I was wondering if maya is a good program to integrate with after effects. What are some books and/or dvd tutorials to get a beginner started? I'm esentially gonna use it for some basic modeling and text manipulation. Thanks for your time.
Cinema4D is still the best 3D app that's integrated with After Effects, to my knowledge. I'm actually very surprised adobe hasn't acquired maxon yet.
Maya works well with After Effects too though. The deeper I've gone in 3D the less I've been worried about integration as there's always ways of doing things. If you're wanting to learn 3D I'd download a demo of each 3D app you're interested in and take a test drive. Maya is much more powerful and has a bit of a steeper learning curve than apps like Cinema4d so there's a trade off you have to consider. It's likely you'll need to learn more than one 3D program in your career so the choice is really up to you. In the midwest (Kansas City anyway) 3D studio and maya seem like the primary 3D apps, with lightwave coming in there somewhere in a distant 3rd. That's been my impression anyhow, I could be wrong. You'll likely want to feel out what your area tends to use and begin learning it so you'll have a better shot at getting a job when you're ready.
Imo, you just can't lose with Maya, even if you learn it in conjunction with another 3D app (like Cinema4d).
I would also get the PLE (Personal Learning Edition) of Maya so you can actually start using it while you learn and before you think about buying. There are plenty of training materials available from Alias (or Autodesk now), Digital Tutors, and many more.