[Bf-committers] Named Layers Proposal

David Bryant aceone at bellsouth.net
Fri Oct 26 00:21:25 CEST 2007

My name is David Bryant. I've coded a layer naming system for Blender with 
other features included as well.

The features being:
The ability to label layers with names to facilitate better project 
The ability to switch from one layer to another even in edit mode.
The ability to toggle individual layers into wireframe mode. This was coded 
with animators in mind due to the fact that animators need fast playback 
when dealing with complex scenes. To illustrate: layer1 can be viewed 
solid,layer2 can be viewed wireframe etc.
Both with scene layers and bone layers objects and bones can be moved from 
layer to layer within the new UI .This was done also for a better working 
The names of the layers and the particular toggled view of the individual 
layers are saved into the .blend files so that the modeler / animator 
/rigger can return to his workflow space as he saved it previously. The tan 
buttons on the right of each layer box toggles to wireframe from whatever 
view previously engaged.
6.      The object drawing UI was removed from the constraints panel and 
integrated into the new scene layers UI for better workflow and facilitates 
more power to the new layer system and still works on individual objects as 

My future goals are to tie it in with the outliner and to deal with how to 
indicate which layers are occupied and which are not as far as the layer 
buttons in the 3D header or to come up with an entirely new system of 
accessing layers quickly in the 3D header.
Also, I want integrate the bone layer system into the scene layer system. 
Why? Because now that layers can be labeled, Blender can use the 16 layers 
as regular layers thus doing away with the bone layers as we know it.
Dynamic allocation of layers is on the horizon (adding and deleting of 
layers as needed) but the final UI design is still in flux because of 
workflow issues that will be addressed progressively.

Even objects viewed in custom assigned wireframe colors are in the works.

At present the system utilizes the 20 existing scene layers and the 16 bone 
layers .
As far as the underlying architecture, it uses Blender's present button 
system and the layer bitmasks have remained untouched. It's totally backward 
compatible with  .blend files of previous generations and is non hostile to 
Blender's present codebase.

But as of now, the Blender's underlying architecture still remains intact 
and unaltered.
The saved info for the new system is contained arrays in the DNA scene types 

Once it goes to a finished version 1 as it were. I will continue to improve 
it's design.
The patch is already uploaded in the patch tracker and you can download the 
latest build at graphicall.org.

I hope that the developers see it as a benefit for the Blender community.
Hope to hear a response soon.

David Bryant
aceone at bellsouth.net 

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