Today, I complied my renders for the motion test of the white sphere. Seeing the ball in motion help me recognize some more technical problems that I needed to fix. The edges of my shadow projection image are not clean enough, contributing to the strange stretching appearance, so I need to go back into Photoshop and clean it up some more. Here's the video of the motion test.
I also began some preliminary tests on the ball material. The look we're going for is similar to a dirty lead ball that still has some shininess, but is mostly matte due to its grimy appearance. My reference as well as my first pass can be seen below.
First Shader Pass
*Note! I have remapped the values of some of my maps within hypershade. The images above represent the source files but the values have been edited within the node network.
I'm not super happy with the shader's specular quality, I think it needs a little more shine and variation. I would also like to increase the displacement map a little more to add more variety to the object's profile. Right now, I have a motion test with the material on the farm and I will post those results tomorrow.