Getting Started Guide (Version 1.10)


The Layers tool is in legacy mode and is scheduled to be removed in a future release. See version information for replacement system(s).

The Layers tab in the Rollup Bar helps you organize the large amount of content that is created when you build a level.


You can place or assign objects (object-based entities from the Rollup Bar) to layers, as described in Assigning Objects to Layers. Entities, however, cannot be placed in layers. Even if it appears to work initially, all entities revert to the base layer when you exit the level file.

Using Layers Icons

You can use the toolbar on the Layers tab to create new layers or delete, rename, save, and export your existing layers:

Additionally, each layer has its own eye and arrow icons to help you manage your objects:

  • Eye icon – Temporarily hides a layer to help you focus on a specific layer. Click the eye icon on each layer that you want to hide. Click it again to make the layer visible.

  • Arrow icon – Disables the ability to select objects in that layer. This can be useful if you are having trouble selecting an object that is overlapped by objects in other layers.

Furthermore, you can organize your layers into nested groups by holding Ctrl and dragging each layer to your preferred location. 

Working with Layers and Their Files

When you create a new layer in a level, that layer is stored as a file in the level\layers directory with the extension .lyr.   

To work within a specific layer, click the Layer tab and then select the layer. With that layer selected, you can create and add content, all of which is placed in the selected layer.

When working within a specific layer, you don't need to save the level file, but you do need to save the layer file. To save the layer file, click Save External Layers icon, as shown in the following image.

Collaborating with Multiple Users

With the Layers tab multiple users can work within the same level. To do that, each user can create his or her own layer and build all the content within that layer. Although not required, a source control tool such as Perforce provides a useful way to manage these different layers. Users just check files in or out to get the latest updates from other team members.

Moving Assets Between Layers

Each entity, brush, or designer object that you place in the level is assigned to the currently selected layer.  If you have not created any additional layers, objects are placed in the default main layer. 

To assign an object to a different layer

  1. Select the object in the Perspective viewport.

  2. In the Rollup Bar click the Objects tab to view the name of the layer that contains the object.

  3. Click the Layers icon to display a list of the current layers for that level.

  4. Select the destination layer from the list.