Working with layers

For extended layout planning, 3D Train Studio provides professional level tools so layouts can be planned and constructed easily and efficiently.

2D view

A level, also known as a layer, allows logically connected components to be shown or hidden in order to enable a view of the areas below. Levels divide a layout into different layers that can be processed separately from one another. The levels are not limited to showing and hiding components, but also facilitate work at different heights and the visual separation of system areas through individual colour settings.

Creating layers

Open any layout and activate the layer tools by clicking on View > Layers in the top menu. A new window opens in the right area of the system where new levels can be created and existing ones configured.

Initially a layout consists of only one level, the standard level. As long as no other levels exist, all new components are assigned to this level. The default level can be changed, but not deleted.

The layer window consists of a small toolbar and a list of all available layers:

  • New layer + opens a dialog for adding a new layer. The following properties can be set for each level:
    • Name : Specifies the name of the new layer as it will then be listed in the layer window. The name is used to differentiate between different levels.
    • Color : Defines the colour of the layer. Clicking on opens a dialog with which a user-defined color can be selected. The colour of the plane is used for visual differentiation in the technical view.
    • Height : Specifies the height of the plane on which the assigned components are positioned. If the level is not to be restricted to any height, activate the No height restriction button. For more information on planes with height restrictions, see the Working with planes section.
    • Comment : Optional field to describe the level. The comment is shown automatically when the mouse is briefly positioned over the layer name in the layer window.
    • Activate level : If the button is set, the new level becomes the active level. New components are automatically added to the active layer.
  • Remove layer : Permanently removes the selected layer. Assigned components are reset to the standard level.
  • Edit level: Opens a dialog for editing the selected level.
  • Level up: Moves the selected level up one position. By adjusting the layer position, you can arrange the layers according to your own ideas in order to get a better overview.
  • Level down: Moves the selected level down one position.

After creating a new level, components can now be assigned to the level. To do this, select all components on the layout that are to be added to the level. Then right-click on the layer and choose Assign selection. The components are moved to the newly created layer. In this way, you can create as many levels as you want and assign components. Please note that a component can only be assigned to one level.

Level dialog

The level of a component is indicated in the properties window of the respective component by a coloured strip that takes on the colour of the respective layer. In the case of a multiple selection, the three most common levels are listed. Clicking on the coloured stripe opens a small context menu with the help of which the selected components can also be assigned to a special level.

Working with layers

After creating levels and assigning components, the levels can now be used to improve layout planning:

  • Pin: Click on the pin symbol in the layer window to fix all components of the layer. Fixed components can only be selected by double-clicking and are also ignored when selecting using a selection frame. Fixing a plane is useful to protect the components from being accidentally selected and moved.
  • Eye: Click on the eye symbol to hide the level and thus all assigned components. Another click shows the level again. Hiding layers reveals the objects below.

Note: Hold down the ALT key while clicking the pin or eye icon to lock / hide all other layers opposite to the current selection. This enables a level to be made visible without hiding all other levels individually.

If you want to briefly show individual components without showing the associated layer, you can select the component and make the component visible in the properties window by clicking on the eye symbol. In this case, the symbol turns red, which indicates that the visibility of the component differs from the visibility of the plane. The component retains the selected visibility until it is manually reset to the current visibility of the layer.

Double-click the name of a level to activate it. Only one level can be active at a time. The active level is the level to which new components from the catalog are assigned. If no level is active, new objects are assigned to the standard level.

The height of an active level is also taken into account when placing components. There are the following rules:

  • If the level has no height restriction, new components are created at height 0. When the automatic height adjustment is activated, objects are positioned on the highest floor slab.
  • If the level has a height restriction, new components are created at the corresponding height. When the automatic height adjustment is activated, objects are positioned on the table, which itself lies above the active level and also below the next higher level. This allows components to be positioned on floor slabs below other floor slabs