Hi all, I think I should clarify my original question/request.
Ideally I would like to see something like this (attached image)
The idea being that the background will rotate according to camera position (whereas Sketchup’s Background watermark is just static). This would avoid the need to create a cylinder or dome within the model and paint it with a texture. Multiple background images could be used in a model (as scenes) to achieve a series of linked photospheres.
One key benefit of this type of process is enabling accurate composition of scenes for rendering ( for example adjusting the backdrop so that a tree frames a view). Additonally, the function may enable accurate modelling of objects (eg furniture) within a 360-deg scene (eg a bedroom) which is currently not possible (afaik).
Further options required include:
-Light level adjustment setting
-Spherical cubic image formats
-Adjustable rotation angle, scale and image position (relative to horizon)
-Support for EXR and HDRI file formats (perhaps as a linked file).
-The ability to add a 2nd background/overlay image, for example the firsts is a ground/sky picture and a second picture is a PNG with a flock of birds and a cloud (they can move in a quasi-animated manner using a rotation function).
Rendering plugins would likely then enable export of the image as a backplate/environment map (reading its position and other settings if required)
I’m afraid I don’t have any real solutions to offer, just questions/ideas - I use environment maps when rendering but the process of aligning them to the model is trial & error, and very innaccurate. I also use 360-stiched panos (either from Trimble equipment or from smartphones using Googles Photosphere). While a rendered static image (1080x1920) is nice, a 360-deg render is does look very awesome, particular as 3d viewers/headsets are becoming more common!
I use Pano Studio viewer to load and view 360deg renders https://www.tshsoft.de/en/psv_index
(might be able to upload one if i can compress it below its current 30mb)