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Table of Contents

Layer Control

Objects like brushes and entities can be placed on layers which are basically a mechanism to group objects logically.


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 objects will be located on the "main" layer.


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


Creating a New Layer

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


VisibleDoes the same thing as the layer hide/show icon.
FrozenDoes the same thing as the layer freeze/unfreeze icon.
Export Layer Pak


Default LoadedThis layer will be loaded by default.
ExternalWhen 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 GameWhen this checkbox is enabled, the layer will be exported to the game when you use File -> Export to engine. Un-check this if you don't wish to see the objects contained in the layer in pure game mode.
Brushes Have PhysicsBrushes within a layer with this disabled will not have physics. This is good for distance background objects to save on performance.


When you have more than one layer in your level, you can assign your objects to a specific layer. Select an object and look at its Entity settings on the RollupBar. Click the Layer button to select a different layer.

The image below shows a Particle entity selected, and the Layer's button selected on the RollupBar.


To un-group the layers, hold CTRL and drag the layer you wish to un-group into the empty space below (or the very bottom of the layer list). It will then be released back into its own main layer.

Grouped Layers

Un-grouped layers


When saving a level, a new folder and file are stored inside the level folder. This will be something like Game\Levels\<Level>\<Level>_editor\userSpecificData.xml.

This file is used to store layer settings (frozen/hidden) for the level and having this file external to the .cry file allows for more flexible settings between multiple users who may be working on a level.



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