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Author Topic: Question Regarding Layers  (Read 2177 times)

Old Codger

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Question Regarding Layers
« on: September 02, 2021, 11:48:05 am »

I have a question regarding layers in a model. What are they for? I know perfectly well that Stephen would not have gone to the (likely not inconsiderable) trouble to code them in so I know they have to have a function. I would simply like an overview of what they would allow me to do if I take the time to learn how/when to use them.

I ask because I suspect that they might have something to do with functionality that would seem to be apparent in professionally done models. The guy for whom I've been making models has often referred to being able to make part of a model invisible for when he is setting up a shot for rendering his web comic. Now I have made an interior model for him but I simply made the walls and ceiling separate models. If I assigned the walls etc. to different levels, would that enable him to see or not-see a part of a given model? This could be very important just now as I am working on the most complex project to date by a country mile. The exterior model was challenging but not terribly so. I am now working on the interiors. My original thinking was to make them like a stage or film set with removable walls (done as separate models as I mentioned above. If I could simply assign different meshes different levels would that then allow him to eliminate a wall from a shot?

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mrbeaver.07

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Re: Question Regarding Layers
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2021, 07:16:14 am »

It would be cool, if they had names. Sometimes, it's hard to understand what layer has needed model
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mrbeaver.07

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Re: Question Regarding Layers
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2021, 07:18:57 am »

Layers are very useful for object itself and rigging.
Let me explain. You, for example, have one character, and you want to do different clothes. So, just add layer with another clothes and rig it.
I hope, I answered your question
« Last Edit: September 03, 2021, 07:37:04 am by mrbeaver.07 »
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bayinghound

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Re: Question Regarding Layers
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2021, 08:37:26 am »

Layering is great when you're painting weights on bones.
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Old Codger

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Re: Question Regarding Layers
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2021, 11:37:49 am »

All well and good but if I export a model (in .obj format so that materials are exported, too) is the layer data also exported and is that data available at the other end? If so then I have a way to export interior models as a single model but with different meshes set in different layers so that they can selectively be displayed for rendering. Now I am just now getting into making interior models (whole nother way of thinking about models - to me at least) but this could easily solve some problems for me. I built a model of a very cramped interior space then extracted the walls and ceiling and sent those as separate .obj exports so that he could assemble the scene as needed. I'm hoping layers will solve the issue of me having to export separate elements as multiple .obj objects.
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mrbeaver.07

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Re: Question Regarding Layers
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2021, 11:04:31 pm »

Layering is great when you're painting weights on bones.
Oh, why I never thought about that?! I was rigging models by placing separate objects and write down the location.
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Steve

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Re: Question Regarding Layers
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2021, 11:11:35 am »

Layers are desigend to help you make and edit things. You can hide things in on layer to help you see another layer, and you can lock a layer to keep you from accidentally slecting or editing things in it.

For example, in a Scene if you put the interior of a house in one layer, the roof+ceiling in another, the furniture in a third, and your characters in a fourth, you can lock the house and furniture when you are working with the characters so it won't accidentally be moved, hide the roof+ceiling so you can see the whole scene from the top without them blocking your view, etc.

In the Object editor you can put different parts in different layers and lock/unlock, hide/show them with a single click to help see what you're modeling.
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Old Codger

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Re: Question Regarding Layers
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2021, 02:33:39 pm »

Thank you, Steven and everyone else. I think I explained part of my interest. I'll have to do some experimenting to see how well such a tool as layering fits my own "hand" as it were. I never for an instant thought you had gone to the trouble of coding that functionality for the heck of it. I was simply hoping that layering might solve a problem I have with providing models for someone else. I'm going to try sending him layered models. I'm also going to try using layers to allow me to model interior spaces, something I've really never done before. Always a learning curve.

Thanks all and especially think you to Steven for giving us this marvelous toy to play with.
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Old Codger

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Re: Question Regarding Layers
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2021, 06:21:06 pm »

Well I made up an object consisting of multiple meshes which I assigned to different layers. It should be quite useful when building interior sets. UNFORTUNATELY! It appears that when I do an export to an .obj file (so as to produce a materials file) that when I import the result into a new .an8 workpiece the layer information gets lost in the process. Therefor what I was hoping to be able to accomplish using the layers (to enable the person to whom I send the model to selectively view the individual elements) is not possible. That or I'm doing something wrong in the export - import process. Anyhow, I did find the layers toggle above so being able to turn layers on and off will help while adding structures to the inside of the sets I build. Anyhow I do appreciate the help. Layering will aid me doing some things even if it will not allow me to do what I wanted to do with it. Win some; lose some and some get called on account of a worldwide pandemic.  If I were a filmmaker I might be tempted to make a video titled "Love In The Time Of Global Pandemic". ;)
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Steve

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Re: Question Regarding Layers
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2021, 11:06:31 am »

The .obj format does not support layers. You need to either export to the .an8 format or just save the whole project.
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Old Codger

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Re: Question Regarding Layers
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2021, 02:29:52 pm »

Thanks, Steven. I figured it must be something like that. I suppose I'll just have to continue shipping certain models in pieces (floor, ceiling, walls etc.) and let the guy at the other end put in what he needs for the shot at whatever angle he is rendering a scene from. I am sending my stuff to someone who renders using Daz. Apparently, there is a way to construct models such that different parts may be expressed at the discretion of the person rendering the scene. In any case the layers functionality is helping me build interiors. That it does not solve my original problem does not invalidate the advantages it gives me or the time I spent gaining minimal proficiency using it. Anim8or is still an AMAZING program.
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