I've been using Renderworks for the first time in years. I used to hate it, now I rather like it. Except....
In the software I usually use for fancier renderings (LightWave3D)I'll get most of my reflections and lighting for a scene by mapping a huge sphere or cube with a composited HDRI image I've made up. I set this object as "Invisible to Camera". I can move, rotate, scale, etc this object to get just the look I want. Since it's a just a regular object in LightWave I have visual feedback as I manipulate it. Gives me great results.
After looking through the forums I believe I'm not the only one who'd benefit from a way to toggle off the rendering of the BG image. I'd like to have my objects render with no BG but still have the benefit of the HDR lighting and reflections. I like the way a rendering with no BG image comes out with an alpha channel.
It seems like this should be very possible because as the rendering proceeds, the last thing to pop in is the background.
Also the fact that you can only rotate the Background sphere on one axis is very limiting and the method is not at all interactive.
I've tried making a sphere, extracting a nurbs surface from it and mapping an image to that, but you can't use HDRI images on objects and using Glow Reflectivity doesn't sem to do the same thing. I could make 'matte' objects for each viewport that occlude the background and so on.
I nice little toggle for 'Invisible to Camera' would be very nice indeed.
So would the ability to render to .rpf or layered .exr with render passes and all so you can do advanced compositing, but that's a whole other topic.