I'd like to use a background image for my world, but I'm not sure how to do it. Right now I am using the sun as a lightpoint and it looks like sky and a flat plane (not realistic). I was thinking of just using a mountain background image for the world.
I've done that through textures etc. but I don't see ANYTHING in render even though it shows in worlds? What am I doing wrong?
Also what's a cheap quick fix for cases like mine so it looks like the world isn't JUST blue sky? Thanks guys!
Setting a World Environment Background Texture in Cycles
You can easily set a very nice background image for your world by creating an Environment Texture for your World.
You can use many different kinds of background images, but one of the best types for creating a beautiful 360° background is an HDRI (High Dynamic Range Image). These types of images are designed to wrap around your world in a spherical shape so no matter where you look in the scene, you still see the background image:
Make sure you are using the Cycles Render engine and make sure you are in perspective view, if not press (Numpad-5),
Set your World's Surface to an Environment Texture and use an HDR image for the background.
Object Properties window > World tab > Surface section > click Use Nodes
For Color, click on the options button ( ), then select Environment Texture
Then click Open and select your HDRI file. Here, I'm using "Street in the woods":
However, in order to see your background image while working on your scene, you MUST be looking through your Camera (press Numpad 0 to switch to it) and also you have to set the 3D Viewport Shading to Rendered:
Now when you render your scene, your background image will be visible wherever you point the camera.
There is a further point not mentioned yet. To see the background image, it doesn't matter whether you're looking through the camera. What matters is that you are looking in perspective view, not orthographic. When looking through a camera, this is a property of the camera; otherwise, numpad-5 toggles between perspective and orthographic.
In orthographic view, all the rays with which you view the scene are parallel and all of them hit the background image at the same point. The background is then uniformly the colour of that point, and will vary as you rotate your view.