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engines and materials

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In many 3d engines I've seen Material associated with 3d objects, and I'm a little iffy as to the purpose of a Material class. Does it just start out as an abstract class and is then derived for textures and shaders? I'm thinking textures in particular, since, in my own engine, that's one of the next things on my mental ToDo list.

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Well a material class would hold information about the appearance of a suface. So in basic engines it would be just a texture or a series of textures and in more advanced engines you would introduce shaders etc. If you have n number of objects in the scene, u can sort them by material etc, since each material object would have a name.

ace

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Materials are good for saving preset combinations of textures / light maps / etc.. You can loop through materials for rendering, and not by textures.

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