Well, the material editor is a whole new topic in itself, it would require a similar amount of time to learn to use as modelling in itself would. For me I would first try to find a tutorial to create a skin material, and failing that I would apply a texture map. Textures are far superior, cosmetically, but they are harder to do then materials. If I was making a game it would, for the most part, all be done with textures. Texturing is another fundemental art of 3d graphics. The way I see it is like this.
There are 5 key, and fundementally, different aspects of 3d graphic creation.
There is modelling
There is UVW-wrapping, or texturing
There are particles
There are camera management and effects.
There is physics.
Too a lesser degree the material editor would also be a substantial subset, but it's very similar and in many cases is used in combination with texture mapping. And this is all not even to mention the software engineers and programmers, which I consider an entirely different class. Graphic development and Software development, I know not much about the software end of things. I mean, a little bit.
"George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd."