I am just getting started with understanding uv mapping ect. so I could be wrong but this is how I interput some of the rules of mapping.
1. What is the difference between a shader and a texture.
Keep in mind I could be wrong, but this is what I think it is. A shader is the core of what you use to color or add a texture
to your selected faces or the entire object. As oppose to a texture
, which could be a preset that maya uses such as checker, cloth, 2d fluid ect or an image file of your own. This node only holds the information of the above examples, and its coordinates. Sort of like there is a node called polySurface and polySurfaceShape. The polySurface holds all of the coordinates information and how it should render ect. and the polySurfaceShape is the object itself that holds the info of its' width, height, and depth ect.
2. How should I texture the dog?
Well first off it would be a good idea to understand how the uv's get wrapped and unwrapped.
is a tut which I am not to happy with but it seems the best one I found so far.
Anywho, what I mean by unwrapping and wrapping uv's, is by the choice how should a texture
be wrapped onto the object you are working on. There are 3 ways that I know of. which are as follows...
This means that the surface is "flat" such as a 6 sided cube. Each side of the cube's surfaces are flat.
2. cylinder -
Obviously this should explain itself. Though basically anything that looks like a hose or a leg etc. such as a humans leg, you would use this method. Also from experience, I notice that mapping an area using cylinder mapping only has one axis when it gets auto projected. To fix this, after projecting the uv's, you might need to rotate the map.
3. sphere -
Though I havent used this method yet, but obviously this should explain itself as well.
Also, as to your example of say you wanted a shinney black nose. This sort of thing depends on how you want it to look like. If your looking for just a shinny nose, you can get away with just using a blinn shader. Not knowing to much about blinns, though what I do know is that you can control the shinnyness as well as adding a bump map which will give some bumpyness to it. So another words for just a shinny black nose, you can use a blinn shader, set the color attribute to black and then set the glossiness and maybe the spectacular color of it. And the great feature about this is that when the light hits the nose, it will shine in the correct direction of the angle to where the nose is located from the distance of that light. Where as doing it in photoshop, this will make the object look fake because even if light is not hitting in the correct direction, the nose will still look like that area has a shine to it. So when you want somthing shinny, I would go with a blinn shader as oppose to a lambert.
In conclusion, as to how you should texture
the dog, keep in mind how the uv's should be wrapped and my advise to you is, when projecting the uv's in there correct directions, I would problably use the cylinder and sphere projections and keeping in mind how each shape of your objects are, and how the cylinder and sphere projections will layout the uv's.
Other than that, I am still learning as well, so maybe this subject will be an experience for the both of us.