Autodesk is demonstrating the upcoming versions of 3ds Max 9 and Maya 8 at the Siggraph convention in Boston. Both applications will support 64-bit Windows operating systems and Maya 8 will support 64-bit on Linux. Since both applications are now made by Autodesk, geometries can be easily exchanged between the programs.
3ds Max 9 comes with enhanced hair and cloth rendering along with faster ireframe and edge display. Both applications now include the mental ray 3.5 rendering core. Maya 8 includes scalable multithreading that will increase performance on multiprocessor and multi-core systems. It will also support high dynamic range and 32-bit floating-point images (JPEG images are 24-bit with 8-bits for each color channel).
3ds Max 9 will be available in October 2006 for about $3500. Upgrades from previous versions will cost $800. Maya 8 will ship in August for $2000 and upgrades will cost from $900 to $1250.