textureing is a simple enough job
although the tutorials cover the basics, not really enough to help alot.
The way i tend to skin a model is I take the model as it is, say a box...
Press M for the Materials Menu, click on the first sphere and then on the little box next to diffuse... click on bitmap on the next menu and find the jpg/bmp/tga of what you want to use and click oki
then close the materials and select the object. Apply the UV Map Modifier, this will give you a roll out of 7 options -
Plain, Cylinder (capped), Shrink Wrap, Sphere, Box, Face, XYZ
Perhaps not in that order, but thats all of them
Now what we do is apply one of this simple maps to the object. Play about with them on more complex objects to understand them better (recommend not using XYZ until you are sure of what your doing)
As this is a box though we'll apply the Box Map
This will apply 6 plain maps to the box, if it has multiple faces then its the direction the face is mostly facing in determines what plain of the box map it goes to.
Now lets say you don't want the box to be the whole of the texture size, well then what we do is goto the modifiers this time UV Unwrap, and you'll see a new roll out.
Edit, Save, Load, Reset... no need to worry about any of the others right now just Edit the Map and a new screen will appear. This is the actual Texture Map
It should be showing you, your texture plus your Box as it if was 2D. Now the little squares are the Vertex points and the lines are your Visible Edges
Now looks nice but what we wanna do is basically take this box and flatten it out. So you have a few options you can either selected each of the faces, move them apart and move the vertex in the UV Unwrap Editor ... or you can simply click once on each vertex and pull them out. However you do it the result is the same, might take a lil while, but drag each face out to be seperate and then you can setup faces however you like.
But the general practise of skinning a model is the same, start with something basic to keep the main shape and then pull out the areas you need, once you've done the whole model you can then arrange them to have them as large as possible whilst keeping within the white square, as that is the texture boundries. For some reason Max textures are always offset, so don't be surprised if you get gaps. Just takes a little practise to get it done right.
Find a program called texporter http://www.maxplugins.de
as it will allow you to export the UV Map of an object as a bitmap
save alot of time if you can work to the map.
Also I personally use http://www.chilliweb.co.uk/ChilliSkinner/
for unwraping as you can take the 3D objects and literally take them apart make a texture map and then put it back together. Very useful for low polygon work.
It does take a little getting used to, and also it oftenly requires a little after editing - but it still saves a great amount of time
"For the Greater Good"...
Kyi'Aun (Jedi Master) Rai'Ka