On some level, Maya can be used to create basic backgrounds for your animation. Having used Photoshop this year, you will see that there are many limitations to the 2D painting space as your primary painting space.
Other helpful shortcuts:
- Holding B and moving the left click will increase/decrease your brush size.
- Holding M and moving the left click will increase/decrease your brush's intensity (max displacement).
- F = zoom the selected object in current viewport
- view>frame all zoom all objects in current viewport
- view> look point the camera at the selected at selection object but don’t move the camera
- Q = Select
- W = move
- E = rotate
- R = scale
- alt + LMB = move around the object
- alt + MMB = pan the viewport
- alt + RMB = zoom in/out (also scroll MMB)
- backspace = minimize/maximize current viewport
- Z = undo actions/changes
- shift + Z = redo actions/changes but cannot redo after saving
- F11 = sub-object FACE selection
- object selected + RMB = to see the sub-object selection mode
- hit "4" = wireframe mode
- hit "5" = shaded mode
LINK: Creating/painting backgrounds within Maya