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  • Shaders - are small scripts that contain the mathematical calculations and algorithms for calculating the Color of each pixel rendered, based on the lighting input and the Material configuration.
    • think: is the object a solid, liquid or a gas?
  • Materials - define how a surface should be rendered, by including references to the Textures it uses, tiling information, Color tints and more. The available options for a Material depend on which Shader the Material is using.
    • think: is it made of wood, fabric, or some kind of skin?
    • Matcaps are a special kind of material. Like the materials in ZBrush.
    • Glass, Refraction
  • Textures - are bitmaps images, usually Power of Two sized. A Material uses them to define to surface of a model.
    • Power of two sizes: 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, etc... Read this article: [1]
    • Alpha channels
    • Procedural textures, Texture Generators

Get some free textures here: http://textures.com
Get some free Environment Textures here: https://hdrihaven.com/ (Learn to set it up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwhTddfTpkU for example.)

understand texture maps and how they interact