Superimposed meshed needs reflection. Any advice?

I want to do a composite of a 3D item, rendered in Blender, with a real photograph as the background and foreground. I have successfully done this.
See tutorial here…
http://www.weirdhat.com/blender/compositing2/

Now, I have a mesh that is semi-reflective. It needs to reflect the surrounding area. I plan on using ICARUS to animate this.

I need advice on:

  1. I can photograph the area with a digital camera, but need a way to connect the multiple digital images to make a 360 degree image? I can use GIMP, PaintShop or PhotoShop, but need the correct “style” or maybe a sphere look?

  2. I believe that I will need an environment map, because HDRI may not work with this particular project, being that everything is transparent, except for the object its shadow.

  3. If I can do the above procedure, is there a way to properly align the environment map in the mesh with the background? It doesn’t have to be perfect, being that some of the surface is semi-gloss.

Why don’t you just put an Environment map on it as a texture and let it calculate its own six pics?

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What should the environment map look like?

It will take it’s own 6 pic map of the scene. So you already have foreground and background, add 2 planes on the sides and one behind the camera with your digital pics, a floor (if your foreground doesn’t go all the way underneath the obj) and a sky in the World. When you render the obj will take its own 6 pics and link them to the obj before starting the render. If you’re not happy you can clear that env map, adjust everything in the scene and it’ll take 6 new pics.

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