Parent/Child in Maya
Look at the image below.
The blue and red and green cube is the parent, and the orange cubes are the children. We will rotate the parent cube 90 degrees on the Y axis.
Since the orange cubes are the children, they will move exactly in porportion with the parent object.
The image above shows that the child objects have no connection to the outside world when under the parent object. An example of this would be image space. Now, picture our planet (parent object) and a house (child object) sitting on it.
When we move the globe (parent object), the house (child object) does not change its position on the globe. But its position in the universe has been changed.
We can move the house to a different position on the globe.
Now its position in the universe and on the globe would change.
These are the basic principals of a parent and child relationship.
The 2nd cube is a child of the 1st cube, and the first cube is the parent. The 3rd cube is a child of the 2nd cube, so the 2nd cube is its parent. No object can have more than one parent, but its parent can have a parent. A parent can have as many children as you need.
Now, when we rotate the 2nd cube 45 degrees, the 1st cube will be left unaffected because it's a parent, upstream from the 2nd cube.The 3rd cube would rotate with the 2nd cube.
We rotate the 3rd cube 45 degrees. None of the other cubes will change. The 3rd cube is only a child, it has no cubes beneath it that it could be a parent of.
The 2nd and 3rd cube have been rotated 45 degrees each, but they total 90 degrees. So that means the 3rd cube will be facing straight up and down, just like it was before.
Creating A Parent And Child In Maya
Step one - Select your model(s) that you want to be children.