RfE: add a Layer Property for 'Interaction'

for behaving SU Layers as in more or less all other CAx applications, add an ‘Interaction’ attribute to the Layer Manager sothat the User can decide if Geometry on Layer n does interact/interfere with e.g. core “Layer 0” etc.

if not, renaming “Layer” to e.g. “Foil” could prevent misleading especially novice users being used the way other CAx applications are handling layers.

I believe this has been requested, in the past, as a Lock Layer feature.

This argument about layers is often used to compare SketchUp with CAD applications, IMO mostly misleadingly. Object interacting is built into SketchUp, and grouping or making components is the method meant to counteract it. On the other hand, in CAD applications, generally, objects do NOT interact (in BIM apps they usually do, just as they do in SU), and whether they are on one layer or the other has no importance in this respect. Why would we need another method to get to the same result as with groups, together with the fantastic confusion that could be created by combining the two?


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Because it is how many people want to work. It actually is more confusing individually grouping, or individually hiding, or individually locking objects.

We all know “layers” in SketchUp are not really layers. But this does not stop us from wanting a global collation / correlating / relation mechanism that looks similar to how the Layer Manager looks, but has more powerful abilities. Some have likened this to be something similar to Layer Groups, or tree structured layers, etc.

It would be very powerful if the “layers” concept went away, and it were replaced with a “relations” concept where an object could be tagged with more than one collating tag. (Notice I am purposefully avoiding the use of the term “layer”, as it makes little sense in 3D.)

So for example, A component could be tagged as belonging to the “Finishings”, the “Doors”, the “Fire Doors”, the “Second Floor”, and the “West Wing” variants, all at the same time.
Then depending upon what you wish to see, or print or edit, you can choose whatever combination of visibility switches you desire for the variant tags.

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afaik locking a layer normally prevents accidental changes to the objects on this layer.

in my understanding dumb groups/blocks are primary made as an easy selectable container of a bunch of entities belonging together whereas layers are a superior technique for structuring a model in logical areas tagged with various properties as e.g. color, visibility, locking, printing, amout of entities etc. and (in consequence) the interactivity (allmost) unique for SU.

A “fantastic confusion” of combining them seems to be neglectable because there would be only 3 possibilities why an object doesn’t interact: grouped, on non-interactive layer or both.

what also needs to be considered is the data exchange with other applications using layers sothat for an import/export via the DXF/DWG format a layer management is required and cannot be replaced by a “relation management”.

bzw, having a ‘freeze’ attribute which would display all objects on such a layer as a proxy element in form of a geometrical reduced ‘shell’ or flat face-me object would be nice to improve the display output performance without the need for hiding the corresponding content.

For data exchange purposes, couldn’t imported “layers” just be shoved into a SU Group? For exporting, you could have the option to make the first group entities into “layers”.