Introducing Maya and 3ds Max
for indie users

Questions and Answers

Now, recent graduates, freelancers, indie game developers, hobbyists and 3D artists just starting out have a more affordable way to access Autodesk® Maya® and Autodesk® 3ds Max® software.  Read our FAQ to see if you are eligible to subscribe to Maya or 3ds Max for indie users.

Questions and Answers


  1. Who is eligible to subscribe? 
    You are eligible to subscribe if you meet the following requirements.
    • Users’/Organizations’ annual gross revenue from creative work must be less than max threshold for your country.
    • You may not use the license on any project valued over $100,000 USD
    • Only one (1) license can be used per user or organization
    • Offer is only eligible in the following countries: 3ds Max / Maya
      See below for more details
  2. As a subscriber of 3ds Max/Maya for indie users, do I have access to subscription benefits? 
    Yes, subscribers will have access to the benefits of Autodesk subscription.
  3. Is 3ds Max/Maya for indie users a trimmed-down version of the software? The Indie offerings have the same features and functionality as the full software versions of 3ds Max and Maya.
  4. Is a free trial version available for 3ds Max/Maya for indie users? 
    There is no free-trial period available for the 3ds Max or Maya Indie products. However, free trial versions are available for both 3ds Max and Maya.
  5. Are the indie products available globally? 
    3ds Max and Maya for indie users are only available on all standard Autodesk e-store sites: 3ds Max / Maya
  6. Can I subscribe to the Indie products on a monthly basis?
    The 3ds Max and Maya indie offerings are only available as an annual subscription.
  7. How is 3ds Max/Maya for indie users different from the student version of 3ds Max and Maya? 
    Only qualified educational institutions and current students are eligible for a student license. The student license can only be used for learning, training, or research. Maya Indie and 3ds Max Indie can be used for commercial, professional, or other for-profit purposes.
  8. I currently have Maya/3ds Max Indie through the pilot program. How will this affect me? 
    If you are already subscribed to the Maya/3ds Max Indie through the pilot program, your subscription will expire at the end of the contract term. Once your subscription ends, and if you still meet the eligibility requirements for this offer (see question 1), you will be able to subscribe to the new indie offering.
  9. What happens at the end of my yearly subscription to Maya or 3ds Max for indie users? 
    Similar to other Autodesk subscriptions, both 3ds Max and Maya for indie users will auto-renew at the end of the contract term except for the India and China estores where the subscription will need to be renewed manually as auto-renewal is not available. Learn more about managing auto-renewal settings on Autodesk Knowledge Network.
  10. Can I use my indie license for commercial purposes? 
    Unlike a Student license, the Indie products are available for commercial purposes, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements (see question 1).
  11. Does my Indie product include the Arnold renderer? 
    The Indie products have all of the same features and capabilities as the full version, including the integrated Arnold renderer.
  12. What is the difference between Maya for indie users and Maya LT? 
    Maya for indie users is a full version of Maya intended for any user or organization who is eligible. Maya LT is a trimmed-down version of Maya specifically designed for indie game developers. Maya LT does not have eligibility requirements and does not have rendering capabilities, features for dynamics, or motion graphics tools. To explore the full list of differences between Maya and Maya LT, visit:
  13. I am a freelancer and I’ve been contracted by a studio that makes over $100,000 USD in gross revenue. Can I use 3ds Max or Maya Indie? 

    If the contracting company has contracted you to deliver a specific digital product (such as a model or rendered frame) that is valued less than $100,000 USD, you may use 3ds Max or Maya for indies users. 

    However, if that company has hired you for your time to work on a project, a full commercial license would have to be purchased for the duration that you are working on the project. 

  14. I am working on an indie game that has not made any revenue yet. However, I’ve received funding of over $100,000 USD. Am I still eligible for 3ds Max and Maya for indie users?
    If your game has received funding over the threshold of $100,000 USD, you are not eligible for the indie products and must use the full commercial versions of the products.

  15. I am part of a small group of artists who are working on a side-project in addition to our main occupations. The income from our main occupations is over $100,000 USD each. We have not formed a legal entity in the context of our side project.  If the income from our side project is less than $100,000 USD, are we eligible for 3ds Max and Maya for indie users?
    If you have not formed a legal entity and the gross revenue from the side project is under $100,000 USD, you are each eligible for 3ds Max and Maya – for indie.

  16. I am a freelancer and working on a project that will eventually make over $100,000 USD, but it hasn’t reached that revenue yet. Can I still use 3ds Max or Maya for indie users?
    Yes, you can use 3ds Max or Maya for indie users until your revenues reach $100,000 USD at which point you would switch to the full commercial version of 3ds Max and/or Maya. 

More details on eligibility requirements for 3ds Max and Maya - for indie users 

The indie license for Autodesk® 3ds Max® and Autodesk® Maya® software is intended to provide independent artists with a more affordable way to license 3ds Max and Maya on their commercial projects. However, it is not intended to be used by people or organizations that generate more than $100,000 USD per year in revenues or on projects with budgets of over $100,000 USD.  
Note that if you are working-for-hire for an organization that generates more than $100,000 USD per year you cannot obtain a license to use Maya or 3ds Max Indie – whether you are a freelancer, a contractor a part-time or a full-time employee. In this case you must use a full subscription license. The company must either purchase a license for you or you may purchase one yourself (whether you charge it to the company you are working for or not). This is intended to prevent companies from avoiding paying Autodesk for the software license they use on their projects.
This restriction applies when working-for-hire for an organization that makes over $100,000 USD per year. The restriction does not apply to the sale of digital goods to such organizations – as long as your total annual revenue from such sales does not exceed the $100,000 USD threshold.
Here are some example scenarios to help you better understand when and where you are eligible to use 3ds Max and Maya for indie users:
You create and sell digital products and have been approached by a games company with annual revenues greater than $100,000 USD to provide them with an asset (whether off-the-shelf or custom built). You are paid a fixed price for the ‘product’ delivered. In this case if your revenues are less than $100,000 USD, so you can use Indie. Examples of assets can be 3D models, textures or even rendered images.
You are approached by an architectural company with revenues of over $100,000 USD to work as a freelancer creating a visualization for them. You are paid an hourly/daily/weekly rate till the project is done and the assets belong to the company – in this case you cannot use an Indie license.
The key distinction is whether what you are doing can be reasonably considered to be your own work or whether you are working for hire. If you are producing and selling your own intellectual property (IP) and make less than $100,000 USD/yr doing so, you qualify to use Indie. If you are working for hire for an organization that makes over $100,000 USD a year, even if you are making less, then you do not qualify to use Indie. We expect companies making more than $100,000/yr to pay for the full commercial licenses of the software they need (as well as the artists). 
*Note that this limit varies depending on the country of use. 
© Copyright 2022 Autodesk Inc. All rights reserved | Privacy Statement | Legal Notices | Report Noncompliance
©Autodesk 2022