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Layers

SU Fundamentals 9-1 Layers

0:02 In many programs, layers are the organizational system.

0:07 Layers are the way to separate geometry and it’s not uncommon to have a long and complicated layer structure.

0:15 In SketchUp, it’s a different paradigm.

0:18 Groups and components are the way to organize and separate geometry and layers are primarily for controlling visibility of your geometry.

0:31 This house will be a good example.

0:34 If I select the walls and put them on a wall layer and select the floor, put it on a floor layer and the roof on a roof layer, this doesn’t actually separate the geometry.

0:48 So when I want to view and edit the floor,

0:51 I may turn off the walls and roof but this is only turning off their visibility, they are still connected to the floor geometry,

0:60 so any edits I make will result in warped geometry once I turn other layers back on.

1:09 The correct way to do this is to use groups and components.

1:14 I’m going to select all my geometry and put it back on layer 0.

1:20 Now, if I select the roof and make it a group and group the walls together, and the floors...

1:33 ...then I can put the group or component on a layer, but it’s grouped, so editing it will not affect other geometry.

1:43 I can toggle layer visibility, effectively turning off other groups and components.

1:53 So the rule is simple, always draw on layer 0.

1:60 Basically, leave layer 0 the active layer all the time.

2:05 Then, make groups and components of your geometry and place those groups and components into different layers.

2:13 Now your layers will be really helpful as your models grow and become more complicated and you can toggle parts of your model off.

2:23 So now that you understand the underlying work flow of layers, let’s look at how to assign and manage them.

2:30 If you don’t have them open already, bring up the ‘Layers’, and the ‘Entity Info’ panels and let’s look at our "Blocks" scene.

2:41 To assign a layer, you need to create it first, which you can do in the Layers dialog box.

2:48 Here you can quickly add layers, or remove them, and you can select multiple layers to delete as well.

2:56 Let me create and rename 3 layers, to correspond to the colors of these blocks.

3:03 You can rename a layer by double clicking on it.

3:08 With our new layers created, the best way to assign layers is through the 'Entity Info’ box.

3:17 Select one or more of your groups and components, then use this drop-down menu to assign them to a layer.

3:25 I’ll do this first with these red blocks, and then toggle their visibility off.

3:32 I’ll do the same for the green blocks…

3:36 ..and you can also toggle visibility off before assigning any geometry.

3:41 I’ll turn off the blue layer and then when I select the remaining boxes, as soon as I assign them to that layer, they’ll be hidden.

3:51 Now we can easily toggle these blocks on... or off...

3:55 To reiterate though, if I edit any of these components, the actual geometry is still on Layer 0, only the component grouping is assigned to a different layer.

4:07 So again, always leave layer 0 as the active drawing layer.

4:13 You can change the active layer but it’s very rare that you’ll actually do so.

4:21 Once you have a growing number of layers, if you try to delete any layer that has geometry assigned to it, you will get a warning and the option to move the contents or delete them completely.

4:35 If you need to simply move groups to a different layer, this could be one case where you make another layer the default layer, temporarily.

4:47 I could move all the block layers to a single layer by making it the current layer,

4:53 just to move these groups, but always be sure to reset so layer 0 is the active layer.

5:03 One final note on layers.

5:06 If you import CAD data into SketchUp, it will also import whatever layers were part of your CAD drawing.

5:15 We highly suggest cleaning and purging your CAD files of extra information before importing into SketchUp,

5:22 however, you can simplify that data, by deleting completely layers you don’t need,

5:29 or combining layers by deleting them and moving the contents together.