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Comment: Explanation of Layer Settings

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You can find the Layer Tab on the RollupBar. On the Layers tab are a few useful buttons and the layer list. By default, the levels level's objects will be located on the "mainMain" layer.

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Tip

In the screenshot that several layers have an asterisk after them. This shows layers that have had changes made to them.

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To create a new layer, click the New Layer button. After clicking on it, a dialog box will be displayed:

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Be sure to enter a useful and recognizable name for your layer, possibly indicating its function or a description of what it contains. For example "beach area" or "sounds".

In the dialog box you can also specify if the Layer is visible, is frozen, Export Layer Pak, Default Loaded, is external, will be exported to the game, or Brushes Have PhysicsSee the Layer Settings description for more information on the functionality of each individual setting. You can always change these settings later on by clicking the Layer Settings button or right-clicking the layer and selecting Settings.

Deleting a Layer

Click the Delete Layer button to delete the currently selected layer. A dialog box will show up and ask for confirmation.

Once a layer is deleted, it cannot be restored without reloading a previous version of the level, or re-importing the layer if it was external.

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To change layer settings, click the Layer Settings button or right click on a layer and select Settings in the popup menu. The same dialog box as for creating a new layer will be displayed. Change the settings and click OK.

Setting

Description

Visible

Does the same thing Color

For organization purposes only. Examples are to choose the same color for a layer and all its children or to attribute the color some meaning.

Visible

Same as the layer hide/show icon. See below for more information.

Frozen

Does the same Same thing as the layer freeze/unfreeze icon. See below for more information.

Export Layer Pak 

The layer's resources will be marked for use in the layer switching system for fast streaming. See Layer Streaming.

Default Loaded

This The layer will be loaded by defaultat startup even if it is not visible. See Layer Streaming.

External

When this checkbox is enabled, the layer will be stored as a separate .lyr file on disk, enabling better use of version control systems.
The layer will automatically be exported when your level is saved, and imported on loading.
Un-checking this box will make the layer part of the .cry file again and the external .lyr file will no longer be updated. External layers are indicated by an underlined layer name.

Export to Game

When this checkbox is enabled, the The layer will be exported to the game when you use File -> Export to engine.
Un-check this if you don't do not wish to see export the objects contained in the this layer in to pure game mode. This useful for objects used for development. This option is distinct from the visibility setting in the editor. See also 'Platforms' to export depending on the deployment target.

Brushes Have Physics

Brushes within a layer with this disabled will not have physics. This is good for distance background objects to save on performance.

Platforms

You can choose if you want the layer to only be exported to specific platforms. This is useful to have different assets or logic depending on your deployment target for performance reasons or for exclusivity.

Assigning Objects to Layers

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The image below shows a Particle entity selected, and the Layers button selected on the RollupBar.

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By default any object is placed in the layer "Main", unless you have selected another from the layers menu.

If a different layer is selected from the Layers tab, any objects added to the level will automatically be assigned to that layer.

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  • Toggling the eye icon will hide/show the objects on that layer.
  • Toggling the arrow icon will allow interaction with objects when the icon is visible (objects are unfrozen), and disallow interaction when the icon is hidden (objects are frozen).

Additionally, we have 2 extra icons on the top of the stack that controls the visibility or frozen state of all the layers. When all layers are visible or editable, the icon will show.

Once a layer is hidden, the icon will disappear. You can toggle the icon yourself to hide / show all the layers at once.

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Optional double clicking of layer states

Double clicking on an icon will make make all layers  layers change their state of hide/show or frozen/unfrozen, depending on which icon was selected.

We also have the option to disable the double clicking of layers completely. Image RemovedInside the preferences panel of the editor, there is a new option for this.

Once disabled you can still use the 2 icons at the top of the stack to toggle all the layers at once.

Tools\Preferences...

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Grouping Layers (Child Layers)

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Grouped Layers

Un-grouped layers

 

Related CVars

es_LayerDebugInfo

e_ObjectLayersActivation

e_ObjectLayersActivationPhysics

sv_LoadAllLayersForResList

es_LayerSaveLoadSerialization

 

Excerpt
hiddentrue
Learn how to create, manage, and use layers to manage complex levels.