Wish: Color coded layers


Hi Guys,

It would be great if we could color code layers. like this



and maybe even so that the display color coincides with the color code. otherwise it might be confusing to introduce more colors. at least by default, one can change it if needed.


This makes too much sense. :3

(Andrew Heumann) #5

this seems a bit weird to me. Confusing that these colors are totally independent from the “layer color” which is how objects display in a shaded viewport.



Hi Andrew. it is a visual aid to help organize layers. it should be off by default but available to those who need it.

i imaging you would right click on the layer and then choose a layer color so not to confuse it with the display color. also, maybe do as Richard mentioned.

maybe even so that the display color coincides with the color code.
otherwise it might be confusing to introduce more colors. at least by
default, one can change it if needed.


I also wish it was possible as visual aid for files with tons of layers. Colors independent on actual Layer Color.
It’s been requested several times before… Not sure if there is YT item for it though - couldn’t find anything related.



Yes, it would enhance the user interface a lot - either colors or different shades of gray (well, that’s also colors…) :slight_smile:


(Pascal Golay) #9

Hi Yousef - in your mock-up, the grouping colors, so to speak, are independent of the layer colors- does Rhino pick these grouping colors itself? If not, how are they assigned? What happens if you add a new sub-layer under say, ‘wall FF’. What should happen to the color scheme? And what if you then add yet another sub-layer?



Hi Pascal,

I dont think rhino should select the color, colors should be off by default. if you need to assign a color, you right click on the layer and select a desired color.

I think it should inherit the parent color, with possibly a lighter shade. with the ability to override the color to a new one (by right clicking again).

for simplicity sake, maybe, no need for color inheritance for sub layers. The user can do it manually if desired.

(Pascal Golay) #11

Hi Yousef - so ultimately, the thing that is requested here is the ability to assign a layer-panel display color to a layer, period, no smarts, correct?



Hi Pascal, Ultimately yes, that is correct.

(Pascal Golay) #13

Hi Yousef - just one more thing - it actually means assigning colors to levels, correct? not individual layers- so if you move a layer it takes the panel display color assigned to the level of the target, it does not keep its own - so the system needs to be smart to that extent - am I interpreting this idea correctly?



Hi Pascal,

Well, I think it should keep its own color for simplicity sake. if the user needs it to match the color of the level it can be done manually.

so again. if you need to color code your layers as a visual aid (layer-panel display color), you right-click on the layer (or multiple layers by shift click) and choose a color. if you then drag the layer anywhere it keeps its assigned color. if you create a new layer or sub layer it is the default white (no color).


Agree, color per-layer, independent on layer position in stack or any smarts for starters would be great.
This could always expand with smarts or adding scriptable color changes for automation, but the basic idea would be great to have for another level of visual organization of layers panel.


(Pascal Golay) #16

Hi Guys - thanks… this one has been bugging me just a little, probably I am over-thinking it … I get the simple approach - just allow display colors per layer, give access via scripting etc and be done with it, and maybe that is fine. But. As a top level feature, ignoring scripting etc for now, and thinking of general users’ needs - is that really useful, as is? I am pushing back 'cause I am not sure I understand the goal any more - the images posted above show this as a tool for visually organizing the layer panel by nested levels. Isn’t that the basic idea? If so, it seems like it needs to be automatic to that extent, and then possibly allow per-layer color as well as an override.

e.g. each layer has four panel display properties

  1. This layer colors its sub layers (on/off, checkbox in the context menu)
  2. The color.(swatch in the context menu)

  1. This layer has its own sticky color (on/off)
  2. The color.

I’m just making stuff up here, and you-all are the real users of course, but it seems like to be useful out of the box, the default behavior of such a feature really needs to have at least one degree of smarts so that nested levels can easily stay color coded. Just allowing coloring per layer seems like an invitation to an awful lot of management attention on the part of the user if the basic idea is to show levels.


Hi Pascal,

that sounds good. Compare it to this way also please. if the layer has nested layers, the indented space takes on the color of the parent. (click the image to expand)


Hi Pascal,

Yes, definitely the level of smartness would be welcome and make sense.

Only as one option. This could be more common use but everyone (or even every project) could have its own unique needs for the layer organization and color-coding. Having said that I think your other assumptions and solutions are correct and would make the whole system flexible.

Here is my simple summary:

  1. By default any new layer has no custom display color (No Color setting)
  2. Nested layers inherit the custom color or no color from their immediate parent.
  3. If the nested layer has assigned custom color, then that overrides the color from Parent Layer

This way you may not need 4 properties, just 2: custom color or no color. Auto-parent Inheritance is the ‘smarts’. I think it would make it all simpler and more intuitive.

The only question is what happens once you change the color/no color of the parent - do the children reset to inherit the new color, or the ones with custom color retain the color. I like the 2nd case (retain).

Here is a sample of how it is handled in “other software” (OK, it’s Photoshop. I know some developers here are a bit allergic to comparing photo-editing software to Rhino3D but there are a lot of things these two products could learn from each other!)



(Luciano Ambrosini) #20

I agree with you :slight_smile:



This is an excellent idea and something I’d love to see happen.

Going a little further, it would be great if the ChangeLayer window that pops up also mirrored these assigned colors to make navigation easier. In addition to that, it would be nice to also show the hidden/visible lightbulb symbols on the change layers window. It would be one more thing to aid navigation when the list gets long and complicated.