Alias is to hold a Maya Personal Learning edition contest in the hope of finding the next computer graphics star.

Entrants need to join the Alias community, download Maya Personal Learning Edition, and select a free rigged character from the Alias Web site, they can then let their imaginations direct their creativity in three areas: animation, texturing and character pose, according to Alias.

There are three animation options to choose from – climbing a rope, shuffling against the wall and low-crawl. The texturing component requires entrants to make any texture and apply it to their character. To judge the character pose element Alias asks entrants to design a pose for a movie poster or magazine cover.

The entries will be judged on defined criteria that include originality and creativity, technique, quality of texturing, quality of animation, innovation of the image and community rating.

The contest is open to computer graphics industry professionals, students and hobbyists from around the world and runs from February 9 to April 28.

A team of 3D industry experts will judge the contest including CG Channel's Jean-Eric Henault; John Harker of Tippett Studio, Maya product specialist Cory Mogk, and Alex Alvarez, director and founder of Gnomon School of Visual Effects.

The Maya online community will also have a chance to voice their opinion and vote for their favourite entry.

The prize is a HP professional workstation, Maya software and a DVD training pack.