Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating layers, part of Maya 2015 Essential Training.
One handy way to organize your scenes is using layers. Now this allows you to create self-defined groups of objects and be able to switch them on or off as you desire. So, let's take a look at this scene which is a little complicated here. And this is basically a room with a background and some furniture. So let's go ahead and organize this into layers. Now you'll find the Layers menu in the Channel Box. So when I click on the Channel Box, you'll see here at the bottom, I have three types of layers.
I have Display layers, Render layers and Animation layers. We're going to just work with Display layers. Now, all I have to do to create a layer is just click on this menu here and it says Create Empty Layer. So if I do that, it creates a layer for my scene. Now this layer is empty. So if I wanted to, I could actually add something to this scene. So let's go ahead and zoom out and click on this background image.
And let's add that to this layer. So I'm going to go ahead and right-click over layer1. And go Add Selected Objects. Now when I do, that object is now in that layer. And once I have it in the layer I can do all sorts of things to it. If I hit this V I can topple that object on or off. In other words, I can hide or show all the objects in that layer. Now next to that V is another series of toggles. I can toggle it to T which is template mode.
Which shows the object, but doesn't allow me to select it. It kind of grays out the wire frame of that object. The next mode is called R which allows the object to be rendered but not selected, so you can actually see the object, but it freezes it so that you can't select the object. Now this can be really handy. You can take a lot of objects in the scene, put them into a layer so that you can see them but you don't accidentally select them. You can also name your layers. So we have this background image in our layer.
So let's go ahead and name this. So I'm going to go and double-click on this, and you'll see we have an Edit Layer menu that comes up. And we can just call this Background. And we can go ahead and hit Save. And now we have a background image. Now, let's do the same for the objects in the room. So, I'm going to go ahead and keep this background on R for reference and then I'm just going to go ahead and select. Here, that selects basically the walls and the painting of the room.
And then hold down Shift+select. And I'm going to select the floor. So now I've basically got everything in the room. And I'm going to create another layer. But this time I'm going to go Layers > Create Layer from Selected. So what this does is allows me to create a layer from the objects that I've already selected, it's a little bit quicker than creating an empty layer, and now I have this second layer. And again, I can turn that layer on or off. I can template that or I can turn it to R to make it reference.
So now once I have this in reference mode, I can't accidentally select it. If reference is off I might accidentally select the floor or the walls if I wanted to select some furniture in the room. And maybe I don't want that. So I can, again, turn into Reference and I've got that selected. Now, if I want, I could also do the same for the furniture in the room, and which is really just all that's remaining. So all I have to do is, again, marquee select this, do Layers > Create Layer from Selected.
Now, again, I should keep in mind that I want to keep these things organized, so I need to also organize my names. So I'm going to go ahead and select layer2 and let's just type in, say, Furniture. Hit Save. Go to layer1 and let's just call that the Room. So now I've got the scene pretty much organized the way that I want. Now if I want I can go even further. You see I have all of these lights in the scene, so I go into my Outliner, I can go here and select all of my lights.
And again add a new layer. Create Layer from Selected. And then we can just create a layer called Lights. Hit Save. And then again, I can either template those or make them reference. And now, I won't accidentally select anything, but the furniture in the room. And so now, I can rearrange the furniture without having to accidentally select, what's behind it. So, as you can see, layers are very, very handy. It's a really, powerful way, to organize your scenes, so that you can work a lot more efficiently.
- Getting familiar with the Maya interface
- Creating hierarchies and layers
- Creating polygonal objects
- Working with subdivision surfaces
- Extruding a mesh
- Smoothing geometry
- Lofting and extruding with the NURBS curves tools
- Converting NURBS to polygons
- Creating and applying texture maps
- Applying UV mapping
- Adding lights and cameras to a scene
- Creating realistic effects such as depth of field
- Batch rendering
- Animating in Maya
Skill Level Beginner
1. Getting Started in Maya 2015
2. Organizing Maya Scenes
3. Creating Polygonal Models
4. Editing Meshes
5. Refining Meshes
6. NURBS Modeling Techniques
7. Refining NURBS Models
8. Creating Materials
9. Applying Textures
10. Rendering in Maya
11. Animating in Maya
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