Panoramic Rendering in Blender 2.7
A little known feature is Blender is the ability to render in 360 degrees. Recently I tried to find a tutorial on doing this and only found one short article on doing so. So I decided I would give try my hand at tutorials and tell everyone how to do it. So here it goes!
The first thing to do is make sure you have a completely 360 degree scene. In my case I created a sky dome with a simple blue gradient texture. And made sure that I had my floor plane covering the entire area under the dome.
Now we can set the camera settings. First set the Focal Length to 5mm, if you go to camera view (0 NumPad) It should look very far away compered to the default 35mm lens.
You guessed it! Now we are going to set the lens to "Panoramic". and the type to "Equirectangular" Now you will need to make sure the camera is still how you want it, and not going through any walls or anything. Since all these extreme settings can really mess things up.
Now you will need to set the render resolution to 2048x1024 I would recommend setting this higher if you plan on using it for anything like IBL. as this is very low for HDRs.
Now hit render and tada! You have a full 360 degree render. You can even use it for IBL for other scenes.
Here is a render I did using this HDR in Blender. As you can see it works really well!:
I hope you learned something new from this. Now go have fun rendering your own HDRs!
Note: This feature currently works only with the Cycles render engine. Other renders will not work.