Free Home Licenses and Software Deals for Work-from-Home Professionals and Students (Updated)

Additionally, Creative Cloud business users are reporting online that anyone with a monthly CC plan can now get two months free. Here’s how:

Apple

(Updated March 27) Anyone, existing user or not, can now try the company’s Final Cut Pro X video editing suite and Logic Pro X recording studio bundle free for 90 days. “We hope customers who are at home and looking for something new to master will try these free trials,” reads Apple’s announcement. The trial version of Final Cut Pro X is offered here; details of the Logic Pro X trial will be made public in the coming days.

Autodesk

(Updated March 20) Some of the software company’s products and services are now freely available for commercial use, including the Shotgun project management program. Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost said in a statement:

With the coronavirus (Covid-19) affecting communities, families and people around the world, these are challenging times for all of us. Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected, directly or indirectly. At Autodesk, our priority remains the health and well-being of our employees, customers and partners.

Beyond the health and safety of the Autodesk community, we also work hard to ensure our customers have reliable access to their software and Autodesk support. To that end, Autodesk closely monitors the advice provided by governments and health organizations so that we can make informed decisions with our whole community in mind.

Our goal is to respond quickly and compassionately, while balancing the needs of all constituencies in our community. We are taking several precautionary measures to minimize the potential impact of the coronavirus on our communities and our business. As we have updates to share on how we are supporting customers, employees and communities impacted by Covid-19, expect us to share them here.

The software will remain free until May 31 at the earliest. More information here.

Greedy

The company behind a line of content creation and editing software offers free 90-day home licenses to businesses and educational institutions. The policy covers Media Composer Ultimate, Pro Tools, Pro Tools Ultimate and Sibelius Ultimate.

As an additional measure to help our community adjust their workflows to accommodate Covid-19 virus precautions, Avid will make a limited number of temporary licenses of our creative products available to eligible customers free of charge.

The offer is currently open to existing customers only and valid until April 17. More information here.

Ceaction

The developer is extending free domestic licenses to customers of its Cection2D animation software until the end of their current project.

Andy Blazdell, CEO of Ceaction, released the following statement:

At Ceaction, we’ve been helping our clients prepare to work from home for the past few weeks, quietly and without fanfare. Everyone who came to us for help was helped, and this situation was our highest priority. We didn’t even think to publicize it, because our customers know they can tell us about their needs and we always respond.

So it was with surprise and some disappointment that we saw other major software vendors in our industry offer help in the form of limited 90-day to 30-day home licenses. While we hope the Covid-19 disruption won’t last for months, no one knows how long it will. But what is certain is that the effects of moving from work to home will take time, cause stress and have an ongoing impact on schedules.

We therefore call on animation software companies to allow their customers to work from home not for a set period of time, causing additional pressure as time goes on, but to give people that freedom until the end of their projects that have been affected. For students, this means until the end of the school year. This is what we have offered to our customers, so that they have one less concern in these difficult times.

In our view, this was the obvious and right thing to do. We sincerely hope that others will follow our example.

Blazdell added to Cartoon Brew:

We are proud of our customers for the way they stepped up to deal with the situation professionally and in a calm and courteous manner. It really brought the community together for a common cause.

It would be great if giant tech companies offering collaboration software, which stand to benefit from the fact that many small businesses suddenly need to use it, could lower their prices during the current crisis, to ease the burden.

Customers should contact their Ceaction representative for more information – see the company’s website.

ftrack

(Updated April 7) Ftrack Review, the widely used review and approval tool, has been made free for everyone until May 31 at the earliest. “There is no obligation to purchase after the free period,” said Ftrack CEO Fredrik Limsater. “We are donating Ftrack Review solely in the hope that it will help ease the burden on creative teams as they respond to the sudden changes that are being thrust upon us all.” More information here.

Microsoft

The tech giant is offering a six-month free trial of the paid version of Teams, software focused on virtual meetings, for companies not yet registered on the platform. The deal is actually part of a trial for the full Office 365 package. A free version of Teams is also available for educational institutions.

Jared Spataro, vice president of Microsoft 365, released the following statement on behalf of Microsoft:

As Covid-19 continues to impact people and countries around the world, teams around the world are turning to remote working. Earlier this week, I posted a letter from Lily Zheng, our colleague in Shanghai, detailing her team’s experience using Microsoft Teams to work from home during the outbreak. Lily’s team is one of many.

At Microsoft in Puget Sound, we are encouraging our teams to work from home as much as possible, as many organizations in this region are doing. And we expect this trend to continue around the world. At Microsoft, our top priority is the health and safety of employees, customers, partners, and communities. By making Teams available to as many people as possible, we aim to support public health and safety by keeping Teams connected when working apart.

Companies wishing to claim the free license should contact their Microsoft partner or sales representative. More information here.

Reillusion

(Updated March 20) The creator of a range of animation software offers free remote access to its main products: iClone family, Character Creator family, Cartoon Animator family, CrazyTalk family. The offer is open to anyone with an “Academic Multi-Seat License Account” or “Workgroup Account”.

Free licenses will end on June 30. More information here.

Cartoon boom animation

As we previously reported, Toon Boom is offering free 30-day home licenses for its Harmony and Storyboard Pro animation software to studios and educational institutions.

As a technology company, remote work has always come naturally to us; over the next few months, our clients (studios and educational institutions) may experience the realities of working from home for the first time. Toon Boom wants to help. In light of the current health concerns around the world related to Covid-19, we are providing our studios and educational institutions with free 30-day home use licenses for their staff, teachers and/or students.

The offer is currently open to existing customers only and valid until April 17. More information here.

Ziva Dynamics

(Updated March 26) The company is extending free remote licenses to customers of its Ziva VFX character creation tool. This offer is available until May 18 or until further notice. More information here.

VFX Guidelines

(Updated March 24) The Visual Effects Society has launched a document which is continuously updated with guidance for vfx studios moving to a work from home setup. The tips are from the pros and include a comparison of remote desktop solutions, as well as advice from software developers. Access it here.