Layers of the geometry inside a block - by Parent?

Is it possible the geometry inside a block to inherit the layer of the block instance - as with Display Color - By Parent?

I have the same question.
The Lands Design trees do this, somehow. Objects inside the blocks are set to ‘By Parent’.


Yet this seems to be unexposed in the properties.


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Hi Eugen - that looks odd to me - is the selected object a ‘top level’ block instance ? That is, not inside a BlockEdit session?


Yes, the selected tree is a block inside of a block:

test ByParent.7z (2.7 MB)

It’s a concept found similar AutoCAD. If an object inside a block is on layer 0, it takes the layer of it’s parent (the block). Frees from the necessity to worry about on which layer to put the block’s content (if needed).

@mary - can you comment? Is this on your radar at all?


Hi @cadmaster and @Eugen

This is not a feature in core Rhino yet. I have often felt the need for a Layer 0, but the Rhino “By parent” was “almost” enough. Thanks for requesting this and for sending the LANDS file. It was super helpful.

If I had to guess what is happening here, By Parent is cooked up as a hidden layer in the Rhino model. If LANDS or VA is loaded, the layer does not display on the panel. But it can be selected in Properties.

The behavior of the block is such that objects in the block whose layer is assigned to “By Parent” will inherit the layer assignment from the layer that the block is assigned or inserted on.

LANDS has figured out a really awesome way to do this in their plugin.
My display matched yours, because I had VisualARQ loaded. Once I unloaded it, I could see the “by parent” layer was really in the file.

I will write up a YT and share the tracking number of the feature request soon.
Mary Ann Fugier
McNeel Technical Support


Given Rhino’s history with AutoCAD I would have expected Rhino to have this behaviour as well. Even though it may seem a minor thing it really is a useful feature to have as it allows you to use one symbol/block for different purposes e.g. by putting them on different layers with different colours instead of having to duplicate blocks and give each of them their own colour.

It’s one of the very few AutoCAD things I miss in other CAD/drafting software if it isn’t there.
@mary @pascal So yes please, do implement it in Rhino as well. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you for your input.
It is greatly appreciated.

We have logged.
It is now assigned to a developer for review.
RH-67624 - Add “By Parent” Layer Property option

Mary Ann Fugier
McNeel Technical Support and Training
Seattle, WA