Working with layers

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

A layer, also known as a level, allows logically connected components to be shown or hidden in order to enable a view of the layers below. Layers divide a layout into different sections that can be processed separately from one another. Layers are not limited to showing and hiding components, but also facilitate working at different heights and the visual separation of layout sections 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 layers can be created and existing ones configured.

Initially a layout consists of only one layer, the default layer. As long as no other layers exist, all new components are assigned to this layer. The default layer 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 layer:

    • 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 layers.
    • 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 editor mode.
    • Height : Specifies the height of the plane on which the assigned components are positioned. If the layer is not to be restricted to any height, check the No height restriction checkbox. For more information on planes with height restrictions, see the Working with planes section.
    • Comment : Optional field to describe the layer. The comment is shown automatically when the mouse is briefly positioned over the layer name in the layer window.
    • Activate layer : If the button is set, the new layer becomes the active layer. New components are automatically added to the active layer.
  • Remove layer : Permanently removes the selected layer. Assigned components are reset to the standard layer.
  • Edit layer: Opens a dialog for editing the selected layer.
  • Layer up: Moves the selected layer 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.
  • Layer down: Moves the selected layer down one position.

After creating a new layer, components can now be assigned to the layer. To do this, select all components on the layout that are to be added to the layer. 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 layer as you want and assign components. A component can only be assigned to one layer.

The layer of a component is indicated in the properties section of the respective component by a coloured stripe that takes on the colour of the respective layer.

In the case of a multiple selection, the three most common layers are shown. Clicking on the coloured stripe opens a context menu which allows the selected components to be assigned to a different layer.

Working with layers

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

  • Pin: Click on the pin icon in the layer window to fix all the 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 icon to hide the layer and thus all assigned components. Another click shows the layer 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 layer to be made visible without hiding all other layers 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 icon . 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 layer to activate it. Only one layer can be active at a time. The active layer is the layer to which new components from the catalogue are assigned. If no layer is active, new objects are assigned to the default layer.

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

  • If the layer 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 layer has a height restriction, new components are created at the corresponding height. When automatic height adjustment is activated, objects are positioned on the table, which itself lies above the active layer and also below the next higher layer. This allows components to be positioned on floor slabs below other floor slabs.