ferrari over there, how do I get it for $1000?. – bummzack Feb 3 '12 at 14:35
Buying a used, older version is not illegal. – ashes999 Feb 3 '12 at 15:07
You seem to already have your answer Ashes, 'buy an old used version'. I am not sure if that is against the EULA of the software but I do not see what you are asking if you already know that as your answer? – James Feb 3 '12 at 17:22
Your options were presented to you. While discussions about using 3DSmax for game development are on topic for this site the question of whether or not you can acquire a used copy is decidedly not. (Apparently, it's a case for the courts) but Autodesk explicitly states in it's EULA that the licenses are non-transferable. Because of that, the legitimacy of any license is subject to debate without their explicit approval. – Noctrine Feb 3 '12 at 17:44
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Your options:

  1. Get the student version:
  2. Download an illegal version (don't do this)
  3. Pay full price
  4. Use something else
  5. Use the trial

You said the trial doesn't work for you but that's the only viable option for what you're asking. If you want to build something commercially with 3ds you better have $4000.

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Just to clarify to the people reading this: the student version is completely free and fully functioning without any watermarks (just a warning window when opening the files created with it) HOWEVER using it for commercial projects is illegal. – PeterT Feb 4 '12 at 9:45

They purchase 3D Studio Max for what it costs because anything else is illegal.

Updated after receiving clarification from OP that he was not interested in other applications at all

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No -1 but that doesn't answer my question; I clearly stated I already use (and dislike) Blender, and am instead focusing on 3DS Max -- not other software packages. – ashes999 Feb 3 '12 at 14:09
Updated my answer based on the clarification provided. – SpartanDonut Feb 3 '12 at 14:17
Buying a used, older version is not illegal. – ashes999 Feb 3 '12 at 15:07
You don't buy software. You buy a license to use software. I'd have to look closely at the TOS / EULA of 3DS Max but most software makes the license non transferable which means you are using the software without paying for a license that you are actually allowed to use thus breaching the TOS / EULA. – SpartanDonut Feb 3 '12 at 15:22
Confirmed that there is a clause in their EULA that its non-transferable. Yes. – SpartanDonut Feb 3 '12 at 17:47

There is no other way to get 3DSMax without paying the expensive price tag. Aside from pirating of course...

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