In working in CG theres a lot of time spent in not just what shape an object is but how it looks. How does light shine over its surface? How does its surface catch dirt and wear? How does light pass through it? Keeping up with and experimenting with materials is important to be able to make sure you are ready and prepared to create the look you want. Taking time on the look can take your 3D renders up to the next level and give it a little extra spark of life.
These are a couple of material test I’ve done over the last few months in building up our own library of textures and materials. While making complex and realistic or fantastic materials can be fun. Just remember good design always wins. Use materials that fits your look, mood and feel whether it’s realistic or better with simple flat shading and colors.