If you click on the 1st icon on the render tab. you have the renderview!
film clapper with 2 dots= render settings
here we have the render globals
some key settings:
File name prefix is where you can name your file
normally AVI for animation
start and end frame must be done
prespecive is what your normally seeing
but you can choose a camera that will be in the list anyway.
next image size. 640 x 480.. maybe HD? whatever you want.
if you click on the very top click maya softwhere
quality: production level is the best for an animation movie render.. but while rendering its best to put it lower quality.
Ticking raytracing tickbox really slows render time but gives really good reflecitve rendering
on the render box you can click the arrow in the box to save the render you have just made.. you can sroll on the bottom to see the difference
clicking IPR render and selecting a window by click and drag can look as the render in a small box on a part you want to see render ( But in real time). its updating everytime i change my workspace.