Layer Manager Prototype for Blender 2.5

Work has officially begun. Nothing to show yet but have an initial decision: Initial prototype location will reside in the Scene panel.

Stay tuned for more as things progress.

And as you might notice with recent posts I created about the outliner I’m thinking it would be nice to leverage that (that Outliner) either as the residence for layer management or (perhaps more properly) as an easy view component of layer manangment information. But more thought is required for that specific aspect.

I am here to encourage this development track. I have shifted over to 2.5 primarily now and miss having your fine tool available. Between yourself, Farsthary’s idea, and the Durian team, we should finally see the Layer management as an integrated aspect. Thank you for your contribution, I wait patiently… (sort of…)

Thanks. My initial UI work has been deprecated due to API changes but no worries about getting caught up again.

However, I have decided that (and hope that I am right) the UI and Data hooks are sufficient such that the layer manager can now break outside of the 20 layer limitation.

Still waiting to see what promise drag and drop may hold for this but I’m certain at this point indefinite numbers of layers is perfectly achievable.

any updates with the unlimited layers FourMadMen? Thanks for your help :slight_smile:


No, not yet. I’m debating between getting a recent build from and waiting for the next official alpha release before really starting on the coding.

Wow! As an old Maya user I am looking forward to a good layer manager. Thanks for all your efforts FourMadMen.

Awesome! Let me know if you need help with documentation, video tutorials, and the like - I can assist you with that.

Farsthary made a patch last year that largely slipped through the floorboards. I never even saw any comment on it. It uses the grouping functionality as a layer system. Anyway, read about it here:

@FourMadMen I started a thread about layer management in the news section of the forum perharps you can contribute with your ideas there. That part of Blender gets a lot of traffic and am sure more people could benefit from seeing the benefits of a better layer manager than the default in Blender atm

Thanks for the heads up. I added some of my comments but came late to the party just as things were I guess wrapping up.

Thanks for the offer! I will do that.

New business:

I have just download the latest build I can find and have written my firt 2.5 API code for the layer manager. Still (very) early days. Here is what I have so far…

*** Really what I’ve done here is make peace with the (to me so far) odd way of doing rows and columns for the UI ***

*** Nohting should be expected to reamin the same – also no layer objects yet so I used the Scene object name property for the layer name(s) ***

what about make layer manager as new items in outliner?
Properties are quite crowded, and it outliner it would fit better imho (with small adjustments)

Outliner UI is not changeable via Python. Scene Properties are not that crowded and the Layer Setup will be per scene so seems a reasonable place to put it (There will be a small “controller” panel in World properties but more on that later).

Spent the day riding bikes with the family. Ground was advertised as “more or less flat” (emphasis on less). So 8 miles later and here I am. Anyway did a couple things (mostly to revisit my understanding of how “split” works). Still not entirely sure but got what I wanted out of it so far.

NIce work, how do you think you can assign objects to these layers, maybe with a ± buttons or using keyboard shortcuts?

Thanks and good question. I’d love to be able to drag and drop object to layer labels. However in more useful terms the plan right now is to use the check boxes to the left of the labels.

Actually, I wish there were no layers at all.
Just folders in the outliner.

a few ideas from cinema 4d could be useful :

Going to see how far I can get on something over the course of this week.

I used the “Static 20 Layers” scenario to re-get my feet wet in the moving target that is the Python API for 2.50. So, at least now I have named layers and the ability to set their visible, locked, and render settings. Certainly not the final destination but a few step down the road towards arbitrary number of layers.