I thought I'd add a tip of my own. This is a quick tip on texturing. If you want to texture something with a quick but good texture to use as reference or representation then you can go onto the paint effects shelf. Then select "Get Brush" (the two green paint brushes) and then select the item or texture you want from the Visor. You can get to the Visor other ways but this is the fastest way to get to it and get to the textures you wish to use. Once you have one selected, paint a single stroke with it wherever you want. Now with that same stroke still selected select the "Paint Effects to Poly" button.
That way it will turn the stroke into a polygon and the texture that was used to paint it will now be in the hypershade. Now just delete the curves and strokes and such in the Outliner and voila. You now have a texture in the hypershade of whatever the stroke was.
Just apply it to whatever shape you wanted to apply it too. Great metal texture for metal spheres and pinballs and such when you use the "Chrome Tube.mel" under funMesh.