Rendering An Animation
This tutorial will teach you how to render a 3D animation.
Normally when you render, you use the render view. This works fine in still images, but when rendering an animation, you have to be able to render multiple frames. The render view doesn't allow you to render multiple frames, therefore you'll use a batch render to render an animation.
First you're going to have to open the render settings window and go to the rendering menu set. In the render settings window, set the name prefix to something relative to your scene.
Step one - Set your image format. You can render your animation directly to a .avi file (you can play it in the Windows movie player), or you can render your animation as an image sequence. This is most recommended because, if for some reason we need to cancel the batch render, you can pick up where you left off when you come back. You can't do this when you're rendering to a movie file (and this will happen). If this space is a problem, set your image format to .Jpeg. If it's not a problem, I recommend saving it as a .tif.
Step two - Set you frame/animation ext (this stands
for 'extension'). If you're rendering to a .avi file, this is not
important because it only generates one file. Here's how a frame
extension works; let's say you're rendering a 5 - frame animation. When
these files are written to your disk, it can't be all named
untitled.XX. (XX means your file format, like .tif) They need to be
named in sequence. So instead, set your frame extension to name_#.XX,
so now your files will be named like this.
Where Does Your Animation Get Put?
Using the default project (a project has a list of directories where files should go and be sources), your animation would be put in on a Windows machine (C:\Documents and Settings\"Your_documents"\My Documents\maya\projects\default\images
This tutorial has covered the basic steps of batch rendering and animation.