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About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)


  1. Not very useful...

    What we need is UNLIMITED numer of layers with free names
    and options for view, render, mask etc
    And we need user defined "groups of layers" (like Renderlayers)

    • Anfeo Blender on

      Hi, I am the creator of the script.
      Yes, you are right, but for unlimited layer I can't do more, I'm not a coder.
      The option that you ask I can do something, can you do me more detail?

      • QUOTE: "The option that you ask I can do something, can you do me more detail?"

        You can set in Layers Panel some things:

        What you do is a tool for first matrix called "Visible Layer"
        But blender do this wrong: it is not possible to setup visible layers for EACH renderlayer separate.
        Instead blender set global scene setup (viewport). I don't think you can fix that per PY-Script

        Another idea is to add next matrix: scene layers and mask layers to your tool

        More ideas from GSoC:

        Improve layer manager *****
        -user defined layer names and colours *****
        -more than 20 layers (unlimted) *****
        -editable via outliner *****
        -group layers (and subgroups) *****

        In fact Blender need a rewrite of Layer-Feature in C(++) and Python

        But wait... my new idea can solve this:
        Create virtual layer system !!!
        How should it work?

        1) Instead of using Blender's 20 basic layers, you define your own,
        separate layer system with unlimited number of layers.

        2) You use layer 1-18 normaly like in blender and your tool (or you DO NOT TOUCH this layers anymore)
        You use layer 19 to hide objects (layer 19 is always disabled)
        You use layer 20 to make objects visible (layer 20 always enabled)
        So a object is always in layer 19 or 20, but never in both (you can use this for "checksum" thing)!

        3) Your job is now to make a script that manage unlimited layers
        if you hide a layer, this objects should move to layer 19
        if you show a layer, this objects should move to layer 20
        Every object must have a data with layer informations for your system.

        I know here are some problems with render layers
        So your script should run before, between (if you use many renderlayers) and after rendering (to update view)
        It is very hard to fix that all with python only...
        But you can think about this - it is a idea for advanced layers with some compatibility (layer 1-18)

    • Unlimited layers, really, how many times in your projects did you use more than let's say 20? Besides you mix the purpose of render layers and normal layers, I guess they cannot be morphed into one menu.

      I guess that sticking layer menager to the "N" panel is a mistake, it's already too claustrophobic. Moreover I believe that adding support for folders and designing better interface for Outliner would be more than enough. This script just doubles options that are already somewhere in Blender.

      • QUOTE: "Unlimited layers, really, how many times in your projects did you use more than let's say 20?"

        Nearly every project with 1000+ meshes
        20 layers are not enought and i must "compress" everything to not very logic layer groups
        So i have no extra light layer and add lamps to all layers to save one layer

        • Anthony Pilon on

          This is true. I very often find myself in need of 30-40 layers, only to have to compress it to 20.

      •  Of course we've never used more than 20, we don't have the ability too. I'd like to see photoshop/gimp style layers replace both regular AND render layers. I start by created a layer, add some objects, create another if need be. I think one of the most constricting things about the way it works now is in renderlayers while you can create an unlimited number of them (I assume) they can only be combinations of current layers.

      • I think layers and groups should be implemented as it is done in Modo by Luxology. I have been using these both tools (Blender and Modo) for few years and I get the impession that some things in Modo have been done based on Blender functionality. But some Modo elements are really well thought and Blender should implement some of these solutions.

  2. Something I´ve never understand is how Blender has been gaining extremely complicated features while a decent layer management has been untouched.
    I wonder how the Mango crew is managing the incredible number of objects for the movie without loosing control.

    What Flow4 says in his comment is quite true, but for the moment the script Alfonso has created is more than welcome! (and we can finally use names for the layers!)

  3. Ciao Alfonso. Thank you very much for the script, it is already very useful.
    I didn't figure what the purpose of the small dot on the right in the options is ("Marge selected objects in this layer")

  4. Hey, this looks really nice. I am been little scared for using the blender's layer system, because it is so weird, but i think that this kind of system would really make it more effective. :)

  5. LayersScript on

    Haven't I grabbed the whole idea of this script yet? At glance it looks interesting however isn't it redundant? Don't we have such a layer Panel in the 3D header?

     Unless we are talking  of bone's Layers?

    Does it do the same Job that the ones displaying on header? Hide-un hide....Shift click to add or remove hidden layers etc is quite easy from the original Trunk. Don't see the point of this .....

    • Anfeo Blender on

       The first idea was to have simply a name next the layer button (to activate/deactivate it). All other option are extra, ask me from the user.

  6. ...and I was just reorganizing some layers last night.  : )
    I like that we can have names, a lot. 
    Will the names appear in "hover" mode (via the viewport window)?

  7. sarubadooru on

    So nice to see this one making a come back. I also Am forth the unlimited quantity of layers in scene and bone.Something like gimp or mayas way to add layers would be great. 

  8. Sleepwalker on

    Just what I was looking for...I was experimenting with multiple passes (AO/Specular/Bump/Diffuse) to see how they blended together using layers in GIMP.

  9. This may well be a SILLY idea, but -

    Why not use a variant of an 'Empty', as a 'Layer' object.

    The Layer object would have all the abilities of an Empty with the exception of being able to manipulate ( resize, rotate, move ) the child objects parented to it, instead you would have the ability to change the 'View', 'Select' & 'Render' of the Layers children by selecting the same options for the Layer in the Outliner window.

    By selecting/deselecting the View, Select or Render options in the Outliner, the operation would also be carried out recursively on the children of the Layer object.

    Adding/removing an object to/from a Layer can be done via Parenting, the same action that is done through out Blender.

    If such an Object is possible then it would allow recursive nesting of both Layers & Objects and the only limit on the number of Layers would be the computers memory & the patience of the artist in using them. It would also allow the CURRENT Layer Manager to act more as a 'Workspace Manager' a job which it would in my opinion be perfect.

    I would try to implement this myself, would my programming/scripting skills are none existent.

  10. hi everybody, did anybody get a look at the .matlib library addon,we finaly have an onboard material library.woho. and not to mention the new distructablity editor, all nice and shinny in the physics tab. not to mention Veg.Gen. artoki house prim. and city builder, Creaprim. all available in the extentions page. pretty exciting stuff. PS. can anybody tell me if the jet propultion script is available, if so where can i get it. i'd love to test it out. Happy Blending :)))))

    • DRPEPPERCAN, I believe it is in Blender in the addons config. I found it and enabled it. And that's with a copy of Blender straight out of the box, as it were.

  11. Thanks Jim. Yeah, I found someone's comment only from last year, so I figured I should try it in case it still works. And it does! :)


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