So Autodesk are at it again with a complete update of all their product line for Media and Entertainment. The update for Maya looks very good, with multi-threading in nucleus - a big plus! Check out the video at the top of this page - it shows the work being done on liquids . The viewport technology begun with viewport 2.0 in 2011. Obviously it was not that great in 2011 but it's a different story with this new 2012 version. All the good stuff is now in there: screen based ambient occlusion, motion blur, depth of field, they are all in the viewport.
3ds Max has had a good update as well, with great links to Alias Design tools. The nitrous core is also a new viewport bit of tech, and uses the GPU more and more as part of the XBR iniative. Max is looking to update and change!
MotionBuilder also looks solid, but I wish that Matchmover and Composite had more attention. They need to be improved. Xsi's face robot looks great and is now given with the product. It's also included with the Maya and Max suites, with single click interopeability between all the packages. So Maya and Max users now have access to the lagoa physics engine... Very nice.
Mudbox has Ptex support, which is fantastic! Shame we can only view it in the new viewport 2.0 in maya and not render it in MentalRay... I know, it's coming, but come on! Some of the plugins included look great but there's no core updates.
Overall, I think it's a great release of tools but how many apps can one individual remember or learn?...