Using images

Hi, is there anyway to wrap an image around a sphere in the modelling stage so that an outline can be used as a guide, a picture of the earth with continents would be the best example.

Probably best way is to have a sphere, enter Edit Mode, hit U and choose Sphere Projection. Then assign a texture to it and use that mapping channel.

I am thinking of using the image as a guideline in edit mode so your way would not work as it only shows up when rendered, unless I misunderstood.

Then maybe you could use the Background Image feature, available in the Properties dialogue, press N key, in the 3D View.

Thanks but that will not wrap around the sphere, I think what I am trying is impossible.

yes you can do this. UV map the image to the sphere, once that is working hit “alt + z” to go into texture face mode. this will hold true both in object mode and in edit mode.
However, when you edit the mesh the texture will just stretch with it, and adding/deleting faces will make a mess out of your UV’s.
My suggestion would be to UV the referance image to a second sphere which you are not editing. then set the one you will edit to wire draw mode in the object panel of the properties window.
Note: unless you’re using glsl, the texture will only show up in the viewport when UV mapped.

Here is an example of an earth textured sphere you can edit and still see the texture.
earth.blend (251 KB)

Great stuff thanks to you both.