PhotoWorks environment poll

In order for reflective objects (glass, metal, some plastics, etc) to render realistically you need to provide PWx with stuff for the object to reflect.
I think it is well known that using a spherical environment is a good way to provide PWx stuff to reflect: http://www.triaxialdesign.com/Tips_tricks/Tips&Tricks%20AUG-2004.pdf
In SWx2005, the mapping on spherical environments is a disaster - the equator on legacy environments rotates to become a longitudinal line but the poles for mapping do not shift along with the equator. We have tried, but could not work around the errors by adjusting the mapping, the reference plane, making it new in 2005, etc etc (believe me, we tried). For what it is worth, we have reported the bugs.
This brings us to my poll: How many of you knew that there is a new spherical reflective environment function in 2005? It is not in the what's new highlights for PWorks (which is weird because it is a really significant improvement), and I think it is pretty darn hard to find. What is REALLY nice is we don't have to manually split the image anymore - it takes a single image and maps it to a sphere for reflections.
Is this new function widely known? Can you find it and figure it out quickly without help (though just knowing it exists is a huge leg up)? If I am the only one who missed it, shame on me (bad Ed, bad Ed). But if it is widely overlooked by folks that need it and if they have trouble getting it to work, then SWx needs to know and correct that.
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On Thu, 9 Dec 2004 11:11:41 -0600, "Edward T Eaton" <ed'remove

I was aware that something new was available as I looked through PW after every release - but I would never have got the hang of using sw2005 PW2 without the Tips posted by Mike and yourself. Never in a million years would I have guessed that with Indirect illumination you don't actually use a light source !! but rely solely on the 'sphere' to give the light - so to speak.
The whole PW experiance is very depressing for me.
As you point out the PW help is not much good and the use of Indirect Illumination needs a rewrite of the manual.
I also find it a a real pain when having to re-assign PW materials for different configurations. Would be great to have the option to assign to chosen configs..
I always read whatever you have to say on PW and I hope you persuade SW to improve the interface, because when one gets the lights etc correct the images are great. Its just they are not so easy to consistantly apply.
Regards
Jonathan Stedman
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I think you speak for many of us!

I think Mark Biasotti could help enormously in this area. On the other hand, I personally would rather see him spend his time on surfaces.
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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