Unlimited layers?


I’m eager to pick up Blender as my main 3D software but there’s a question that keeps me from doing so at the moment. I was wondering if it’s still impossible to have more than 20 layers in Blender. If it is, when will it have the possibility to create more than 20 layers?

Thanks in advance!

Why the need for so many layers ?.

I’ve never even come close to using up all 20 but it’s always nice to have more if needed.

Because some of the users uses Blender for work with extremely huge amount of data and objects and get used to use layers for easy organization of the project content. To be honest, this is one of the most problematic part of Blender and hopefully it will be solved in the closed future.

Current limit is 20 layers per scene and you can have multiple scenes

Yep, unfortunately it is not enough as a solution for long time, but as I wrote, hopefully it will be solved (maybe in 3.x).

By the way, Richard, do you know how many scenes could we have in Blender (I never checked it)?

Most of my scenes are complex and 20 layers are not enough to organize them properly and meaningfully. I hope Blender looks into this issue and allow for more layers soon. This is one of my top 5 requests for Blender.

The inability to name them is kind of annoying. The visual grid organization is nice while you’re working, but when you open up a file from way back when, it’s sometimes puzzling why you organized your layers the way you did. Names would help. Also nesting layers. And the 20 limit is some kind of anachronism.

To be honest, to have something like background coloring in Outliner would help too. I usually organize objects in Empties in combination with layers (show visible layers in Outliner), and it is usually enough combinations for me. But would like to have coloring like in MODO, it helps a lot.

I was going to mention this addon - though I was certain that the same addon also enabeled an undefined quantity of layers… perhaps that was a different one?

I have become very curious, cool7 and AlmaTalp, what kind of a scene would require this amount of layers. My largest project was in archivis, had a few million faces (after being optimized) and I have no idea how many objects (not that many, I just don’t know) but I think that I managed with around four layers. Would you be so kind as to give an example, or a screenshot?

Have you tried making modular game assets? Imagine you’re doing 10 different but associated pieces and each needs a few different versions which occupy the same space in the scene to enable baking. They all need to be at the world origin so that exporting works right. With just 20 layers you’re going to need to separate into different scenes, which is unwieldy, or else you’re going to have an ungodly mess.

I’ll abuse maybe 10 to 15 layers when doing a character re-topology sometimes. But allot of that is because I’ll cut the mesh up into smaller chunks so I can get in where I need to.

I give you 2 examples:

  1. Archviz, reconstruction of a complete part of a city. Each building has different versions. There is vegetation, animated people, etc.
  2. Asset creation. I’m working on a scene what contains hundreds of prop assets with multiple LOD and other versions/subversions, etc.
    As Blender does not have ‘history’ like what Max offers as a modifier system, I have to keep former versions all the time.

hmm just thinking
Objects can have added atributes too, and in python i think should be possible to select based upon attribute.
Combine that, and one could hide a certain attribute group by script. I thnk, no layers needed.

That particular limit is unlikely to change significantly, if at all. Layer association is stored in 32-bit bitfields, which makes it very fast to test whether a particular object is on a layer or not. That information can be used efficiently during render, physics simulation or other calculations. Since the limit is 20 and not 32, Blender probably uses some of the bits internally (or has them reserved for future use). From an organizational standpoint, the limit is unfortunate. Maybe in the future there will be another (incompatible) layer method just for organizing things.

The inability to name them is kind of annoying

You can name and organize your layers using the layer manager add on, I’ve found it extremely
helpful, but do wish there was a way of color coding the layers.

I also wish there were more layers /scene than what is currently available.

This is an idea I would like to see explored.

With a modern cpu (where “modern” means pretty much anything from the superscalar age and beyond) you could test the objects against the layers by their married names and barely notice the difference in performance.
The reason why blender uses bitmasking for layers is that someone made a mistake. It happens.

‘The reason why blender uses bitmasking for layers is that someone made a mistake. It happens.’


Hopefully someone will ‘correct’ it, too:) The funny thing is - as it used to be all the time - when the unlimited layer function will be implemented, people will not be able to imagine how were they able to live without it (happend many times in BA). :slight_smile:

The very good thing what I really-really like about Blender that since I first used it (which was not so far ago), it evolved fast like hell and third of the things I missed compared to Max has been resolved.