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Creating objects and setting up a scene is all very well and good. Otherwise how do you make 3D? But in short order you'll want to emulate the real world. For example, how do you make metal? Not some faux, pretend, plasticky effect. Real metal. How do you make glass? How do you make the stuff of the real world? The answer is materials. A material is first and foremost a diffuse color. Now by diffuse, I mean the color of the object before light, opacity, and reflections are applied.
For example, gold is ultimately yellow, but then it reflects everything around it and becomes gold. Material also conveys opacity, but on a volumetric basis, meaning the front is translucent, the back is translucent, and the surfaces build on each other. An object also reflects. It refracts. Light comes off of it. Light absorbs. There is shine and there is gloss. And every one of these properties you will know over the course of the next movies.
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