Follow this tutorial for all the basics. When taking your photos use the grid line option to line up your shots better.
The free Microsoft program he recommends is called ICE. It works but I found panorama studio2 worked better for me.
I took a couple of tries to get it right but it can be done very easily with the x-star.
That is great and beautiful! A 3D digital artist would appreciate a spherical image like this one. It could be used as the environment surrounding the computer model. Most spherical images made for that purpose do not have the surface because the camera is too close and thus too much distortion.
Did you watch the tutorial video in post #6 that I posted? It has all the basics you need to get started.
Some things I will add:
Do not use Raw\DNG photos as they contain no Exif information.
Using the free software ICE mentioned in the tutorial video works OK but not great. I use PanoramaStudio 2 Pro, not free but works as advertised.
When taking your photos use the grid lines option in camera settings. This helps line up your next shot. Remember you need over lap for best results.
When taking you photo think about a clock, start at 12 oclock and work your way around taking 8 over lapping photos at 90°
Then adjust your camera down to 45° (there is a indicator that shows your angle) and take another 8 photos in the same spots you did at 90°.
You then have to take two photos looking straight down but opposite each other.
So now you have 18 photos to import into your panorama program of choice.
Once you are finished following the the tutorial video you can upload your photo to facebook or to Kuula