Note: If you want an easy way to create stereoscopic latlong renderings you should check out the Domemaster3D shader. It has an easy to use installer and works with Maya/3DS Max/Softimage. It also has a set of Maya/Softimage shelf tools that make it a lot easier to add a latlong camera to your scenes.
I compiled the Lat Long lens mental ray lens shader for Maya 2011+ on Mac OS X to support Intel 32-bit and 64-bit processors. This shader is useful for rendering equirectangular projection images and 360°x 180° panoramas. If you render your scene to a floating point .EXR high dynamic range image with the Lat Long lens shader, you can use the resulting image in a simple scene with the Maya IBL node as a source of final gather illumination and as the reflected environment map. Also included with the lens shader is a sample Maya scene.
Download the latlong_lens lens shader for Maya 2011 on Mac OS X. This shader also works with Maya 2012, 2013, and 2014.
I also compiled a version of the latlong_lens shader for Windows 64-bit. You can read more about the windows version here.
Ralf Habel created the original Lat Long lens shader.
I created another Maya test scene with a textured cube in Maya 2012 and the latlong lens shader. Here is a link to the scene files latlong_cube_test.zip
The test scene consists of latlong_cube_test_scene.ma which has checker mapped cube with a latlong lens shader camera in the center. You can used this scene to test rendering spherical panoramic images.
After I rendered the camera with the lens shader attached, I made a new scene and assigned the spherical file texture to a surface shader material on a new polygon sphere. The scene is called view_rendered_latlong_image.ma .
Fixing the Grey Blurry Line Lens Shader Artifact
If you use lens shaders with Maya you will eventually come across an artifact that is known by Mental Ray lens shader users as “The Infamous Grey Blurry Line of Fisheye Lens Shaders”. The artifact is a texture filtering issue that is caused by an interaction between mental ray lens shaders and “classic” Maya texture nodes. There are several solutions to the artifact issue.
The best solution is to use a native mental ray based shading network like a mia material along with native mentalrayTexture nodes.
You can also hide the artifact in renderings that use “classic” Maya file texture nodes by changing the cameraShape node’s focal length to 500 mm. This seems to push the texture filtering issue out of the renderable view and fixes the artifact. Note: Since the lens shader will override the field of view used by the camera you will still get a rendering with the correct FOV view settings.
The lens shader artifact solutions are listed on these pages:
The mental ray based Domemaster3D shader has a Maya shelf item that creates preset color, and color+bump based mia_material_x_passes shading network with the required mental ray node connections.