Transformations change an object’s position, size,
and orientation without changing its shape. “Transform” is basically
a fancy way of saying “Move, Scale, and/or Rotate”.
Transformations are relative
to an object’s (or component’s) pivot point, and take place along/around
either the world axes, object axes, or local axes.
In Maya, the transformations
you make to an object are saved in a transform node. That is, Maya
remembers that the object is rotated 32,0,5 degrees and moved -3,6.2,7
cm from its original position.
When you group objects
together, each group remembers its own transformations. This lets
you create hierarchical animations easily.