If I want to incorporate a 3D model created in Mathematica to a realistic environment in Cinema 4D to obtain something like this

Fractal Torus

I use a .hdr file in the Environment Settings, the preview of which typically looks like this


I think that these files are somehow created from multiple photos taken from different angles and then somehow "spehrically transformed or merged". I would like to be able to create my own .hdr file, say with pictures of my friends that would finally reflect in some 3D model (e.g. I have a friend whose name in English means "Teapot", so I would create a detailed model of a teapot in Mathematica, there is one such way how to create extremelly detailed model of the teapot in Wolfram Demonstrations, and his photo would reflect in the teapot--it would be funny :) )

So my question is this: Does anybody know how these "spherical" .hdr files are created and how it would be possible to create them in Mathematica? Thank you in advance for your suggestions and comments.



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