thx cekuhnen. I thought about it, and added lights, particles and renderlayers to the list of layer-specific uses. Any other uses?
We, users and devs, are to the layer system what a club of mismarried men would be to their wives: meet from time to time, get drunk a little, bitch a lot, get real drunk and go back to honny-bunny who, true to herself, makes us sleep it off on the couch.
While that does work, it is still unclear to anyone else who views your blend files. In practice this is probably only an issue with more complex projects, but still.
Armature layers, having essentially the same design, also have the same problems, but due to the complexity of rigs the problems are magnified. Rigs can get very complex, and the lack of named layers makes organizing them difficult at best, and a nightmare at worst. Moreover, if I give one of my rig files to another person, how are they supposed to know what controls are on what layers? And how am I supposed to keep track of what underlying mechanisms I put on what layers? It’s like programming with a language that only lets you use numbers to name your functions, variables, etc. Sure, you could add a text file to document things, but if you have to do that in most non-trivial cases, it’s probably a strong sign that the layers themselves should be named.
While rigging for Peach I’ve found myself spending far more time than I should simply looking for things in the layers, and trying to remember which layer I’m supposed to put something in. And that’s even with a system like you described above. It’s simply too difficult to keep in my head what layers I chose for what things when I’m using almost all 16 armature layers.
Blender’s layer system is an anemic organizational tool. For complex projects, Blender desperately needs more robust organizational tools.
I really like the idea of moving toward using groups as the primary organizational tool in Blender. I think extending groups to take on the more traditional functionality of layers is probably the way to go, at least as a first step. If I could use groups that way (with a good, easily accessible, and fast interface, of course), I seriously doubt I’d use the layer system anymore.
However, since groups are object-level, this wouldn’t solve the rigging issues… so dunno how to tackle that issue.
Anyhoo, that’s my rant on this.
Cessen, that was awesome! So someone in the system why are you still in that position?
Eh oh wells. Back to the C book.
Thanks Cessen. duh-oh, armature layers. Ref to Armature Layers added to link, and I added Display Options to armature pages, and linked them.
good point - I did not think about that , well I mainly do stills for products and do not use rigs.