Originally posted by Tolerate
I use particles
create an omni emitter
set the rate to about 5000
set the max distance to about 810
set the min distance to about 800 (for the min and max distance you can set them much higher, but remember to adjust the clipping distanc of the camera)
set the speed to 0
Then you just hit play until you have enought particles
when you have enough, press stop, select the particles and in the dynamics menu set go to Solvers -> Initial State -> Set for selected
go back to beginning of the timerange and delete the emitter.
You would then have to go into the particles attribute editor and adjust give the stars more random color/size/brightness
render the stars as a seperate layer and add a slight glow in post-production
I like this as it seems to give a lot of control over your scene. I like 3d starfields just in case I decide I might want to do an animation.
In Lightwave, I would create a sphere and rotate slightly and duplicate. Doing that several times, I would then change polys to points and apply glow, color, size, etc. to the points and get a good starfield from that. But I don't think you can change a polygon sphere to points only in Maya..not sure though.