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Using Layers & Scenes

7.1_Using Layers & Scenes

0:01 As the level of detail in our model has progressed and grown, so too has the number of layers.

0:09 Showing and hiding certain layers with scenes should be done for two main reasons:

0:14 The first reason, as we saw in the previous lesson with the context diagram, is to use scenes, shadows, and styles together to create a certain look and feel as well as to communicate different design ideas.

0:27 The second reason, as referenced in the title of this course, is optimization.

0:33 And while we’ve chosen to cover the use of scenes as the last course in this learning track, there’s no need to wait until your model is complete to utilize scenes to your advantage.

0:43 Let’s now set up a few scenes now that are associated with different amounts and types of information that we may want to see at a given time.

0:51 First, open the scenes panel, along with the little drop down, to ensure that everything is checked so changes are reflected when we modify or update our scenes.

1:02 I also like to turn off scene thumbnails as sometimes it can take a long time for the thumbnails to generate.

1:11 Let’s now go and turn everything our model on.

1:16 Then save a scene naming it ‘All’ or something similar to denote that this scene has everything turned on.

1:24 This is also a bit of a warning as there may be some lag if you have a really complex model with all your layers turned on at once.

1:32 Also remember that while we’re the ones building this model, we may not be the only ones working with it so our scene names are important as they communicate with others involved in the project.

1:43 Next, we’ll turn OFF the context layers and anything that may be high-poly that could slow the model down.

1:50 Also, I went ahead and left the people layer on since they’re 2D and don’t affect performance at all and are also helpful for scale.

1:59 Let's make sure to turn off any 3D or render trees and just show 2D ones since this is a working scene and we want to keep it as light and nimble as we can get it.

2:12 So now we can create another scene and name this simplified view ‘Working’.

2:20 Before moving on, for this scene, let's change the face style to ‘Shaded’.

2:24 And then save a new style and update the 'Working' scene.

2:29 The ‘Shaded’ face style is a faster style because it doesn’t render the textures an instead substitutes similar solid colors.

2:38 The aerial is the only texture that we might really need to see and we’ve turned that off for this particular scene so the 'Shaded' style should be ok.

2:48 Let’s now zoom in to a close-up view that we might want to export or render later and then turn off the 2D trees and turn on the 3D ones and save another scene, calling it 'Render'.

3:01 We can do this for multiple views if we know that we’ll need more than one.

3:07 We can also create a scene for the context diagram as shown in the previous lesson.

3:11 We just need to go to plan view…then 'Parallel Projection'……set layer style to ‘Color By Layer’.

3:21 As you can see here I created an optional ‘Walking Circle’ layer that is included in the final model provided with the exercise files.

3:30 Then we can adjust the shadow settings a bit to flatte out the colors.

3:38 Then turn edges and profiles off.

3:44 And save a new style.

3:46 Then we can create a new scene and name it something appropriate for what it is.

3:52 You can see how important scenes are for not only managing visible layers but also shadow settings and styles as well.

4:00 Now that we have everything created, we can toggle quickly between them and see the changes reflected instantly.

4:10 Using scenes this way relives us from the burden of always showing high-poly or render-only geometry until we absolutely need to.

4:17 This keeps performance optimized even as our model becomes larger and more complex over time.

4:24 One key thing to keep in mind is that when you add new layers, make sure to toggle them on or off and update any specific scenes that are affected accordingly as by default, new layers show as on in all the existing scenes.

4:41 There are extensions for helping manage this process if you want to avoid this problem, especially if you have lots of scenes in your model.

4:48 Another thing to remember is that for small models, these performance-enhancing tricks may feel like more a lot more work than they’re worth.

4:55 But the goal here is to establish good modeling habits so, that later, when working on a massive site model...