Chapter 7. Materials and Mapping
Applying materials is the phrase used in 3ds Max to describe applying colors and textures. Mapping is the term used to describe applying textures to materials (for example, adding wood grain to a wooden object). After you create your objects, 3ds Max assigns a simple color to them, as you've already seen. This allows them to render and display properly in your viewports.
To put it simply, a material defines an object's look—its color, tactile texture, transparency, luminescence, glow, and so on.
You define a material in 3ds Max by setting values for its parameters or by applying textures or maps. These parameters define the way an object will look when rendered. As you can imagine, much of an object's appearance ...