Although still a newbie there has been one application that I have seen that need's tweaked and that is lighting.
We know that the shape of an object will create a lighted surface along with shadows. This lighting effect seems to be artificial in it's application in so much that the lighting and shadowing effect is only dealt with on the surface of the model.
In real life material both organic and in-organic will allow light to be absorbed and reflected.
Take for instance a tree leaf. The tree leaf will absorb the necessary UV radiation from the light source that it would use in it's biological processes. The un needed UV radiation either passes through the leaf or is reflected off of the leaf's surface.
For Metal and other in organic material the UV absorption would only occur near the surface. At the surface of metal the UV would interact with water molecules within the steel. The UV is then reflected through the atomic lattice of the steel thus increasing rust.
The idea that I had was to add coding to various texture's of metal and organic's. The coding would act like the water or other fluidic stuff present . When the UV coding of the light source encountered the surface of the material the coding of the light source and the material's fluidic source would merge. The fluid coding would then determine what type of light source was present. Once the individual coding units determine which type of UV coding they are encountering the fluidic coding in the material would then create a function of asorbing the light code, reflecting the light code or absorbing the light code and then reflecting the light code back towards the viewer. The coding would then move around the actual texture coding to give a feeing of light being reflected off of the surface onto other parts of the material.
This type of material texturing would allow for more realistic look to each surface.
Point in case being is when I was messing around with Zbrush. I had spehere of highly polished plastic as the material for the sphere. I noticed that the light source was very prominent in one area like the sphere was made of mirrored glass instead of plastic.
The texturing process above would allow for each material texture to react to the UV present the same way that the material would react in the real environment instead of saying "Hey I want this really bright spot here on this shiny piece of plastic."