EDIT: I may have buried the lead with this question. I do not want to use xray mode because that makes everything transparent. I've been away from Blender for a couple of months and just installed 2.81, having previously considered myself a 2.80 guru. Now I am feeling very embarrassed because I can't figure out how to make my meshes display semi-transparent in the viewport so I can see reference images through them. I don't want to make materials, I just want some meshes to appear transparent without putting everything in xray mode.

  • $\begingroup$ Press z and then select the option on the left side of the pi menu? $\endgroup$ – person132 Dec 18 '19 at 6:02
  • $\begingroup$ no, that only shows the same display modes as at the top. I am asking how to change a single object's transparency without making materials. You can do this with reference images by adjusting the "alpha" value in the "empty" context menu. I thought it used to be possible to change the alpha in the "object" context menu or the "data" context menu, but even though there is an alpha slider in the object context menu under "Viewport Display -> Color", changing the alpha does not change the appearance in the viewport for any render mode. $\endgroup$ – hatinacat2000 Dec 18 '19 at 16:54

You can make your material (semi)transparent in Solid view.

Shading editor > Sidebar > Options > Viewport Display

Suzanne with two materials assigned.
One is opaque, the other is semi-transparent. enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I said I don't want to put everything in xray mode. In my case, I am modeling a head and want the eyeballs to be transparent but the head not to be. $\endgroup$ – hatinacat2000 Dec 18 '19 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, my bad. You can enable transparency in in solid view for your material :). I'll update my answer. $\endgroup$ – Jachym Michal Dec 18 '19 at 16:55
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    $\begingroup$ That's what I thought! But it must not be in the same context menu anymore, yes please explain if you know $\endgroup$ – hatinacat2000 Dec 18 '19 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ Hey there :). If this answer solved your problem, please mark it as accepted. The Community bot keeps bringing it up. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Jachym Michal Jan 19 at 22:29

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