I found creating the UV's a little complex but I am delighted to finally understand how to properly do the process. Up to this point I had been using other techniques to bring texture and design to my work.
This tutorial taught me how to use Mental Ray Proxies to help with maya's crashing issues. By exporting the object as a proxy then using the bounding box of the object. The overall result frees up the viewport and prevents maya crashes associated with the issue.