The Level Explorer enables you to quickly search for objects, hide/unhide and freeze/unfreeze objects in a list view. You can also browse through hidden or frozen objects without changing their state.
Additionally, you can add layers in which you can group objects, so you can hide/unhide and freeze/unfreeze specific groups of objects at once.
This functionality can be used for numerous purposes; you might want to load one layer with certain objects at a certain point in your game, for example, and another complete layer of objects a little later. Also, layers can be used to make sure several people don't work on the same objects at the same time by hiding the layer they're not supposed to work on.
Another use for layers is when you want to replace a large group of objects etc. for another group of objects after something happens in your game. E.g. you could have a village destroyed in a cinematic. In that case, you could have a layer with the village intact to use before the cinematic and a layer with the village when it's destroyed to use when the cinematic has been played.
The Level Explorer is shown in the bottom-left corner of the Sandbox interface by default, but can also be found in Tools -> Level Editor -> Level Explorer.
The Level Explorer has its own menu bar with options. In this menu you can find the following options:
|New Layer||Creates a new Layer in the Level Explorer. (NOTE: these are only visible in the list below when you have chosen View -> Show Layers.)|
|New Folder||Creates a new folder in the Level Explorer. (NOTE: these are only visible in the list below when you have chosen View -> Show Layers.)|
|Import Layer||Imports a layer.|
|Delete||Delete the selected object(s)/layer(s)/folders. (NOTE: when deleting separate objects while View -> Show All Objects is active, the object(s) will be deleted without a warning dialog.)|
|Find...||Lets you search for objects in the level by using the Search bar in the Level Explorer.|
|Hide all layers||Hides all objects in all layers in the viewport.|
|Show all layers||Shows all objects in all layers in the viewport.|
|Freeze all layers||Freezes all layers, preventing users from editing them.|
|Unfreeze all layers||Unfreezes all layers.|
|Freeze read-only layers||Freeze all layers that have been set to read-only on disk. This is particularly useful if you are using Perforce for version control, as only the layers you have checked-out (marked for editing) will be writable. In essence, you will only be able to modify what you can modify.|
|Show All Objects||Shows all objects in the level in a list.|
|Show Layers||Shows all layers and folders in a list without showing all the objects within them.|
|Show Full Hierarchy||Shows all layers and folders including all the objects within them.|
|Show Active Layer Contents||Shows the contents of the layer that has been set as the active layer.|
|Expand All||Expands all groups and layers and shows all objects in them.|
|Collapse All||Collapses all groups and layers.|
|Show Active Layer Label|
When Show Layers or Show Full Hierarchy is active, displays the name of the active layer in the top-right corner of the Level Explorer:
Clicking the magnifying glass next to this name will select the layer in the list. This is especially useful when using a large number of layers.
|Sync Selection||When enabled, syncs the selection in the Level Explorer with the selection in the Viewport; whatever is selected in the Level Explorer is always selected in the Viewport as well, and vice versa.|
|Apply Filter||Applies a previously saved filter.|
The List View
You can press the heading of the column to sort the dataset, based on the alphabetic order in this column.
To show other columns, right-click the heading bar and choose which column to hide/unhide:
The three most-used columns are in the main context menu that appears:
|Layer Color||Shows/hides the layer color column on the far left.|
|Visible||Shows/hides the visibility state of the object. By clicking this icon next to the object, you can choose whether an object or layer is visible or not.|
|Frozen||Shows/hides whether an object or layer is frozen or not. An arrow with a line through it is frozen, an arrow without a line is not.|
As with the visibility state, you can click this icon to choose if you want an object to be frozen or not.
|Name||Shows the names of the objects.|
|Objects||Shows extra columns with information related to objects (see "When Showing All Objects Is Active" below).|
|Layers||Shows extra columns with information related to layers (see "When ShowLayers Is Active" below).|
Which sub-menu is shown depends on whether you have chosen to Show All Objects, Layers or the Full Hierarchy.
