Autodesk has announced its first extension for 3ds Max 9. The Productivity Booster, which is available to Subscription customers, adds support for Microsoft Vista and more than 30 other enhancements, according to the company.

The updates are spread across the applications, include improvements to animation and Biped, rendering, UI and usability. Interoperability with Autodesk's CAD tools has also been enhanced.

Using the extension, 3D artists now have additional support for AutoCAD and Revit software files, including support for AutoCAD 2008 and Revit 2008 versions. New DWG import options and an optimised import memory management system make the software easier to use and dramatically improve import performance, says Autodesk -- making it possible to import large files and complex scenes. The new Select Similar feature parses object metadata to isolate objects with similar characteristics, making simple work of identifying and changing multiple objects in a scene.

Vista support extends to both the 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft's new OS, and includes support for DirectX 10.

The Productivity Booster will be available for download by Autodesk Subscription customers on 29 March 2007.