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In AD sometimes when I read Layer it seems to refer to an object, other times a container in which to place multiple objects much like a group.

 

Can you explain the difference between vector layers and groups as containers?  Why would I use one instead of the other?  Does one have certain properties and/or affects on the objects in them that the other doesn't? Any pros and cons?

 

From reading the help I don't see really a difference.

 

I appreciate it.


iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) with macOS Sierra

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I guess the short answer is they both do the same.

 

Cons - Using layers alone can quickly look overwhelming.

 

PROS - Using groups with layers, will keep your scene more organised. 

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I do n ot think a layer is the same as group, though the group is in fqct q kind of layer but specifying that it is containing several layers withiin. And of course I do not consider a layer as container, though it vqn. contqin in fqct seveal objects. For me a layer represents a. kind of place where the obejct or objects within are behaving in relation to other layers that can b. up or down. It is imporant to see that this kind of hierarchy is basic to what we wish to obtain, In fat depending on the position of the layers, the work is changing a lot in the result of our work. The group lets us keep contained many other layers, that cqn be used for drawing different objects and belonging to some final object, A head, for example can have many different objects and at the same time an eye can have many strokes and shapes...so the group let us do that.....grouping and naming these things so that we can work in an orgqnized palette. The group can move without p roblem several objects within, changing its size and so, without having to choose amongs a lot of layers the one that we want to select. We can duplicate and rotate and do whatever these groups without having to select among such an anount of layers.

there are always pros and no cons in using these ranks, but one should choose what object will fit into some group or not. Any advante for working more organi zed and faster is a pro. There are grouping in any vectorial app. I have worked with four of them and it is the same thing in all of them. It is letting you to create many layered works but without a clean and organ ized palette. Once you get used to it you are not feeling overwhelmed any more. I invite you to try to work with them and you will see the differences and possibilities.

Rosa

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Groups also can be assigned an fx so, for example, if you have a few objects that you want to assign the same amount of blur to, you can group them and assign the gaussian blur to the group. You can also assign an fx to a layer so you could have a group with one fx and the layer containing the group with another. There are many possibilities and you just need to play around with layers and groups.

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The move and node tools act differently toward groups and layers.  Best way to think about it is that (aside from container level FX) LAYERS will never act like GROUPS unless you group them (or select them together, of course).  GROUPS act like GROUPS (obviously) but can also act as layers...

 

So what's the difference?  How do they each act?  Pretty simple really.  But it's probably easier to show you  :P  here's a quick screen recording for you.

 

Main takeaway is that you can force AD to treat groups as layers by double clicking on the objects within the group using selection tools.  Using layers to hold other layers is basically just to help you organize your layers panel, they'll still act like layers as far as your selection tools are concerned - although it will still give you the ability to add FX to the entire layer container as you would with groups.  You can also have multiple layer containers within a single group, and vice versa.  Groups are like folders, layers are like files, you have to double click to get into folders, once you're in a folder you can single click between the files in that folder - if you want to get into a different folder, you have to double click on a file within THAT folder.  Ungrouped layers and layers within layer containers are like universal files, no matter where you're at in your file/folder structure you can always access them individually with a single click.

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kevn86, that was outstanding.  You are right the video was worth a million words.  I created the same test document and was playing along with the video.  So the main difference seems to be how selection is accomplished.  I've always used groups in AD seeing as they are easier to create (and I couldn't see a difference).  Going to have to try using layers on my next project to see which seems handier for my workflow.  The developers seem to think the layer is a higher functioning object than the group seeing as they have a "Promote group to layer" command.

 

Thank you very much for that input.

 

Mike


iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) with macOS Sierra

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:) I'm glad it was helpful!

 

Yeah the only differences I've been able to find are related to selection.  I absolutely find both useful, groups especially help me keep track of layers that I'm trying to keep within relative position.  I'll typically begin working in layers and layer containers until I'm finished with a certain section and then I'll group and move on to another.  So I'm using layer containers to help me organize my layer panel, maintain my desired hierarchy and pre-plan batch FX without changing the way that I'm able to interact with them on my canvas while I'm still working on a particular section.  Once I'm ready to focus on another section I'll group them, basically as a pseudo-locked set of layers.  Meaning I may not be sure about final placement yet, but for the time being, I don't want any of them to be able to move from where they currently sit in relation to each other.  I try to reserve locking for a more permanent placement reminder.  Then when I come back to work on that group, I'll promote it to a layer and dive back into the canvas.  Or I'll sometimes use grouping simply to be able to select separate sets of layers and layer containers more efficiently than manually selecting them.  Makes it much easier to explore arrangement possibilities.

 

I wouldn't assume the devs believe either to be "higher functioning" than the other :P I feel like "Convert Group to Layer" would probably be a better way to state the action.  Grouping/Ungrouping are familiar actions to users of such applications and even carry the keyboard shortcuts commonly associated with each action.  But the layer containers are a bit unique to Affinity, although the function is similar to that of isolation mode in Illustrator.  So Layer(s) -> Group is already a thing, and Group -> Ungroup is already a thing, but Group -> Layer [container] is a new thing (as far as I'm aware, anyway...).  Sure, you could easily create a new blank layer, and move the grouped objects inside the new layer and delete the (now) empty group.  Or ungroup the group, and place the objects inside the new blank layer.  Like most applications there are multiple ways to accomplish the same objective.  But it's much easier to use the promote action :) so I'm definitely glad that it's a two-click option, I guess they had to name it something! lol :P  For what it's worth, it would be awesome to see it make its' way into the right-click menu within the layers panel...

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@kevn86 video is gone :57_cry: please re-add or put on youtube so other newbies can learn from it

 

If I was making an small asset (e.g. a circle and an curved rectangle like a toggle) should that be a layer with these two objects as children or a group of the two children?

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