Lines Created in Maya are called CURVES, that are based on Bezier Curves and are used as the basis for NURBS and Polygon modeling within Maya. The way de lines are defined make is possible to draw rectangular and smooth curves. The concept of the structure of the lines where inspired on techniques used in the shipbuilding industry at the beginning of the 19th century. The wooden planks of the ships hull where bend by adding weights at different points on the plank. The amount of bend of shape of the bend could be adjusted by increasing the weight or the position of the weights.
Curves themselves are often used as a basis for geometry.
The concept of deformation was digitally implemented in to the Bezier curves definition. With the effect that the curve in not only defined by the start and end point of the line but also by the weights between the two. These weights will determine the amount of bending of the curve. The amount of weights between the start and end point are defined by the Degree . Degree 1 will mean that there are only the start and the end point. This will generate a straight line. Degree 3 will contain next to the start and end points two weights to define the curve. By increasing the degree more weights are added and the possibility to deform the line will increase.