True Layer Manager like patch (Farsthary)

Hi all! :eyebrowlift2:

Long time without posting!
What is the reason for a layer manager? several, first toggle object visibility, renderability,object locking, provides better organization and logical organization if could be named, and best of all, could handle any size project since there should be no limit on the number of layers that could be created. Are we talking of Blender?

well, I have you one good news and one bad news:

The good one: yes, I´m talking of Blender :smiley: and the bad one: sustitute the word layer for the word group.

I have implemented a small patch that will turn the Group entry in the Outliner in a fully functional layer manager like, just that are groups, allowing toggle visibility,selectability,renderability for entire groups, just like a Layer manager, previously that functionality where aviable for individual objects only.

This simple feature will be very usefull for asset management in big projects where the 20 default blender objects layers is not enough, just open the outliner in the group entry and start grouping that 200+ pieces watch you have created in your named groups like Layer_bolts, Layer_knobs, and so on :wink: and voila! you have a fully functional Layer manager… sorry group manager.

this feature could also be integrated if some other 2.4x build is made before 2.5
It works like a charm for 2.4x series and also for 2.5 but for the last one will need more retouch. I have sended the patch to Matt Ebb for review and also to Lapinou for posting in my site soon with some screen cast of it, keep in touch :wink:

       Cheers to all and hope you like this small adition     Farsthary

Hey :slight_smile:

This sounds like a very good addition to blender, i look forward to seeing the screenshots and too hopefully testing out the feature soon :slight_smile:

Thanks for your hardwork and time farsthary, it is very much appreicated.

Nice to see you can still get online after graduation.

Any word on progress with photon-mapping like texture color and bump support, optimizations?

Sounds like a nice addition!

Yay!..layers are so underestimated, like Ngons.

oh i hope we see a built on top of 2.49a with this feature enabled. :slight_smile:
that would really be awesome :slight_smile:

YES! this sounds like a nice addition to one’s workflow!
thanks in advance :slight_smile:

So …, is there any screenshot available somewhere?

Guessing from his notes, it’s using Groups in a layer-like manner, so there’s no new interface other than the addition of the visibility and locking options available for other Outliner objects. The interface is the current Outliner.

This will be tremendously helpful.

I haven’t seen the patch, but a key feature with layers is how easy it is to set a layer as “active” … so new objects get added to it… and also the ease with which objects get moved from layer to layer… and how fast it is to switch them on and off… This is the stuff that Blender does right at the moment but less so with groups…

This new system sounds like it can cater for all that with the addition of being able to “set” a group as active, a hotkey to move the selected objects to a group (like m is to layers at the moment)…

…and more function in the outliner view (drag and drop for example to move objects from group to group…but if the objects are not already in a group where do you drag them from?

… or a context menu (rmb on group to get a context menu to add selected objects or remove

i like the simplicity of the concept farstahy, but i’d like it to actually be layers…accessed in a named way from the outliner is a good addition , but the 20 buttons in the view header are damned handy and immediate! you can work full screen for one!
(perhaps those could be “banks” ) and shift with a + or - button to access the next 20 groups… this works well in lightwave modeller and modo…

If your groups actually replace (or enhance) the layer system in NAME as well as function the we could free groups to form a heirarchical relationship (they could then be visible everywhere in the outliner) …

… and layers(your enhanced groups)that form an organisational one.

sorry for the ramble, but I love the very different approaches to layers in software like lightwave/modo vs maya or max… all of which have their merit! and blenders bias to layers over groups for fast access and assignment should move to your new groups system!

Patch is here via his website. :slight_smile:

Dude, farsthary! I’ve been waiting for something like this forever! I’m really eager to try it out.

A question, though: how do the visibility/selectability/etc. buttons behave with regards to objects that are in more than one group? I’m sure you’ve made it sane, but I’m just curious. :slight_smile:

IMO it would be awesome if we could transition away from the current layer system to a group-based system like this. Although, like Michael W, I do think it’s important to keep in mind convenience and fast-access. But I’m sure that will evolve into this system before it replaces the current layer system.

I’m very excited. :slight_smile:

I’m excited too!

Just thought i’d say that as my last post could be seen as overly negative!

How about having the option to use the current layering buttons as quick layers, or something along those lines.

I’ll try and explain this, but it may not work.

Instead of having the layer buttons as they are, why not have them linked to the groups in the outliner, so you can change which group(s) the layer buttons in the viewport relate too.

By doing that you can have unlimited layers (groups, w/e they will be called… lets call them group layers).

But you will also have the ability to assign those group layers to the 20 layer slots in the viewport, which means you can enable quick hiding/ un-hiding of those group layers in the viewport, perhaps now pressing M would bring up a window like the search function (think of modifier list though, wider, more information on screen), this menu would allow you to place the currently selected/ active objects into any group layer that is in the outliner.

Now pressing Shift+M would allow you to place any group layer into any one of the layer icons in the viewport, you could add multiple group layers into layers and perhaps in the outliner have the option to set layer based viewing options i.e. wireframe, solid, shaded, texture coordinates etc.

Hmm that’s a really bad explanation, maybe i should draw a diagram.

Don’t make things complicated…

Just a drop-down menu like the proposal of modifiers would be more than enough to select a group and basic control like turn the group on/off, receive lights/don’t receive lights, show/hide, etc etc etc should be more than enough and pretty inmediate, IMHO.

To move an object to another layer, just select the object(s) and choose the layer in the same drop-down menu. No more hasle than that.


I don’t know, just opened Blenrig 3.0 because it was convenient and took a screenshot to demonstrate;

Can’t really see that being faster than any other option…

Thanks for the screenshot UE - quite impressive.

yeah, but the modifier proposal has icons + search function,
also until we get scriptable modifiers that list will stay relatively compact,
which is why you’ll probably not use the search bar as much for your most used modifiers
(whilist using the search bar for those you only use on ocasion).

As for vertex groups, texture & material lists you’ll probably make much more use of the search function, obviously.

So I think all in all this is actually a pretty good set up. :slight_smile:

*PS. when I say you or you’ll etc. I’m really speaking pretty generally here.

edit: just to mention that was a random rant at the screenshot from Uncle Entity, kind of a mind dump really. :slight_smile:

I was thinking something like this:

The name of the layer and some icons hinting the state of the layer (in the example, if the layer receives lights and visibility… yeah… i know i suck at icons… sue me :P).

If you are going to work with 200-300 layers like some guys in other forums claims need to do, just make visible 10-12 of them in this list and add a scollbar to navigate, and the search bar can make things more easy.

(PS. sorry my english is not good.)

i might be hallucinating here but …:eek:
maybe you could add another flag and call it the super group flag
the group that has that flag can override any other group setting like visibility and so on…
and maybe they can appear in there own place in the outliner and can be mapped to the layer buttons as Uncle Entity suggested :wink: and you can convert any group to a super group
i don’t know any programing so fell free to ignore me :o