Organizing your Scene: Using Layers in Maya 3D 2012

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1. Rename objects:

In order to organize your scene, first you need rename your objects.
Do one of the following:

a) Select an object or node and edit its name at the top of the Channel Box.
To open the channel box go to  Display>UI Elements>Channel Box/Layer Editor

channel Boxb) Double-click a node in the Outliner.
To Open the Outliner Window>Outliner

outlinerc) On the Hypergraph right click on a node and select Rename
To open the Hypergraph go to Window> Hypergraph Hierrachy

2. Group Objects

Select Objects and group them appropriately; don’t forget to rename your groups.
To group objects in Maya:

a) Select 2 or more objects
b) Select Edit>group   or  Command + G

In the example below the whole building is group under “building_one” and  within that group  there are three more groups:

  • The roof
  • The storeys
  • The base

Maya groups

3. Organize objects using layers

Layers are overlapping views of your scene that have objects attached to them. You can assign any objects within a scene to layers. The advantage of using layers is that you can organize your scene while protecting objects from being accidentally moved or transformed. You can make a layer visible, invisible or a template.

To show the Layer Editor:
Select Editor> Select Display > UI Elements > Channel Box/Layer Editor

To create a new layer:
In the layer Editor select Layers > Create Empty Layer, or click the Create a new layer button

new layer

To rename a layer:
Double click the layer in the Layer Editor, and enter the new name.

rename layer
Naming rules:
•    No white spaces
•    Alpha numeric
•    Can’t start with a digit

To create new layer from seelcted:
a) Select objects
b) In the Layer Editor  select layers> Create layer from selected or click the icon create a new layer and assign selected objects
layer from selected

To assign a selected object to a layer:
a) Select objects
b) Select the layer in the Layer Editor
c) Right click the layer
d) Select Add Selected Objects.

add selected objects

To remove the selected objects from a layer:
a) Right click the layer
b) Select Remove Selected Objects

To delete a layer:
a) Select the layer in the Layer Editor
b) Select Layers > Delete Selected Layers

To delete layers without any objects:
In the Layer Editor, select Layers > Delete Unused Layers

To show or hide the contents of a layer:
Show or hide a layer click on the letter “V” located on the layer.
“V” in the box means the layer is visible.


Layer’s display type:

  • A blank box means the layer is normal.
  • A “T” means the layer is templated (You can see the object but you can’t modify it).
  • An “R” means the layer is reference (You can snap to objects in the layer, but you cannot select them or modify them).


Category: Maya 3D Tutorials Tags: 2 Comments


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