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In Rhino 4.0 Essential Training, author Dave Schultze shows how the 3D NURBS-based modeling tools in Rhino 4.0 are used to engineer products from toy robots to full-sized aircraft. This course concentrates on using Rhino 4.0 for industrial design and rapid prototyping, with a review of common 3D terminology using specific examples. Along with a comprehensive exploration of the Rhino interface, the course includes an introduction to building 3D objects with Rhino's three primary entities: the curve, the surface, and the solid. Exercise files are included with the course.
In this video, we will review the primary functionality of layers. Proper use of organized and clearly labeled layers can enhance your workflow and perhaps just as importantly, help reduce errors and confusion. If you have used 2D software like Photoshop or Illustrator, good news. The layers work in the exact same way but with lots of nice little additions. One thing I would recommend before we start is try to avoid creating a lot of geometry on one layer. It can get really confusing really quick.
So, by default, we have these groups of layers in every Rhino file with just a couple of minimal amount of settings. The Light Bulb indicates off or on. We've got the Padlock to lock the layers so things cannot be moved. Each layer has its color. The checkmark indicates whether that's the current layer. Current is important because that's where all the geometry will go when it's created. It goes to the default current layer. So, we can make quick changes here, but it's quite limited, so I'm going to close this down and then right-click on the same spot and up pops the Full layer dialog where we have a lot more control.
This is pretty important and extremely useful during the course of your project. So, I'm going to go and dock this. I'm going to leave it open as much as possible. So, if I want to change the name of a layer, I'd left-click Slow twice and the name highlights, and I can type in a new name. Let's say I wanted to add a sublayer for organizing subentities. There's an icon at the top here. Give that a quick name. If you change our mind and didn't want that, there is a Delete layer option. A lot of these options are also available through the right-click on the layer name.
So, we can give them new names, rename them, delete them, select them. We're on the Default layer right now. The color's black. Let's try a little color change on this. Try a bright green. Nope, don't like that, so let's change it back to another color. That looks better. We can switch layers by moving the checkmark down. Entities that were on the Default layer can be locked so they cannot be selected anymore. This is great for when you're bring in reference geometry or have something you don't want to accidentally move or change.
Let's go and unlock that back. For this next part, I want to move objects from one layer to another layer, so we do that by just first selecting them. I'm going to right-click on layer 04, and say Change Object layers. So, they will go to the layer that I have just selected and turn green because that is the color of that layer. With half the geometry on layer 4, which is green, and the other half on the Default layer, which is gray, we can now demonstrate how you can turn layers off, so just a click of the Light Bulb.
Organizing your layers may seem like unnecessary work, especially at the beginning of a project, but it really saves you a tremendous amount of pain as your file size and complexity grows over time. Probably the biggest single advantage is when you share the file with someone else or don't work on it for a while. You can take more time to clean up a messy file than actually update a simple change. So, plan for those changes because you know they will happen.
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