One of the wonderful uses I have found for Maya is to develop special effects that will take place in the real world.
Because it is optically accurate and capable of simulating cameras, one can set up a theorized special effect and test it before hiring a caprenter.
Here is one of the effects I am working on in Maya: http://wiki.highinbcgallery.com/inde...ed_perspective
This is a forced perspective trick where I make a large object look smaller than it really is. With the help of maya I am able to put down detailed blueprints with grid coords for where everything should be.