Instructions for outputting 360-degree panos for OWL from 3D Studio Max:
You can use Vray or Mental Ray (either/or but not both). Vray = superior, Mental Ray = free with max.
Camera can have no “tilt”. Camera target straight out at the same height as the lens (5ft above ground surface).
Resolution needs to be at least 5,000 x 2,500 (and ALWAYS 2:1). 10,000 x 5,000 preferred.
Vray camera override settings dialog:
Photostiching: When producing a photostitch of the existing condition of the project site, you must use a tripod and keep the camera level. We recommend using Kolor autopano giga for the stitching, using the spherical setting. You can also use photoshop’s “photomerge” tool but it is not as good. The type of image you are going for is called “equirectangular”.
The best practice is to accurately set up and render the model correctly and “push and pull” the stiched backplate to match the model (NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND). The two will never line up perfectly because technically the lens is an impossible one but if you do it right they will be very close and the “push/pull/warp/distort” efforts will be cut down (these are done in Photoshop),
As far as the “photosim” techniques themselves, that is pure experience and skill (no real step-by-step process to present). Good luck!