Cinema 4D 12.0 – Using Layers

Using layers in Cinema 4D 12.0 is a little different than other applications such as After Effects but their importance helping you organize your contents is the same. With a brief Etheruem Layer 2 Optimistic Rollup  introduction and a little practice, you’ll be using layers just as easily as with your other applications.

For starters, the round circle next to your objects in your object manager is the ‘doorway’ to your layer manager. If you look at any object in the object manager, you see one circle directly next to it with two smaller ones next to it. You probably already know that the smaller circles are to ‘turn on’ and ‘turn off’ viewing your object. The top one is for your current session, or in the editor and the one below controls it’s viewing in the render.

The larger layer circle is devoted to layer management. If you click this layer you see two options, to ‘add to new layer’ or to open the layer browser. Pick an object you would like to work with and click the layer button. I won’t refer to it as a circle anymore because the first thing you will see when you choose to ‘add to new layer’ is your circle becomes a round rectangle. It also changes from gray to a color. My first color is light blue which I suppose is the default.

The best way to illustrate a first layer exercise is to think of where you use layers and folders now. Whether in After Effects or simply in you pc or Mac file management, you use folders to group files. You group files that belong together and give your folders meaningful names that identify what files are contained in them.

Here choose a group. You could use a group you have defined to manipulate as a unit or a group that has a functional use such as a spline inside a NURBS. Click the layer button for the group parent, then click ‘Add to New Layer’. You’ll see your layer button immediately become colored and become a rounded rectangle. Do the same thing to the ‘children’ objects so their layer button shows the same color. Technically now when you click on their layer button you will get three options: ‘Layer Browser’, ‘Add to New Layer’, and ‘Add to Layer’ which will have an arrow point to the layer you just created showing the color it assigned.

Now that you have created a layer, you will have the option to assign any object to that layer. Add your ‘child’ objects to this newly created layer. Now click on any of these object’s layer button and choose ‘Layer Browser’. You see a separate window with the word ‘Layer’ followed by a series of icons. Let’s give your layer a meaningful name. Mine is a chute for a traveling ball so I’ll double click on the word ‘Layer’ then type ‘chute’. Name yours whatever is useful for the object set you have chosen.

The next thing we want to do is choose the first option, ‘button’ across from your layer name in this new window. Above this button is the letter ‘S’. When you do this, you will immediately see in your project that now everything else has disappeared. This ‘S’, ‘solo’ button is a single step to isolate a set of objects you want to work with and this might be the most used feature of a layer. There are countless times you will need to focus on a set of objects, see them independently to distinguish their behavior. Add them all to a group, assign this group a layer, set the layer to ‘solo’.

Leave a Comment