After taking my background plate and reference images, I brought them into Maya to establish a camera and lighting match. My results can be seen below.
White Ball Material Attributes
For the white sphere, I was having trouble with the bounce light on the bottom left matching the reference image, but I believe that issue is due to the fact that I am using a flat gray shader instead of a material that more closely matches the ground plane in the background plate. I did some tests with image projections on the ground and that seemed to help resolve the issue.
I also did a few tests comparing the capabilities of an projection sphere and an AI Sky Dome, using both the ball HDR and lat-long 360 HDR I took. Besides the images and projection type, I kept all of the settings the same between tests. Overall, I liked the results of the AI Sky Dome using the lat-long 360 HDR the best, as it seemed to match the original lighting scenario the closest. The projection sphere method yielded pretty noisey results as well, so more optimization is needed to get a cleaner result.
Additionally, I worked on blocking in the animation of the ball rolling through the scene. There are two different versions of the playblast, one with a flat gray material and the other with a checkered material (to test the ball's rolling speed).
I plan to work on matching the lighting and shadows, as well as creating some material tests in the next coming days. I also seem to be having some color management issues in my workflow so I plan to ask Prof. Bridget resolving that.