Scene composition - programs to use
Im new to Maya and 3D graphics in general (except of modeling, but not in Maya again) so Id like to ask a pretty basic question about composition. Lets say I want to make a scene (where some people are chating for example) and I want to put some hills and mountains in the back. So - how do I do this? I guess it cant be done in Maya alone, because I just tried to make a plane of size around 500x500 and it already had problems to render it. So is the distant environment made in another program (like Vue, Terragen or...)? If so, which one is a good choice? Are those mountains inserted into the scene as 2D sprite, or are they somehow imported into Maya (as 3-dimensional objects)?
To make this question more general - are multiple programs used for different parts of scene?