Image empties were originally added to be an easier to use background image.
Since 2.8x allows to remove some functionality, I'm proposing to remove background images.
- They're stored in the viewport making it impossible to move to other scenes or viewports. (When "Load UI" is disabled, they're lost for eg).
- They're difficult to manipulate.
- They're duplicate code/functionality.
If we need empty-images to support some different draw options, we can always do this.
To make empty images more accessible the Add menu can have a "Background Image" entry with submenu choices "Left", "Top", .., and immediately opening a file browser to select the image. (suggested by @Brecht Van Lommel (brecht))
What to Keep
The one thing background images can do is draw in the camera with framing options.
I'd suggest this option be moved into the camera data-block (optional draw image/movieclip).
Changes to Empty Images
There are some features from background images we will want to support in empty images.
- Option only to display in ortho axis-view.
- Single sided display (to show only in front/back view).
Update: Wrote initial patch D2827