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I have a scene consisting of multiple objects, some of which are objects incorporated in the scene. The other objects are not incorporated in the scene, for example, the lamps, the cameras and certain objects I call "helper geometry". Examples of helper geometry include plane objects onto which a reference image is textured, and cube objects of defined size to use as a quick aid to setting exact sizes of other objects.

I'd like to be able to have the object(s) upon which I am actively working in edit mode, wireframe view, other objects which are useful as references in solid view, and the reference geometry objects--especially those textured with reference images--in textured view. How can this be achieved?

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In the "Display" tab of the properties panel you can choose, for each object, the maximum draw Type: textured, solid, wireframe. This can help.

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One way to achieve part of this effect is by manipulating normals. Imagine a reference image of an object whose geometry is to be modeled, for example a horse drawn wagon. Create a plane object, and a textured material where the reference image is the texture assigned to the plane (or activate the "import images as planes" addon.) Start modeling using the usual methods, but every time a face is created, set the normal to that face so that it faces towards the reference image. Now, looking at the model towards the reference image, the reference image is visible through the model. This will work until something better happens along.

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