New in Rhino WIP - LayerBook

To learn more, download the latest Rhino WIP and open LayerBook.3dm.


hi @dalelear would it be possible to describe at least briefly what its about? I have no way installing a WIP for windows currently and feel a bit left out in the middle of the pacific with a little paddle boat and no directions, for the pirates to catch me and the sharks to gobble me up :skull_and_crossbones: :eyes: :upside_down_face:


can’t try it now either, but here is some brief info. Still curious how the UI works…

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Hi @encephalon

It’s just a command line that allows you to progress through the layers of a file (in a strictly linear fashion, starting from the top to the bottom - sublayers included). Also allows the “author” to set the initial view of each layer using named views or to print the layers . Really very simple, but quite effective!
HTH, Jakob

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So essentially a dumbed down version of snapshots slideshow…

The design intent of LayerBook is to provide a tool that can be mastered in a few minutes and then used to quickly create simple presentations and tutorials.

The prerequisite skill is the ability to use the layer control (make layers, order them, edit their names). If text is required, the user needs to know how to use the Text command.

A SnapShots slide show would be more appropriate tool for a professional presentation where investing more time in creating the presentation and content is warranted.


Only, a smart kind of dumb, because you get to go backwards and forwards at will, stop and start, exit and resume, go to any step… in any Rhino file.



Interesting stuff!

…which could be integrated as icons in the layer’s tab


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Hi I am new here and was looking to make a suggestion for a possible feature related to layers in Rhino. This may not be the exact board to be posting this on but I wasn’t sure where else to post it. I would love a feature that allows me to turn off all layers in a file except one without needing to use a command. Obviously Rhino is a completely different beast, but in a Illustrator, I am able to hold Alt and click on the view layers button (the equivalent in rhino is the lightbulb in the Layers panel), and it turns off all layers except that one I selected and by clicking it again it turn all layers back on. I am in no way a developer so I have no ideas if this is even a possible feature, but it would sure speed up my modeling process and I could see it being useful in grasshopper and kangaroo animations.

Hi - you can right-click on a layer and then pick One Layer On from the menu.

Hi there, this is an interesting feature, particularly for creating tutorials etc.
Something I noticed is the adding “>” to the end of the layer name does cause layerbook to skip this layer, but it breaks the additive “+” functionality at this point. I think the “>” layer should be completely ignored, so that if the following layer has a “+” it will keep the previous visibility.

A Snapshot slideshow would be the surest way to look like a fool in front of your customer because the presentation would be slow as hell and would eventually gobble up all the computer’s memory and crash it.
This feature should simply be taken out of Rhino because it is simply not working.

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I seem to be doing something wrong, at least I don’t understand it. Using the layerbook file and instructions, I navigated thru the steps but I didn’t understand the advanced-prepare to save step. I wrote layerbook, clicked on advance, clicked on prepare to save- and then it returns to a blank command line. Is there supposed to be a save as box? I played around with it a bit but I couldn’t seem to modify the sequence that came in the initial file.
Second question- there’s no way to export this as any type of viewable sequence. Sometimes I have to provide clients assembly instructions. I typically copy multiple versions of the model, then turn off layers to create individual drawings for each sequence of assembly. A lot of work. The laybook sounds like a great way to do this but you would have to have Rhino to use it. There is no export feature, correct.

Hi Dave,

For this, you may want to take a look at LayerStates. You can Import a layer state list from another .3dm file.

According to the Help, “The LayerBook command provides a simple way to use a Rhino model as a slide show for demonstration and training.”

In other words, the Layerbook feature animates the “on/off” and current state of layers in the Rhino model. Your layer list becomes the “layer book” with the Next option. You will first need to sort by name or manually with the up down arrows and get your layer list order establish first.

Typically LayerBook Next option sets the next layer current and turns off all the other layers. Except:

  • Layers marked [N]+
    Content on addition layers is added to what is shown with the previous layer.
  • Header layers marked [N]>
    Header layers and are skipped by the LayerBook navigator.
  • You can walk though your layer slide show with Next and Previous or type the number of the Layer record to start at.
  • Use “All Layer On” macro in the Layer toolbar to reset the layers.
  • Hierarchical layers are not handled well. When you hit a new hierarchy, even if it has a +, all the other layer are turned off. I will log it as bug, unless I hear that this is helpful.

I use LayerBook to script the layer “on” sequence.You can use it “live” to show the model development or record with a screen capture software like Camtasia or Deput. Use the software to change the frame rate and “speed up” your video.

Here is an example where I am showing the “layer by layer” development of a house plan. This example is 2D, but a 3D application would also be very useful. This is on/off animation, the object do “fly-in” like you can do in programs like Powerpoint.

I used a command in AutoCAD called LayerWalk.
I can get close to that functionality with LayerBook.

I might be off base here or using this command in an unconventional way. But I feel it is useful, so I wanted to share.
Let us know how you end up using LayerBook.

Mary Ann Fugier
McNeel Technical Support and Training
Seattle, WA

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Thanks for the suggestions. I give it a try. I suppose I was hoping for something exportable, but that is unreasonable, as I was just saying to a client this week, this isn’t an animation program. None of my clients work in Rhino so I can’t send them a file to watch. Perhaps I should just take a video with my phone and send it to them as the occasion needs (I never thought of that before.)
Anyway, thanks.
Dave Coker