Blender's Layers are an absolute necessity but, they can be an absolute pain. They're represented by blank little buttons that stare back at you, daring you to try and remember what you've place where, and why you've put it there in the first place. Well, here's a nice script that will eliminate those anonymous Layers and bring meaning to the madness, and more...
Mariano Hidalgo (A.K.A. uselessdreamer) has created a wonderful solution that provides welcomed functionality to the Blender interface.
It fits in a thin tall space that can be set on the side and supports layer naming and the creation of layer sets to quickly turn on and off related groups of layers.
There are twenty rows of buttons, one for each layer. The buttons on each row are:
- Solo Layer
- Click to make this layer the only one visible (this is the same as regular click in the layer buttons in header).
- Turn Layer ON and OFF
- Click to turn layer on and off (same as Ctrl Click in the layer buttons in the 3D View header).
- Layer Name
- Shows the layer name. Click to change it.
- Layer Objects
- Displays a menu with all the objects in this layer.
By using Layer Sets, you can easily prepare sets of layers with the required ones to do a full render, make a set with only important layers, objects but no environment, etc.
You can add an empty set or add a copy of the current one with the options found in the menu to the left of the set name. To rename a set, just click in the set name string input. The little X on the right will remove the set from the list.
Layer Names and Layer Sets are saved in the .blend as texts.
The script is a single Python script and you can get it here.
Installation is a breeze, just place the script in your Blender scripts folder. It will register itself in the Object Scripts menu.
Thanks Mariano! You should be known as the usefuldreamer...
yet again Mariano brings us something really useful! I already use his Blender Library, and im sure i will use this script just a much. However, it would be great if both a material library and a layer manager was coded directly into blender.
[Borat] I like. [/Borat]
Niiice! How much?
nice, but like all other UI helper scripts, it's a real pity that whenever you hit undo in blender, you loose the interface, and have to relaunch the script.. makes them almost unsable for me.
for naming layers, i usually just have one extra text-view open somewhere with layers.txt in it where i simply type in the numbers and contents of layers. i also have another one for just notes/todo/etc.. it survives undoing and nicely travels with blend..
That is perfect - I'm so bored of remembering what I put where
Long long time ago i had filed a feature-request in blender bug-tracking system for naming layers, but it got un-answered. I still think it would be a useful feature, and if i weren't so null at coding i would have tried to implement it myself.
Thank you Mariano, this makes enything easily.
The script is very cool, but I agree with basse when he says :
- nice, but like all other UI helper scripts, itâ€™s a real pity that whenever you hit undo in blender, you loose the interface, and have to relaunch the script.. makes them almost unsable for me. -
Here is a paper sheet I use every time I have a big scene to manage :
I have created several other paper tools in pdf format which can be downloaded at the bottom of this page :
I hope that you will find them usefull.
Though, it should be noted that instinctive-blender (http://software.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=05/04/05/1950225&from=rss) has had an integrated layer manager for almost 2 years, which included even more features like layer locking, "always-render" layers, select-by-layer (long before the menu option in mainstream Blender was there), and LOD (visible range for layer contents).
Argh, it really hurts to do so much stuff in vain ;)
This is really nice thanks to Mariano.
That's a nice solution.
Just had a quick look at your download site for instinctive, the builds look quite old, have you a latest windows build of instinctive? is the source upto date, could someone build a instinctive like say the latest CVS?
The only windows version i could find was quite old and tarred, which accepted, i could go find some archive soft to untar but perhaps .zip would be more accessible to windows users.
Looks like a nice script, and would be very helpful. This should be looked at and incorporated into Blender completely.
@basse: Great idea basse. I have just gotten used to, over the years, of placing certain things in certain layers and it's just natural for me to turn them on/off now.
"...have you a latest windows build of instinctive?..." chek out this http://dtpblender.instinctive.de/cms/Main/Home
and for a good untar software look at this http://www.7-zip.org/ (this soft it's so, so fast... )
I hope that some day blender have to become a good "repo" of all our demands.
thanks for the links.
Just a note: the panel only affects the last used 3d view, ignoring the lock/unlock layers (and that is annoying, as i works with 2 or 3 3d views ata a time, and i like to manage the layers for all the views at once). Otherwise, great script. Having it implemented should be a must.
i agree too bad these features are not built into the interface itself (too bad half of the scripts haven't been intergrated, like uv export)
5to11: unfortunately, instinctive-blender has not been updated since Blender 2.36, until then it always was synced with official CVS. However, that is no explanation for why its layer manager hasn't been ported / wasn't permitted to be ported into official CVS back then - there was enough time :)
I don't get it...what does "It will register itself in the Object Scripts menu" mean???
I had assumed it might mean that I didn't have to do open a text window, open the script and run the script.
I was wrong...
Scripts are really annoying because of that IMO.
Is there any other way to make it work or is it just a normal script?
If we could find some way to integrate scripts like that then maybe they would actually be useful[for me anyway, I just find having to open it in the text window and run it every time instead of being permanently integrated a pain...]
now this is news!!
please keep posting stories about blender!
What Ton had for lunch and the release of JoJo the circus boy's new raytrace is not of intrest of this blender user.
MORE BLENDER NEWS PLEASE!!
Here's a suggestion:
How about a few buttons in there for defineable layer configurations? I.e., user assigns one button to activate layers 1 2 and 3, then wants to use switch to between a different lighting setup so he assigns another button to 1 2 and 4, etc.
I'll have to start using this script, maybe i will finally learn to organize my scenes in a less confused way. Thanks usefuldreamer :D
It's a nice idea, but I don't think it will be useful to me if you have to manually launch the script everytime and then relaunch it every time you Undo something. It's easier for me just to click through the layers real fast to find what I want...
Once something like this is integrated into Blender, though, I will be all for it! I just think that having a script for this is a bit clumsy.
Any way... I use this LAYER MANAGER script http://www.fourmadmen.com/blender/scripts/4mm_layer_manager/index.html
I think itÂ´s more interesting.
see the Related Articles on top an click on "Improved layer management"
I think the best thing about this is that scripts like this act as good foundations for future core changes and additions. Personally I'd like to see layers within the outliner. Just drag and drop the items into the desired layer within the outliner. We are making steps towards this.
Heh, it's fun to see that this "Undo destroys scripts" thing hasn't been fixed since the introduction of global undo more than 1 year ago. It shows how much emphasis BF places on the Python API - or - how frustrated users are at the Python API anyway and thus don't use scripts at all - and thus don't complain about a problem that basically renders any UI-based script useless.
I also think, it should be put into the mainstream blender!
Nice, but would be even better see it as a fully integrated feature soon hint hint?!
@Brian : I hadn't thought about that, but your idea is good.
Being able to manage layers using the outliner would be usefull.
This is great! Thanks for the link!
Now if only it was possible to easily rename and group objects in "folders" and "subfolders" etc. like in Realsoft 3D http://www.digitalstratum.com/images/tron/lightcycle_1.png - something I wish will be fully possible some day. Outliner could be much more flexible...
I must agree with the UNDO issues.. It keeps my from using the layer manger script as well. It would be great to have layer manager in Blender. Nevertheless, It is a very cool script.
Yeah, the Undo BUG is an issue in Blender. For what it's worth, it only happens when you are in Object mode. Undoing in Edit mode will not shut down a script.
this should be included in blender release... :D
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