Chapter 17. Using Layers

As your scenes get more and more complex, you'll need a way to organize the various objects that makes sense. Groups and components are helpful ways to organize sets of parts, but to organize an entire scene that includes many different objects, the Layer Manager is a good way to go.

The Layer Manager lets you divide your scene into logical sets. For example, a scene can have a background layer that holds all the distance objects, a street layer for the objects surrounding the buildings, a plants and trees layer, a layer for the buildings, another for the interior objects, and a final layer for the people. When divided in this manner, it becomes easy to quickly hide all the plants and trees or to remove all the people from the scene.

Another common way to use layers is to divide a model by its material assignments. For example, if you have a model of a car, you can set one layer to hold all the parts that get the body color, another layer for the glass objects, a third for the tires, and a fourth for the rims.

Accessing the Layer Manager

All layers are listed in the Layers Manager, as shown in Figure 17.1. You can access the Layers Manager from the Windows menu. All projects include a Layer0 by default. Even if you choose not to use layers, all objects are automatically placed on Layer0. Layer0 cannot be deleted or renamed.

Figure 17.1. The Layers dialog ...

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