• Sculpting and Painting Enhancements – will give artists the ability to enjoy greater control over brushstrokes and their effects on geometry, thanks to new sculpting and painting workflows.
As with Maya 2012, 3ds Max 2012 is a major update and it begins with the Nitrous Accelerated Graphics Core. Now taking advantage of the multi-core processors and accelerated GPUs, the rendering process takes places independently of the interface and gives you much faster rendering. Add to this the interoperability and you have a much more efficient workflow.
The iray Renderer is a great new addition to 3ds Max as it takes a lot of the work that is needed in mental ray to get good results. With iray, you can just tell it how long to render, start it and it will automatically process until it is done or until you stop it.
The next major improvement is through the PhysX's MassFX tools. This replaces the reactor system found in prior versions and the benefit is that you get to see the results directly in the viewport, as well as better integration with the existing animation features. When you add in the textures, the redesigned editor to make things easier to learn, and all the other lesser improvements, 3ds Max 2012 is really a must have upgrade.
If you have been looking to get into Autodesk 3ds Max for digital animation and 3D effects you can get a free trial from Autodesk. If you are an existing 3ds Max user, who is contemplating an upgrade to the latest edition, I think that with all of the changes that 3ds Max 2012 brings to the table this time, this is a must-have edition.