Adding a background image into your viewport makes it look great when setting up your scene but what happens when you press render…Nothing!
The background that you brought in is not visible. Why? We need to set up the Environment map.
Open the Environment dialog box by selecting the Rendering drop down or press 8.
On the Common Parameters/Background select the None button. Under Maps/General select Bitmap and navigate to your photo/download.
We now have to setup the background map to match the image that was brought in as a background.
Open the material editor. Your Environment dialog should also be open. Drag and drop the material from the Environment dialog into the Slate editor of the Material editor.
Double click on the material to open the properties of the Environment Map. Select the environ(ment) Coordinates and Spherical Environment.
Create a plane under the objects for a shadow effect. When you render you will see the plane covering over the background image. How do we blend the plane into the background.