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Another way to organize objects within SketchUp is to use layers. So let's take a look at the layers menu and see how layers work, and then In the next lesson we will go through and actually create our own layers. Now you can find following layers under Window>layers. So when I open that up I get a layers window and it has all the layers that I've created for this particular scene. So I have a layer for the Ground, Houses, Miscellaneous and streetlights.
Now how layers works is we have what's called an Active layer and this is where this dot is, this dot tells me that this is my Active layer. When you draw new objects and you have layers active, it will draw into that layer. So if I drew a circle into this layer it will go into the layer with the houses and if no layers are available layer 0 will always be the catchall, layer 0 is the default layer there is always at least of layer 0 in the scene.
Now probably the most important thing with layers is this Visibility Column, this allows you to turn on and off different types of layers. So, for example, if I wanted to turn off all the Ground planes I can do that, turn off all the Houses, Streetlights and so on I can turn them, or I can turn them on. Now one of the most important things about layers is that you cannot hide the Active layer. This dot shows me which layer is active, so if I am on the Houses and I want to hide them by turning off Visibility you will get an error, so just be aware of that.
And because of that I leave layer 0 empty and this way I can create all of my other layers and if I want I can turn everything in the scene off just by turning off those layers, I do have to have one layer active at all time. So typically I make that layer 0 and that way I can turn off everything else if I need to. The next column here indicates the color of that layer. Right now, we're not seeing that color because we have to go over here into this little menu here and we have a scroll down menu that says Color by layer.
When I select that it actually applies these colors to my scene. So I can actually look at the colors and no which layer they are on. So, for example,; if I wanted to change the Ground plane from red I can just go ahead and click on that and change it to whatever other color I want. Now this can be really handy in the scene if you want to see exactly what layers particular items are on. This doesn't affect the actual shading this is really just a visibility type of thing.
So if I turn this off it will go back to the original shading. Now I also have a Select All option here and that will select all of my layers. Another way to do selection is to Select by layer. So if I were to kind of zoom in a little bit here and select part of the sidewalk, I can right-click on this and select all on the same layer and when I do that it selects all of the faces that are in the Ground plane.
So those are some of the basics about working with the layers menu.
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