Background Images Feedback

(migrated from other topic)
Feedback on the new Empty-Images as Background Images new workflow and what could be improved:

I always thought it was cumbersome the way we had to move and scale a background image (by moving sliders), but there are a couple things on the old way that this new system hasn’t implemented (yet?) that if added could very well bridge the gap between both implementations and make (almost) everyone happy.

Things that the new Empty-Image brings that are good:
-S/R/T image directly on the viewport
-Integration with outliner
-Independent of 3D viewport.
-Can be appended as object on a new project and retains it’s options.
-Can be seen even in Perspective mode, without being on Camera View.
Things that the old Background Image (BG) had that were good:
-Dedicated space for image background-references stack
-Orthographic View visibility menu (for top/bottom/camera etc views only (bad side: cannot quickly set more than one view simultaneously)
-Back (behind everything) and Front (on top of everything) render toggle buttons.
-Quick Flip Horizontal and Flip Vertical options (Global Location)

How to make everyone happy? Merging both systems:

When adding empty images by dragging to viewport, send them to dedicated Empty Images Collection instead of adding to active collection. User then can drag to desired collection as he wants.
2.0) Add options to Images Properties Tab to Flip them, with sub options:
-2.1) Buttons for Flip Vertical and Flip Horizontal, and:
-2.2) Dropdown Menu to select Flip Orientation (Global, Local) In case the user has rotated the image in the viewport.
2.1) Add options on Display As dropdown menu, the option to set as Background Image:
3) After setting the image to display as Background Image, the following things happen:

3.1) Empty Image is inserted in an automatically newly created Background Images Collection (to not mix with other empty images that are not BG images, and to keep all BG images in a dedicated space where you can hide all or move all as a single object if you want)
3.2) A toggle button appear, to render the BG image in Front or Back of everything else on the viewport. Basically it would push the empty object to the front or back of the viewport z-depth draw buffer if I’m not saying poopy things here.
3.3) A Perspective View Visibility Button Appears, selected by default, which if deselected, makes the BG Image only visible on Orthographic view modes.
3.4) A Orthogonal Axis Visibility section would appear with toggle buttons to set the background image to whatever combination of orthogonal axis options you want to.
3.5) A Camera View Visibility section with button appears, with toggle buttons to set the image fit to the camera view (Stretch/Fit/Crop):

Maybe also add a quick set of options in a section-box on the N-Panel (tied to the main BG image options) so that full-screen single-editor users can quickly change the BG options without having to exit of fullscreen to access the outliner/properties editors.

With these set of inclusions not only you are using the good options of both worlds, you are also making it better than it ever was, with for example the option to set multiple simultaneous orthogonal views for a single BG image, or the option to change interactivity with all BG images at once by sending them all to a dedicated BG Collection, etc.

@pablovazquez @billrey @Wazou

Some ideas here seem applicable, such as ability to flip images X/Y and options to display in front or behind. I think we should do that.

Others I don’t see fitting, such as auto-creating new special Collections. Adding a reference image should not mess around with your scene structure.

That kind of behaviour is better covered by addons.

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Thanks for the input!
Adding ability to flip images and display in front or behind would certainly be of immense value!
I’m pretty sure those two things, along with the option to limit visibility to certain view axis (front, left side etc) are the ones that people are missing the most, since the option to fade it is already implemented. :slight_smile:

I did a check, and apparently blender always adds the empty image on the Active Collection… therefore I tend to agree with regards to creating a new collection. Maybe it should be up to the user to create a Background Image Collections and add the images with that collection active if he so wishes… but this could be something you UI devs can discuss further :wink:

Right, it’s already easy to add your own Collection for background images if you want.

@billrey I forgot to ask, do you know if it would be viable to implement the suggestion to limit visibility to Perspective or Ortographic views as well as only some ortographic views (for example front and left side, etc)?

Because apart from being able to flip them, fade them, and set them to front/back, the option to set them to only certain views was also one of the main utilities of the old BG Images workflow.

For example, people modelling cars or human faces usually use a front and side view image. While it’s cool to be able to see the background images on the 3d space along with the model, sometimes the person doesn’t want the images interfering with the scene (therefore only visible on certain views). As far as I can tell, that’s the purpose of being “background” images = to be unobtrusive, only seen when it’s useful. Therefore the option to configure it to be visible as you wish would be very convenient.

Also, I’ve seen that inside the Camera options you already have the option to ADD BG Image, flip, fade and stretch/fit/crop, which makes sense. One plus side of this new method (inside the camera) is that you can easily have different cameras with different BG images, something that was not possible before. But a downside is exactly that, the inability to set an image to ALL cameras instantly, as before… which is why my Suggestion addresses that point.

These are my reasons why I think I should return the background images:

And this is my response, which shows that the problem is not the Empty-Images itself, but rather how 2.8 is rendering the mesh intersecting a transparent image empty.
The new system can work, it only has to be adjusted:

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Could it be possible to add a pivot to each image, to be able to scale from it?

Like with the empty images, by moving the offsets (X,Y), we can make a scale from the origin.
Sadly, we lose this possibility for background images from cameras.

This is really useful, so I hope it can be added.

Also, by using camera with background image, it could be nice to be able to hide the camera borders.