Rotate background image in 3D space?

This one’s a little hard to explain, so I’ll attach a screenshot. Basically, I’m trying to follow a tutorial, as I’m trying to learn how to use Blender. (Gives me something to do over the summer, and maybe lets me discover something I’ll love.) Anyway, I’m trying to rotate the model to match the picture from the tutorial, (also attached) and when I click the middle mouse wheel to rotate, my background disappears! How do I accomplish this so that I can go ahead with the tutorial? Thanks!!

Picture from tutorial- Left
My screenshot- Right

Attachments



Blender’s background image is only viewable with orthogonal projection and from the front, right, left, … views.
If you want the image to be in the viewport all the time you can add a plane and map the image onto it. Blender 2.5 has an addon that can import pictures as textured planes.

I don’t know if you are aware of it but every viewport can have it’s own image. In your case you could have the image in front view and in right view with different offset, I’m not sure why you want to rotate it.

I can’t get it dead center front. It’s always skewed somehow. I’m new to all this, so I’m trying to learn in small steps. :o

What steps would I take to get it center, front facing, and with the background still showing?

This’ll help. Here’s the tutorial I’m trying to follow. Maybe it’ll help describe what I’m trying to do.

You can type in precise numbers into blender’s number fields by either schift clicking on the field or just clicking in the middle of the field. Try moving the image as close to the center as possible and then adjust it by moving it in 0.01 increments.
Since your reference image is not symmetrical it’s hard to tell but something like 2.85 or 2.86 should do it in this case.
Changing the view you do by using the Numpad 1 (front), 3 (right) and 7 (top) keys.

You also should read some of: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:Manual