Saturday, February 10, 2007

Layer List

On our latest 3D production in the studio, we've been using an extensive referencing system to bring in all characters, props and backgrounds. Each character has between 3 to 5 display layers associated with it; one for controls, one for joints, one for geometry, etc. This allows one character's controls to be hidden while working on another character so the two don't get confused.

The problem is, nearly every element has at least one layer. This means that when 6 characters are in a scene with the background and props, the layer count exceeds 200 layers. Trying to manually sort through these to hide unnecessary layers can be tedious and frustrating.

To solve this problem, I created a floating layer window which replicates a lot of the built in layer list functionality. You can hide and unhide layers, change to template or reference states, and see the layer colours. The functionality that goes beyond the default layer panel is what really makes it useful.

You can filter layers based on whether they're references or local layers, making it easy to bring user created layers in animation files into view. You can sort the layers by display order or alphabetically. You can easily select layer contents by double clicking on any layer. But most impressive is the boolean search filter. You can use simple AND, OR, NOT operators to filter the layer names. For example: "cecil NOT marge" or "cecil OR marge NOT kitchen"


Post a Comment

<< Home