Having toured the interface, you have learned to interact with Maya's virtual world so that you can see the things you want to see, from the angle you want to see them, and shaded the way you want. We have also begun to develop a common language for the parts of Maya so that you can tell the Tool Box from the Channel Box. Here's a short list of what you've been exposed to and, we hope, have begun to internalize:
3D manipulation with Alt+mouse button A core skill you will need every time you want to change the view in a Maya panel.
The Hotbox Even if you aren't using it yet, you can begin to explore what it does and see how it can make working with Maya more efficient.
Playback, scrubbing, and time range Essential skills for creating, editing, and viewing your animation.
The names A common language for the Maya interface components so that you can understand the rest of this book.
Zoom windows, zoom extents When you get lost in a 3D view panel, these actions bring you back to your work quickly and easily.
Panel layouts You'll use them to quickly reset the interface to one that's optimal for the task at hand.
These are truly the fundamental tasks and concepts of Maya. The key point to take from this chapter is 3D view manipulations. After practicing the Alt+mouse movements for a few hours, they should start to become second nature, and you'll benefit from a more instinctive use of the Alt+ manipulations as you move on to learn new things. From this point, you're ready to learn how to create and modify scene elements, such as objects, lights, and cameras, and to round out your knowledge of Maya's pull-down menus.