Scene Management in 3ds Max - Layers Toolbar

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  • Design Visualization
  • Modeling
  • 2011
  • Basics
  • Deploying and Building
  • Environment
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Beginner
5 min

Scene Management in 3ds Max - Layers Toolbar

In this tutorial, learn how to customize the Layers Toolbar for your work setup. Items such as the Custom UI and Defaults Switcher will also be covered.

  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2010
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2010 or higher.


00:00:00 --> 00:00:05
Layers are like transparent overlays: you use them to place all kinds
of scene elements.

00:00:05 --> 00:00:11
Objects on the same layer have common properties, including wirecolor,
viewport display, render control, and motion blur.

00:00:11 --> 00:00:15
You can make an object inherit the properties of the layer on which
it was created.

00:00:15 --> 00:00:21
To work with layers, first go to the preferences dialog,
which you access from Customize > Preferences.

00:00:21 --> 00:00:27
In the General tab, two options ensure the objects and lights
you create inherit the properties of the layers they were created on.

00:00:28 --> 00:00:33
Note that in 3ds Max, these two options are off by default:
in 3ds Max Design they are on.

00:00:34 --> 00:00:45
Using the Custom UI and Defaults Switcher also has an impact on layer defaults.
The "Max" settings do not use layers while the Design.VIZ settings do.

00:00:52 --> 00:00:57
The layer toolbar can be toggled on and off with a right-click
on an empty area of the toolbar.

00:00:58 --> 00:01:01
Layer 0 is there by default and cannot be removed.

00:01:02 --> 00:01:07
Creating an object on a layer takes on the properties of that layer.

00:01:22 --> 00:01:27
Notice how the wirecolor of the newly created objects match the color
of the current layer.

00:01:45 --> 00:01:53
The wirecolor swatch in the Modify panel displays a black & white color.
It is an indication that the wirecolor of the object is set to By Layer.

00:01:53 --> 00:02:02
You can overwrite this at any time, forcing a wirecolor in the Object Color
dialog. However, this is not a recommended practice when using layers.

00:02:07 --> 00:02:14
If you try to display the properties of an object by right-clicking
on it, its properties are grayed out because they are set to "By Layer".

00:02:17 --> 00:02:23
Layers are used primarily as a visibility tool to hide or freeze objects
in a scene.

00:02:39 --> 00:02:43
Typically, you should create your layering system before starting
working on a project.

00:02:43 --> 00:02:48
However, you can create layers at any time as you find need for them.

00:02:50 --> 00:02:58
If no objects are selected in the scene, creating a layer adds an empty
layer that you name and add to the existing list of layers.

00:03:07 --> 00:03:19
If you select one or more objects, and then create a layer,
you can transfer the selecteds objects to the new layer.

00:03:37 --> 00:03:42
You can set a layer as current by selecting it from the Layers toolbar
drop-down menu.

00:03:43 --> 00:03:51
You can also add a selection to the current layer. The selected objects
become part of that layer and inherit its properties.

00:03:55 --> 00:04:01
Keep in mind that in a shaded view, the wirecolor is active until you
apply a material to the object.

00:04:12 --> 00:04:17
In a wireframe view, an object's wirecolor is that of the layer
it belongs to.

00:04:20 --> 00:04:29
You can also easily select all objects that are part of the current
layer. That is a quick way to simultaneously manipulate all objects
on the same layer.

00:04:35 --> 00:04:45
The Layer Manager lets you perform other edits to layer contents,
such as move objects from one layer to another, rename layers, and more.

00:04:52 --> 00:04:57
It also gives you a fast visual on which objects belong to which layers.

00:05:02 --> 00:05:12
To control properties of objects on a given layer, you adjust
the properties of that layer. An example would be to set the Walls
layers to See-Through mode.
Posted By
  • 3ds Max
  • Modeling
  • 2011
  • Basics
  • Deploying and Building
  • Environment
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