Conventions for naming View Layers and Collections?

I know that View Layers and Collections are new features in Blender 2.8, so it’s probably too early for the Blender community to have a particular set of conventions for naming View Layers and Collections. So…what approach do you personally use for naming View Layers and Collections – and why?

I’m looking for a logical way to name View Layers and Collections so that they make a project file easy to use in Blender (as well as in Blender’s compositor). I’ve worked with some complicated pre-2.8 Blender project files and would like to approach my 2.8 files in a way where I won’t be regretting how I set things up as a project file gets more complicated.

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Collection 01 -> Layer 01
Layer 02 - Background object…

C01 - Cameras, then by room if needed.
C02 - Lights, then by room if needed.
C03 - Portals.
C04 - Sources (Solidworks stl imports)
C05 - Imported, used. (From client).
C06 - Imported, unused. (From client).
C07 - Manual Structures. (Outer walls and openings, room dividers, main slabs).
C08 - Room01
C09S01 - Furniture
C09S02 - Equipment
C10 - Room02

I like to think this way, although it doesn’t always end up like this. Depends very much on the project, and often I don’t have much to work with. Although I put my lights on a layer, I adjust their lighting properties from World, accessing custom node groups with no exposed properties. I also bind my cameras to keyframes for easy “scenes”.

I made more cube testing than real projects with 2.8.
But I already took the habit to use “View” as a prefix for View Layers created to simplify display.
That way, they are easily distinguished from View Layers used as Render Layers.

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I think it’s up to you to decide, it also depend on the kind of project you’re working on…
For collections in an animation shot I create :

  • Camera and Lights
  • Set
  • Props
  • Char (characters)

Others are custom collection added as needed.

I tend to agree with zeauro that it’s great to differentiate view layers as renderlayers and view layer for scene display (that I use only if I make some renderlayers), but generally I tend to switch visibilities of what I need in the outliner and keep one viewlayer .

I think as long as the names are self explanatory you can use whatever conventions.

I must admit this is one area where I found 2.79 much easier to use. Yes there were a limited number of layers available compared to 2.8 but you could easily go to a different layer to create smaller parts of a project, then copy/move them over to the primary layer (usually the first one). In 2.8 it seems like you have specify what is and isnt viewable on View Layer2 for eg , where you just want to create a small piece on a clean screen, or everything just appears there as well as on View Layer1. Very awkward , especially with a big project with lots of objects. I have resorted to opening up a completely new instance of Blender to get that clean start, creating the piece, saving it to a file and appending it to the main one afterwards. I have tried to limit it to objects that I may need in the future so are saved to my Blender Assets file but sometimes it is a unique piece only needed the one time. If there is an easier way to do things I would love to know. I am always creating parts in my car projects like seats, wheels etc where it is easier to create them away from the main part of the project , then copy them over. I have been using 2.8 for some time now but Ive yet to find a solution to this problem. Maybe the old layer system could be added in the future as well as the new collections which is useful in it`s own way.

So, you want to hide objects that are primary parts located at origin of viewport on a secondary view layer but show them at pertinent location on main view layer.

This is still possible but that is not handled by View Layers. This is supported by Collections.
A view layer is a set of included collections.
You don’t want objects from View Layer 2 to popup on View Layer 1 : just exclude corresponding original collection from View Layer 1 and use only a collection instance on this View Layer.

You can work as in 2.79 with just one View Layer and 20 collections.

View Layer is another level. It would correspond to opening a new instance of Blender.

If you want to hide/reveal objects through several View Layers, you can.
You have to enable the “Disable in Viewports” restriction toggle in outliner.
What you hide on a View Layer using the Screen icon is disabled in all View Layers, to all .blend files where object was linked into.

is there an equivalent of 2.8 view layers in 2.79 ?

2.8 collection is equivalent to old layers on 2.79

happy bl

Zeauro already explained the view layer/collection system pretty well, but just a quick tip if you hadn’t noticed: the closest thing to 2.7’s “jumping into an empty layer” would be to create a new collection, and ctrl-clicking the eye icon, which hides all other collections:

Another ctrl-click unhides everything again. This takes a few clicks (you need to remember to activate the new collection before adding objects) but at least it’s much quicker than opening up a new file.

I was first annoyed that it unhides all collections with the second ctrl-click (even ones that were hidden before the first click), but when you start disabling the collections you want to be hidden, it’s not a problem anymore.

Thanks for the expanation. I obviously got the View Layers system all wrong. Never knew about Ctrl-click to hide collections all in one go. Having tried it briefly I can see how handy this could be.

Another thing that’s really nice: Blender 2.80 still let’s you jump from ‘layer’ to layer with the number keys. Every collection automatically gets assigned a number, so if you press 1 you’ll show layer 1 and hide everything else (the same effect as ctrl-clicking), and pressing shift-2 then makes the second layer visible.
If you want to quickly add some stuff to another layer: press ‘M’ (move to Collection) and it’ll give you the option of creating a new one (and let’s you name it)

@zeauro – I like your suggestion of using prefixes. I’ve been creating view layers with a v_ prefix, collections with a c_ prefix, and scenes with a s_ prefix. It helps me keep things straight when I have, say, a v_eye_highlights view layer and a c_eye_highlights collection. And if I’m combining EEVEE and Cycles in one shot, s_eevee and s_cycles make it really easy to not just identify what render engine the scene is using, but that the word means that it’s a scene.

@mroc – you may already know this, but in the 3D View, you can press “M” to move the selected object(s) to a collection – just like how you could move the selected object(s) to a layer prior to 2.8.