Maya 8.0 Tutorial
How to Create a 3D Text Object in Maya
A text object is created by using the Create Text menu item. With this menu item you can specify the Extrusion (thickness) and Bevel for the text object. You can also enter your text and choose a Font.
Choose Create > Text (select the box to view options).
In the options box enter text character(s) and select the Font.
Choose the Type. Curve creates a Nurbs curve, Trim and Poly are used to make 2D letters and Bevel creates text with depth and bevels (if desired).
After selecting Bevel, choose bevel front, back or both. Bevel Width, Depth and Extrude Distance can be adjusted. Also select the Bevel Style from the menu.
To accept the settings and exit the tool click Create. If you have more text objects to build, click Apply and the options box stays open.
My Text is Broke, What Now?
Sometimes you'll attempt to add text and receive an error. Try breaking your text into fewer letters/smaller sections. This helps to identify the offending geometry.
You may need to select a different font or create your text in Illustrator and import the text outline into Maya.