Excellent! The help file is pretty comprehensive, but I'll admit sometimes you do have to dig around with different terms to find the answers. But an answer that is hard to find is remembered more than one that comes to easy. Sounds like you're on the right track and we'll be looking for your work here soon.
Originally posted by nessjp
is the Poly Face selection. Selecting faces is odd to me. There is the little handle in the middle to select. I have found in the preferences, that I can select "whole face". I am used to the whole face method, but selecting is still weird. Can I only select via a bounding box/lasso or strategically selecting with LMB individual or multiple polys? Is there a method that I can just hold my mouse button and paint over my selection? I guess this is called raycasting in some other programs. There are probably plug-ins to do this, but cannot MAYA do it natively?
In the edit menu, select the Paint Selection Tool. To adjust the brush size press/hold "b" then LMB drag right or left.
Merging Polys. In its most simple form, imagine a 2 poly face by 2 poly face plane. That is a simple square plane with 2 faces vertical and 2 horizontal. Is there some sort of merge tool that can eliminate all the polys and make one Poly? I see merge vertices, collapse, merge edges, etc.., but cannot do this simple thing.
Polygons>Combine. This buts multiple poys into a single poly set. To convert to a singel mesh you would still need to merger either edges or vertices.
Scaling individual faces. If I have a plane with a bunch of selected polys, how do I scale each one locally? Or each selection locally? I have used the extend and the offset within extend and it works good but creates more polys.
By extend, I'm assuming you mean extrude. If you want to push or pull the faces with creating additional geometry just use the move tool. Same for scaling. You may also want to look at the "Keep faces together" option under the Polygons>Tool Settings>options box. This determines how maya works with a selection of faces.
Slicing rows of polys. I know of the Split Polygon tool and it is nice. I also have the MAYA Bonus Tools and MJ Poly tools. Is there a way to do multiple splits on an edge/poly ring? Everything seems to be one loop slice at a time. I can slide them manually and add more, but to do for example 3 evenly spaced splits down a selected row of polys or edges is nice.
Yep, I think you'll need a plug-in for this one. You may be able to us subdivide or extrude faces for some face splitting also.
I have used the MAYA help files and learned alot of other things sort of related to all this. I am sure that all of this is buried in there someplace as well. I am almost as lost in MAYAs help file as I am in MAYA. MAYA and its Help file are both very huge and robust programs, but I am determined to get decent with them. The majority of my stuff will just be models and stills/renders.