When Showing All Objects Is Active
|Layer||Displays the visible layer to which the object is assigned; objects on invisible layers will not be displayed.|
|Object Type||Shows the type of the objects, e.g. Entity, Brush, Prefab, etc.|
|Type||Shows the type of the objects. This is a different type to Object Type, as it's a modifiable string and could potentially be anything you want. This makes it a less useful column when filtering objects.|
|Default Material||Shows the path to the object's default material.|
|Custom Material||Shows the path to the custom material assigned on top of the object's default material, if defined.|
|Breakable||Shows what type of breakability the object supports.|
|Smart Object||Shows whether the object is a Smart Object or not.|
|Flow Graph||Shows which Flowgraph the object is used in.|
|Geometry||Shows the path to the object's geometry, if applicable.|
|Instances||Shows how many times the object is used in the level.|
|LOD count||Shows how many LODs the object has.|
|Spec||Shows which MinSpec level the object is set to display on.|
|AI GroupID||Displays the Group ID number associated with an AI character.|
When Show Layers Is Active
|Exportable||Shows if the layer is exportable.|
|Exportable to Pak||Shows if the layer is exportable to a .pak file.|
|Loaded in Game||Shows if the layer is loaded in the game. Choosing not to load a layer right away will improve performance.|
|Has Physics||Turns on the physics of physicalized objects in the layer.|
|Platform||Shows which platforms the layer is shown on.|
When Show Full Hierarchy Is Active
When this is active, all objects, layers, groups etc. will be displayed in a tree view, depending on how the objects are organized. All options for Objects and Layers will be available.
Use the Search Bar under the Menu Bar to quickly filter objects by name. For example, enter "vil" to display all the objects containing these three characters: village_hut, anvil, villager, man_evil_01, etc.
By clicking the Filter button next to the Search bar you can filter the objects by the properties in the context menus mentioned above under The Table View.
As above, the filters change depending on whether you have chosen to Show All Objects, Show Layers or Show Full Hierarchy.
Right-clicking on an object will open the same context menu as when right-clicking on it in the Viewport.
Also, double-clicking on an object in the Level Explorer will focus the camera on it in the Viewport.
|Set As Active Layer||Sets the selected layer as the active layer.|
|Reload||Reloads the selected layer.|
|Freeze read-only layers||Freezes all read-only layers.|
|Freeze all other layers||Freezes all layers except the selected one.|
|Toggle hide all other layers||Hides/unhides all other layers.|
|Expand all||Expands all groups and layers.|
|Collapse all||Collapses all groups and layers.|
|Freeze/unfreeze objects in layer||Freezes/unfreezes all objects in that particular layer.|
|Hide/unhide objects in layer||Hides/unhides all objects in that particular layer.|
|Visible||Changes the visibility state of the selected layer.|
|Frozen||Changes the visibility state of the selected layer.|
Color marks the selected layer with a color in the list.
Exportable determines if the layer is exportable or not.
Exportable to Pak determines if the layer is exportable to .pak format or not.
Loaded in Game shows if a layer is loaded in the game or not.
Has Physics turns the physics of physicalized objects in the layer on or off.
Platforms makes the selected layer available for certain platforms or not.
|Open Containing Folder||Opens the folder where this layer is saved on your system.|
|Copy Filename||Copies the filename of the layer onto the clipboard.|
|Copy Full Path||Copies the full file path.|
|Source Control||Source control options depending on the source control system used.|
|Rename||Rename the selected layer.|
|Delete||Deletes the selected layer.|
Visibility of Layers/Folders/Objects
You can toggle visibility of objects in layers by clicking the Visible icon (). When the layer is invisible, the icon will be grayed out:
You can freeze layers/groups/objects so they can not be edited by accident. To do this, click the Freeze icon (). When the layer is invisible, the icon will be grayed out:
Object Linking in the Level Explorer
Adding objects to a group and linking is possible through the Level Explorer.
- If you drag an object onto a group or prefab, the object will be added to that group or prefab
- If you drag an object onto a layer, it will be moved to that layer
- If you drag an object onto another object, both objects will be linked
- If both the dragged objects and the target are entity objects and the target entity has bones, a menu will be displayed through which you can link to a bone or the object itself
For more information about object linking, see this page.