3D Studio Max is the most used 3D modeling and animation software for more than a decade.
3D Studio began under MS-DOS platform as a specialized three-dimensional graphics software. Once past to the Windows platform, the software has received the suffix Max. Initially was created by a division of Autodesk International, called Discreet. It is now called Autodesk 3ds Max, now in version 2011.
3ds Max is primarily used in gaming, advertising (TV commercials), for architectural presentations and film industry. Some examples of movies created with the help of 3d Studio Max are: Avatar, 2012, Iron Man, Spider Man 3, Star Wars Episode III. 3d Studio Max was also used in creating games like Far Cry 2 or Assassin's Creed 2.
Educational programs at the high school through university level use 3ds Max in their courses on 3D computer graphics and computer animation.
3D Studio Max is remarkable because it's a program based on plug-ins and can be used in any purpose. It is compatible with many digital graphics formats used in industry and allows impressive work-flow. May benefit from specialized hardware and rendering farms.
Graphics primitives are used to obtain complex three-dimensional objects. These primitives are: text, circle, rectangle, line, box, sphere, cone, cylinder, teapot and NURBS curves, which are based on mathematical functions.
Although it is demanding on the hardware, the application uses the resources efficiently. Actually, there are hardware components designed specifically for it! An example would be Quadro FX video cards from Nvidia.
I cannot tell if 3D Studio Max is the best 3D graphics software, but I know that it can do absolutely anything and the only limitations are in the user's ability to manage his hardware resources. Yet all these qualities have a price ... and not a small one: somewhere around 3000 dollars for the final version!
Other 3D graphic softwares are: Maya, LightWave 3D, Blender, Modo, Cinema 4D, Houdini, SketchUp Pro, Softimage XSI, ZBrush, TrueSpace.
You can also download free 3d max models