What is the difference between the Paid and Free education versions?

I noticed that Toonboom has the Free PLE version, its a cool way to learn the software. But while searching through pricing, i noticed they charge for one also. In more addition, I found academic versions on re sellers.

I am wondering if there is a difference between them.

If the (paid) education version has no watermark, that would be worth it for me, I need to build up an animation portfolio, but don’t want to have “Toon Boom” plastered all over it (Douse not look good to job employers.).

Also would be worth it if the Paid education versions projects can transfer over to the full product afterwords i pay for a commercial licence.

However, I have not seen anything talking about how it is different, or why I should buy a educational version when a free one is provided.

My educated guess would be that the paid academic version is not watermarked or crippled and will be the same as the full version. This means that anything you create in the academic version would be able to be opened and worked on in the full version.

The academic version MAY expire at some point, however, and you MIGHT not be able to upgrade from it. This varies with different software developers so you really should contact sales about this.

It looks like the academic plan is just offering a discount on a full version of the software.

Support could be limited.

Typically with this form of academic discounting there is not an academic upgrade option. You get a shot at the software for a lower price but you are not offered an ongoing upgrade discount. If a new version is released or you want to move up to a higher level of software your options are to pay the academic price for a new full version (if still meeting the qualifications) or to pay for a full retail license. The academic plan does not typically transition to a retail license so you don’t get special pricing if switching from academic to retail.

If this is the case, you really need to think this over carefully. Just getting your hands on the software may be or seem like the most important thing. But you will be stuck at that level and version if you cannot afford the jump. If you are serious about animating it would be wise to consider other financial options that allow room to grow, (i.e. borrow the money, credit card, parents, family, save up the money, etc.).

(All of this is only based on a hypothetical policy. Thus far Toon Boom’s academic policy regarding this aspect has not been clarified.)