As I haven't touched texturing or UV mapping since the 1st term when I was learning it for the Professional Skills unit, I thought it would be a good idea to go back and refresh myself on the process of what has to be done, I started by using the Toy Blocks scene which Karl had made.
I started by selecting only the faces of the letters and the edges of the block so that i could apply a completely new material to it, this way the blocks textures would be spread over two separate materials, this isn't a method I would usually like to use, but I thought I would experiment with it to see what practical benefits it may bring.
With the block separated by two materials I could easily apply colours to the areas I wanted with ease, i found this to be rather convenient and thought that if I only needed to change a small detail on an objects texture then it could be done in the hypershade nice and easy without having to go back and forth between maya and Photoshop, however this is not proper texturing technique and I would probably only use it if an object had different materials on it e.g. cloth with a plastic button, if that were the case I would have a Lambert for the cloth and then use a Blinn or Phong material to replicate the plastic.
An issue that could occur if this method was used on large scale would be the organisation of the hypershade; the hypershade can get very messy very quickly depending on how many objects are in a scene and how many different materials and textures there are as well. However the scene I have is very tidy because there is only one poly object with only two materials, both of which are Lamberts.
I applied a wood texture to the main body of the toy block and put a plane in to replicate the ground, I then applied a wooden plank stock image to it with as a bump map to represent the wooden floor of the tree house. I tried to add shadows to the scene as well but for some reason it kept on crashing my Maya, i'm not sure if the scene file had become corrupted but it would not let me render with shadows turned on so the image above is the best possible result that I can show for the time being.