group or layer?

Participant ,
Jan 03, 2020

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Hi,
This is more a disucussion post.
I am interested in knowing how you think about using a group or a layer.
I have get used to use layers but maybe it's better to use groups and collect them in layers.
When importing illustrator in software like After effects and toonboom harmony it need to be layers so they can be imported as layers.

How do you think about this depending on what kind of artwork you do?
Could layers be a problem sometimes compared to groups?

best regards

Mattias

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Draw and design

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1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Jan 03, 2020
Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional , Jan 03, 2020
Groups are container objects just as layers. So they can basically have the same effects. Also layers can have clipping masks, but you need to apply them in the layers panel.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2020

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Hi, it's a great topic to discuss. Thanks for sharing your feedback too. We will wait for the feedback of other users.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2020

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The decision whether to use groups or layers (or both) needs to be made depending on your workflow.

I don't think this can be discussed theoretically without knowing:

- what the artwork will be used for in exactly which way

- how you wish to edit the artwork? Moving things around? Transforming? Adding a lot of appearance attributes?

- how you need to export it? Icons for a screen design will need to be treated completely differently than fashion design project. And even with those icons alone you can follow different approaches.

- exactly how you create the artwork? Which functions you use.

- will other people be involved in the workflow

 

And probably a lot more.

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mattias1 AUTHOR
Participant ,
Jan 03, 2020

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Hi Monika,

Thanks for reply to this.

I am fully aware that this is a very big subject and depends on what kind of artwork you do and how it will be presented and distributed. I just found out that I used layer mostly and have thougt of that as a better way than groups but that is of course not the case.
I was just interested to see if any might had a workflow where they define the use of layers or groups.

Maybe no one has that. I dont know.

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Advocate ,
Jan 03, 2020

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hi,

I always prefere grouping than layers during my normal work

But sometimes - for eg. maps - it's much better to draw streets, rivers, lakes, texts on different layers

 

for my students - layers in Illustrator are a little bit difficult to follow

Sometimes people try to arrange objects on different layers and its a problem

Somtimes they work on wrong layer and it's also a problem

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mattias1 AUTHOR
Participant ,
Jan 03, 2020

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Since I work with animation I am used to layers and to keep them organised.
Sometimes when I get files from an AD with artwork that I should animate they could be very kaotic. Objects that belong to each other they are on different places and even in different groups. So I could have a hard time organise it.
Both layers and group are similar in contruction I think so it's based on that you name it well to get it organised.

But it feels like the grouping came before the layers since it seems like a more basic function.
You can set  the path-colors on a layer but not on a group. ( I think )
Is there anything that a group can do that a layer can't?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2020

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You can apply a lot of appearances to layers. And it makes a lot of sense to do that, because layers are so easy to edit, you can just add other objects to them without having to go into isolation mode. Even if layers are nested deeply.

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mattias1 AUTHOR
Participant ,
Jan 03, 2020

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Yes, layers have a big favour in the usage of the apperances.
A group can have clipping mask but maybe not som much more when it comes to "effects".

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 03, 2020

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Groups are container objects just as layers. So they can basically have the same effects. Also layers can have clipping masks, but you need to apply them in the layers panel.

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Engaged ,
Jan 06, 2020

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I like to keep my layers clean by compound pathing, pathfinders, clipping masks, and alignments, so when I have a design element it is broken down into as few sublayers as possible. This is especially helpful for learning 5th plate / white plate.

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mattias1 AUTHOR
Participant ,
Jan 06, 2020

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Hi,
Thanks for sharing your working ideas.
I also try to have as few objects layers as possble. And how if I can use any tools to make copies ets to have as good overview as possible. Sometimes a quality of a projects can be how easy it is to update it when the clients have comments. If it's a mess it takes much time. If you planned it well the changes could be easily fixed.
I am not familiar with 5th plate/ white plate. I searched on youtube and found this video
https://youtu.be/9W6JprByCOM
Is that what you was thinking aobut?
/ Mattias

This tutorial will demonstrate how to create a White Spot Color for printing on Transparent Media. In this example, a swatch and layer will be created in Ill...

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DW-FP LATEST
Explorer ,
Dec 17, 2020

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I think it's confusing to have both groups and layers. Or at least it's confusing when compared to how Photoshop handles layers. While I've used Illustrator for many years, only recently did I learn that groups and layers can have some fundamentally different behaviors. I learned this with my own post a few days ago.

 

At the very least I wish there was an official document describing their explicit differences. 

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