Layer Control in Layouts & Thumbnail Update

As long as you have a stable set of layers, the Layer State Manager can be used for this.

We’ll give that a shot - I know a few colleagues have had issues (bugs) with the Layer State Manager in the past. Holistically, I think there is significant value to having the layer controls (model vs. layout) independent of one another in any/all applications. If there are instances in which the opposite proves to be true, please let us know. We really enjoy the program and appreciate all of the work you and your team puts into each update, the above is just our intersection with Rhino and ideas for improvement. Regards,


That’s what this forum is for. A public discussion of how things work, why, and how than may be improved.
I’m a little surprised no one else has chimed in either way yet, but it is a Summertime Friday.

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Well, I could imagine a layer manager that showed a layer state in model space and a different layer state in layout space. That is to say that the two coexist in the same panel and come up automatically depending on which space you are currently in - for example if you were on a layout page, but were to to double click on a detail, you are actually going back into model space, so the model space layer manager would come up…

The two managers would be interrelated of course, the same layers would have to exist in both, so editing (as in adding/deleting/characteristics/sublayering) would be global. But the Model space panel would control model space visibility and the Layout space panel would globally control layout visibility. The various Hide/Show in detail commands would still need to exist, but might be interesting to have that show up in the layout panel when a particular detail is active - as in some symbol that indicates “this layer is hidden in this detail”.

You would also need two layer state managers for saving and restoring layer states, of course.


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This behavior should be somewhat better in the latest RhinoWIP (5E41w). Please give it a try…hopefully those thumbnails update when the layout layer change.

It’s not quite there yet. The thumbnails all show it correctly when switching a layer off, but only the current page shows it coming back on.


I see what you mean. I can see where toggling the visibility of a model layer that is shared across many layouts and not seeing the thumbnail update is rather jarring.

Looking at MR-2776 here (sorry, it was not visible to the public until just now; an oversight on my part).

It looks like this behavior is intentional judging from this comment by @marlin.

Actually, I take that back: it sounds like the previous behavior was intentional. Marlin, should I reopen this bug? I believe I’m able to reproduce what @maxz is reporting.

@maxz I explicitly set up both the current behavior and the previous behavior just for you. Really. Thumbnails do eventually get updated, just not immediately. I limit how often thumbnails are updated to improve overall performance.

Remember this thread? Layouts slow down drafting

In the modeling window there typically are four viewports that get updated with every change. In the layout window, you can often have 3 or four viewports per page, so this doubles the number of viewports that are updated with every change.

For you, going from updating 4 modeling viewports to updating 8 viewports (4 modeling, 4 layout) slowed things down. Back then, no layout thumbnail was updated immediately.

Consider that every thumbnail is another three or four viewports, so constantly updating all the thumbnails will require updating 10 to 20 to 30 viewports, depending on the number of layout pages (and thus thumbnails) you have. Updating all the thumbnails all the time would likely make modeling on your older Mac pretty frustrating.

@Marlin: I do remember that thread and I really appreciate that you went through that trouble just to help me, but I am not the one that started this thread, @charliev mentioned it. I merely reported my findings on @dan’s request. Since version 5.3 layouts are not opened automatically on startup, which also helps a lot. I am happy, thank you.


I agree. When each layout is supposed to show a separate part, or a selection of parts in an assembly, it would be very handy if the layer settings for each layout stays the same while working on the model. I can’t really see any point having the layout layer settings at all if they get overridden the moment the model is edited. Maybe I am not using the layouts as it is ment to?

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Yes, I fully agree with that! Layer visibility should be completely separated between model and layout states.

Seems like they are considering the change, as you can see here


First off, I would also love to have the ability to work with global/model layers and layout layers independently. That would ease the process when having multiple plan-drawings with lots of info on top of each other, and wanting to sift through different layers in the layout.

Second, I have a problem concerning the “Layout and detail information”. My detail view in layouts is constantly showing all layers, even when disabling different layers in the “layout and detail information” tab. The only action that effects the look of the layout is when i toggle the layer where the detail view is located - then the detail view disappears. But I am unable to change the visibility of the different layers from the “Layout and detail information” tab. Any ideas?

I hope this makes sense.


Ah, I just realised that you need to have the detail view active for the “layout and detail information” layers to have any effect.
Sorry for the inconvenience.

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I’m sorry with who don’t think so, but to me don’t have the possibility to hidden layers in model space independently from the layout space is merely an idiot thing. It means a lot more work. I think it is a background from the “Microsoft window style”: if you can do one thing with one click… do it with ten clicks. That’s my opinion. Roy

I really wish to have an option to be sure my layout are safe… No matter which layers I turned on or off in model space.
Though, I think to have a global way to turn on/off layers for all detail at once is handy.
Suggestion : Would it be useful to have the detail lock option handling the model space layer state ?
If enabled only the layout layer state would be considered.

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Is the Layer State Manager not doing that for you?

Hi @wim,
The problem is that it doesn’t matter if you’ve used the layer state manager to configure your details, because as soon as you turn off any layer in model space, it will act as a global switch and will switch off that layer in any detail even if that layer is on in the detail. The only way to ensure that you don’t modify your saved layers configuration is turning every layer on in model space before printing your layouts.
This workflow is a real pain and very dangerous if you happen to work within a team, and someone else need to open a drawing to make some modifications and save that file forgetting to turn on all model layers.

I hope it makes sense and thanks for asking,


Hi José, yes that makes perfectly sense.
Perhaps one of the bigger brains has a firm grip on how to solve this issue, but, to me, there’s nothing that will make this process fool-proof - except (and certainly when working in teams) for tight work-flow control and good procedures.

Requiring that everybody in the team saves a layer state when a detail is finished, and then requiring that everybody restores the layer state before printing could be a good procedure and might even be scriptable.

But, remember that ,even if detail layers had a life on their own (which, as you stated further above, is on the wish list), if a user adds a new layer with a new object, this will be visible in every detail on all layouts. And, yes, layer states will not help here either.

I agree that layer state is really not a good solution. Too easy to mess up your work, even worse your team work (raised by José).
@wim I think the fact that a new object could come up in details is minor. I guess, a detail related option (like “locked” which concern only already existing details) could tell whether a new layer should be visible or not by default in layout space.

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All - Thanks for your input. I’ve bumped a YT issue that is more of an umbrella issue covering RH-38476. This wider one is only visible to developers though.

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