Setting up Maya level-modeling workflow shelves is simple. It's also a personal preference. I will show and explain how to set up shelves in Maya.
Creating shelves speeds up your workflow. You are able to put most used tools as buttons. So instead of using pull down menu you are able to access them with a single button click. Here is a basic set up.
After launching Maya you will need to create new shelf.
Click on this arrow and in the pull down menu choose New Shelf.
Name Your Shelf. I named mine Level Design. Do not use any spaces. Maya doesn't like them. You may name it anything you want.
Now you have a clean, uncluttered, brand new shelf. Time to add some buttons on them.
To add functions on the shelf, you hold down Ctrl+Shift. While holding those down go to any pull down menu item and choose your appropriate function.
Now this doesn't extend to just what you see in the pull down menu. You can choose to put any functions from the script editor. If you have a script that you call up by typing it in the script editor, you can turn that into a button so you don't have to source or load the script every time. Basically anything from thescript editor can become a button on your shelve.
This is how.
To add a script as a button for faster execution, open up the Script editor.
You want to Clear All from the boxes. We will be selecting it all. So we don't want anything but the script.
Now we have a clean script editor.
Go to File --> Load Script, and load a script.
The script should show up in the bottom box.
Select all the text and Middle Mouse Button and drag onto your shelf. Button created.
If you want to add your own image thumbnails you must create a bmp file 32x32 and put them into My Documents – Maya – 2008 – Pref - Icons
Now through your Shelf Editor you can rename your shelves. Save them and change how your buttons look like. You can change the icon names and add your own images for the buttons created.
Make sure you save your shelves.