Aaaaaaahhh! I don't get layers!

Aaaaaaahhh! I don’t get layers and it’s driving me crazy! :frowning:

How do layers work, and which is the current layer that you’re working on?

Ty :expressionless:

there are a bunch of blank buttons on your main header that represent layers one through 20. pressing one of them sends you to that layer. pressing shift at the same time, adds that layer, or subtracts it if it is currently toggled on. if you select an object, and press M, youll get a dialogue to move that object to a different layer. the main usefulness of layers is this,…: say you have a scene, and it’s very complicated, and you’re trying to adjust things, and it’s getting to where it’s hard to select anything,…well, if you keep various things on different layers, they become much easier to get out of the way, so you can see what you are doing. if you were building a forest, you could put your camera and lamps on layer 1, your rocks and stumps on layer 2, your grass on layer 3, your trees on layer 4, and your birds on layer 5. So you want to select your bird, but the tree is in the way, so you would shift click on the tree layer, to deselect it, and you can now select your bird and move him about or whatever.

Usually, the documentation answers this type of questions. :wink:
Follow this link and scroll down to “The layer system”:

I agree with m_windu89’s frustration. There is no visible indication onto which layer a newly created object will be placed (the active layer, if you are an AutoCad user).

In the above image the layers buttons in the 3D header shows which layers are visible (1,2,5 and 6). Since layer 5 was the last one I pressed it is the active layer although there is no visible indication of this. New objects would be created on layer 5.

Possible scenarios from the above situation:

  1. If I now deselect (shift->layer 5) the active layer becomes layer 1.
  2. If I select a previously deselected layer (say layer Eight ) it becomes the active layer.
  3. If I use tilde to select all the layers I have no reliable way of knowing what the active layer is.

Solution that works for all the above situations:
-If you want new objects created on a previously deselected layer just select or shift-select that layer in the 3D header.
-If you want new objects created on a previously selected layer (such as 2 in the above example) hold down the shift key and deselect and then reselect the layer in the 3D header.

You will notice that there also layer buttons in the Draw panel when the Object (F7) buttons are shown.
This shows the layer(s) that the currently selected object is on. You will note that an object can be on more than one layer. Note also that if I deselect all objects this panel does not update until I select a different object.

There are a third set of layer buttons which are accessed by pressing the m (move to layer) key. These are the same buttons as are in the Draw panel above. When you change layers using this popup menu however, the Draw panel buttons do not update and show incorrect information until you select the object again.

In my opinion the layer system should be reworked at least to the point of showing the active layer in a different colour in the 3D header and making sure that the different layer buttons remain consistant with eachother.


While we are discussing the layer system, Blender could probably stand to have a few more layers. 20 is a lot, but if you were doing a big scene, you could concevibly want more. I also think that having something like being able to group multiple layers and then turn that group on and off. One interesting idea might be to make the left-hand layers area be the “master layers.” Each one of them would represent 10 layers, which could be displayed on the right-hand layers area. This would effectively give you 100 layers instead of 20, and allow you to better organize your scene.

That seems a little unwieldy. At the very least Blender needs a layers panel where you can name, add, flatten, delete, and group them (much like Photoshop). That could set the ground work for a really nice layer system.

I agree :P! Blender needs a layer system like Photoshop.

Thanks all, I think I get it now :smiley:

I’d like a pop-up layer toolbox with the option to name layers… would help me loads.