A personal case study to see what the limits would be of using an HDRI only for the whole environment and what I should do to improve. The camera movements are not most realistic but the main focus here was to push the limits to see where the background starts to break and not work. All in all I was pretty happy with the test and am excited to give a shot at a real deal.
For this project I used Corona Renderer. Among many reasons for Corona being so good the main reason why I used it for this test was because they offer the dome mapping feature which is a very powerful tool. It has limits as expected but if given the right amount of time with trial and error the results can be quite great if I may say so myself. Attached is an image with my dome settings.
Size : 30,000 Pixels Wide
Camera: Nikon D810
Lens: Nikkor 16mm Fisheye Lens
Pano Head: Nodal Ninja MKII Starter Package
The final trick to making this all come together was to get the ground to be better quality. As good as the projection is, you will still see distortion. So I used the bottom view of the HDRI and created a tillable texture. Afterwards I mapped it on a large sized plane and created a circular alpha to blend it into the hdri dome. This helped add detail and sharpness to the ground. The last thing I did was add tire marks for misc details. This was just a small texture I made from a map online and applied it to a plane. Afterwards I had the freedom to make the plane as long as needed with any bend while still keeping the pattern tile-able.
Stills from the Animation
If anybody has any questions please feel free to ask and I will try to answer. Again this was a case study to test certain things. I know camera movement is not 100% realistic and I also am aware of certain flaws in the environment. Next one will be much better!