Join Veejay Gahir for an in-depth discussion in this video Layer management, part of Alias Essential Training.
- In this video, we're gonna take a look at Layer Management. So, in this particular file, we have the default layer that Alias provides us, and I have a layer called Mesh-Eyebrow, Mesh-Body, Mesh-Top, and Mesh-Headlamp. So I'm gonna go back to Mesh-Eyebrow, hold the Shift down, and I can multi-select all four layers, like so. Let's go to Layer, Symmetry, On. Now this is definitely not the result that I'm looking for. I'm looking for this data to be reflected over or symmetried over along the X, Zed plane.
So what I can see from here is that each layer has its own unique plane of symmetry, and I want to reset those all back to X, Zed, quickly and efficiently. And the way to do this is by using construction planes again. So let's do one quick check. I want to pick one of these layers, and I'm gonna go to Layer, Symmetry, Set Plane, and you can see by the location of this symmetry plane, it's not on the X, Zed global origin. If we select this layer here, and we go to Symmetry, Set Plane, you'll notice that this one is also in a unique location.
So what we can do is we can go ahead, multi-select those layers, and I'm gonna go to Construction, Plane, and we're gonna set up a brand new plane here. So, the option that we're gonna use is World. So click on World, and using Alt, I'm just gonna snap it right to the origin, like so, and we're gonna just pick this brown plane so that it flips it 90 degrees, and we're gonna say Next Plane. Now we've still got all of these layers selected, so I can go back to Layer, Symmetry, Set Plane, and I can just very simply click on this plane, and say Set Plane.
And you'll notice that all those layers are corrected at the same time. So they're still ghost entities, so if I wanted to make them into unique entities, I'd have to go back up to Symmetry, and also then go to Create Geometry. So right now, let's go back and switch Symmetry off. So I'm gonna go ahead now and open up this layer here, Group, by just clicking on it, and let's hide this data here by just clicking on the colored portion of that layer. So if I go ahead and select this data, you'll notice that there's a multitude of pivot points out in space here.
So each piece of data has its own pivot point. So this piece pivot point is here. This piece down here is over here, and what we can do, very quickly, is select all this data, and we can go up to Edit, and we can group this data. And what Group will do, it takes all the pivot points and relocates them back to Global zero, zero, zero. So, it's a very quick way to tidy up the pivot points in one go, but it will take them back to zero, zero, zero. Okay, so now we've tidied that up, and what I'm gonna do now is I'm gonna duplicate this data and assign it to a brand new layer.
So let's go up to Layer, New. I'm gonna go ahead and call this Copy. Let's go back to this layer. And we can go ahead, pick those objects again, and we can go to Edit, Copy, and then we can go to Edit, Paste, but before I paste this, let's open up the Options. So we have some options here when we paste between layers. We can paste on the Same layer, or we can paste on the Creation layer, and we can Always ask. I'm gonna paste this data onto the copy layer, so let's exit out of this.
Let's select the copy layer. Let's go back to Paste, and the option that you have to use is Paste on the Creation layer, and let's say Go to that. And let's give this a color. And let's select nothing. So, this data is green, so if I hide this data, and let's open this one up. This is black. So we have two layers with two sets of unique data. So let's go ahead, and let's pick this. We'll delete, and then we're gonna go to Layer, Delete, Unused Layers.
So let's go through this exercise again. Let's create a brand new layer. Let's call this Copy. Let's give it another color, and we're gonna go back to Group, and we've already copied this one time, and I'm gonna select this layer here, and I'm gonna go to Edit, Paste, but this time, I want to switch back to the option to Paste on the Same layer, and let's say Go to that. So now if I select nothing, and I go to Pick Objects here, you'll notice that there's no objects assigned to that layer.
In fact, everything's been assigned back to the original layer. So you'll notice I have two nodes. If I pick one of those nodes, and I say Move. Let's move it in the Y, It's assigned it back to the same layer. Now this can be problematic if you have a lot of data, and you copy and you paste it at the same time, trying to paste it onto a unique layer, 'cause what happens is you end up doubling your layers, or you have duplicate entities. And this can be very confusing, and it can be quite difficult to undo if you don't catch it in time.
So just be aware that when you do an Edit, Paste, if you want to be pasting into a completely new layer, you have to click on Creation layer, like so. Okay, we're gonna take a look at another function, and we're just gonna hide these two layers. And, let's go ahead and make these layers visible. Another great option that we can have with Alias is to export this data into Showcase. Showcase is a great storytelling tool that is provided by Autodesk. It's great for rendering. You can do animations in there, and you can directly export from Alias directly into Showcase, but there are some steps that you have to be a little bit careful about, and I'm gonna show you how to set this up.
So first of all, we have to go into our Utilities, Plugin Manager, and let's scroll down to the bottom here, and where we see the option for Saved Layers, we have to check those on, and then simply X out of this dialog box. Now under Layers, you'll notice you have a new option to Save layers, and if we look at those options, we can save those layers as a Wire file, and all these other formats as well. But right now we're gonna just save as a Wire file. So what we can do is we can save All Layers, we can save the Selected Layers, and in this case, let's just go with Selected Layers, and we're gonna pick this layer first, and we're gonna multi-select those layers.
Layer, Save Layers, and we're just gonna go straight out like that. Now, what Alias will do is it will navigate to a particular location, and if you are gonna save into Showcase, or save the data as Showcase data, it's best to go to a unique location and set up a brand new folder that this data can reside in. So, in this case, let's just go to our Desktop, and we're gonna right-click, and we're gonna say New, Folder, and let's just call it Showcase.
So we'll select that folder, and we'll say Select Folder here, and the data is now being exported. So now if we navigate to the Desktop, let's open up this folder. You'll notice that this data is kept in there nice and tidy, and in Showcase now, you can import directly from this folder, and everything will come in honoring this layering system. So that's just how you would export from Alias into Showcase.
- Manipulating views and entities
- Working with layers
- Creating curves
- Sweeping, extruding, revolving, offsetting, and blending surfaces
- Modifying geometry
- Moving, scaling, flipping, and rotating objects
- Trimming curves and surfaces
- Creating copies of objects
- Aligning, combining, and splitting objects
- Analyzing geometry
- Shading models