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.
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Layers are like transparent overlays: you use them to place all kinds
of scene elements.
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Objects on the same layer have common properties, including wirecolor,
viewport display, render control, and motion blur.
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You can make an object inherit the properties of the layer on which
it was created.
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To work with layers, first go to the preferences dialog,
which you access from Customize > Preferences.
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In the General tab, two options ensure the objects and lights
you create inherit the properties of the layers they were created on.
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Note that in 3ds Max, these two options are off by default:
in 3ds Max Design they are on.
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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.
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The layer toolbar can be toggled on and off with a right-click
on an empty area of the toolbar.
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Layer 0 is there by default and cannot be removed.
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Creating an object on a layer takes on the properties of that layer.
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Notice how the wirecolor of the newly created objects match the color
of the current layer.
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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.
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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.
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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".
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Layers are used primarily as a visibility tool to hide or freeze objects
in a scene.
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Typically, you should create your layering system before starting
working on a project.
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However, you can create layers at any time as you find need for them.
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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.
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If you select one or more objects, and then create a layer,
you can transfer the selecteds objects to the new layer.
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You can set a layer as current by selecting it from the Layers toolbar
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You can also add a selection to the current layer. The selected objects
become part of that layer and inherit its properties.
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Keep in mind that in a shaded view, the wirecolor is active until you
apply a material to the object.
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In a wireframe view, an object's wirecolor is that of the layer
it belongs to.
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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.
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The Layer Manager lets you perform other edits to layer contents,
such as move objects from one layer to another, rename layers, and more.
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It also gives you a fast visual on which objects belong to which layers.
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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.