Access to the Background Image

I was wondering if there was a method for getting at the 3D View’s background image in Python. I dug around a bit in the API docs and tried poking things in Python, but I haven’t found anything useful. I can get at the Image object, but I can’t get at the properties associated with it (i.e. the screen position and size).

My goal is to allow for a separate image in each of the views (top, bottom, left, right, etc). Besides just changing the image, I would want to be able to set up the position and size of the image for each view separately as well.

I considered modifying the Blender source, but I would rather not spend that much time on it.

Its unlikely this will be added to the Python API soon since we dont have window access.

Well, that was in 2006; nowadays I see, in the Blender Python API, references to
BackgroundImage(bpy_struct) and SpaceView3D.background_images ,
but I cannot find the right enchantment to pick out the one (or, the first)
background image in a .blend file:
heelp, pleease! :o

P.S. with e.g.

MyImage =[0]

I do get the background image, if it is the only (or, the first)
image in the .blend file, and I can loop through all the images,
but, how do I know if an image is being used as a background? :confused:

It’s part of the 3d view space_data:

import bpy

for area in bpy.context.screen.areas:
    if area.type == 'VIEW_3D':
        space_data =
        bg = space_data.background_images[0]

Thus, you need access to a 3D View.

Hallelujah! :yes:

You have saved me.