I’m a total newb to 3D, let alone Blender. I’ve installed Blender 2.63, and have gone through the introductory tutorials. I’ve done some fiddling around and have the basic navigation and modeling halfways figured out. I have tried to load background images, and they are not showing up. I check the background image box on the properties panel, load an image and there is nothing visible in the viewport. I’ve tried everything my limited knowledge can think of, but still no background image in the viewport.
Chances are you’re in ‘perspective view’ (Top Left corner of the 3D window will say ‘User Ortho’ or ‘User Persp’), or not aligned to a ‘primary’ view (front, right, left, top, camera, etc). Background images won’t appear in perspective view, so you need to change to ‘orthographic view’ using the ‘5’ key on your numeric keypad. While in orthographic view, you can only see those images from the 8 primary views, so if you spin around an object using the middle mouse button, the image will disappear. If you need a reference image visible no matter what, there’s an import ‘image as planes’ option in Blender’s preferences, but activating that addon and using it is better left to other tutorials.
you have to be in ortho-viewmode (Numpad 5 to toggle ortho/perspective) and select one of the available views, e.g. front (Numpad 1) or in camera-view (Numad 0) to be able to see the backgroundimage. In the toolshelf (toggle with N in the 3d-viewport) you can select an image as background and the viewaxis for using this image.
Thanks Henry and scttr. That was the problem, I was in perspective rather than Ortho view. I had the alignment as to axis right, it’s just that I wasn’t aware that you had to be in Ortho to see it. Thanks much for your help gentlemen, I appreciate it.