Bone layers, I can't find any information on how to use them other than how it separates bones. I clicked on a few of the squares, now I can't pose my character anymore as nothing is selectable. Even when I put all the squares like they were I can't get the dots to change. I realized I need to know how this works. No books or videos or articles explain properly for me how this system works. When I read the Blender.org manual my head wants to explode.

How do I unlock the layers?
How do I move what is in a layer?


1 Answer 1


Bone layers work exactly like Blenders scene layers, just for a single armature. The point is simply to provide a way to organize groups or types of bones in an armature, as working with all of them at the same time can be quite difficult, and there are often bones that never need to be selected or edited.

The dots you mention just show that there is something on that layer. There is also two 'groups' of layers, the second having the 'Protected' heading. Clicking on any of these protected layers won't change what is in your scene, but will prevent you from being able to select or edit anything on the corresponding 'Regular' bone layer.

To 'unlock' your layers, just make sure that you have none of the layers set to protected. If it still persists, it's probably not an issue with the bone layers.

Like Blenders scene layers, you can use Shift to select multiple layers. Also, you can use M to move bones between layers, just like with the scene layers. You won't be able to move anything on protected layers separately from the regular layers, as the protected layers are simply the way to tell blender that the contents of a regular layer should not be editable. Thus, moving between regular bone layers will update the protected ones as well.

  • $\begingroup$ So the list of protected layer box sets is just a same representation of the above box layers set list just that dots there mean the layer is protected? Clicking on the protected layer doesn't seem to do anything other than change the background color. So for example if I select the rig in the outliner and the the rig is in object mode and change the scale then all the protected layer will be at the wrong scale? $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2018 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ The dots on the protected layers still mean that the layer has an object on it. Clicking on the protected layer (which changes the bg color) will 'protect' the corresponding regular layer and make all the bones on the corresponding regular layer (the one at the same position) unable to be selected or edited. The protected layers cannot be different from the regular ones. $\endgroup$
    – Brenticus
    Jan 17, 2018 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ It's like the button for each object in the outliner that makes the object unable to be selected (the mouse cursor one), it's just a different way of giving that option to each bone layer. $\endgroup$
    – Brenticus
    Jan 17, 2018 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ Why are there dots that look selected and other seem dim? $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2018 at 22:51
  • $\begingroup$ The dots that are a lighter color mean that is the layer that your active/selected bone is on. $\endgroup$
    – Brenticus
    Jan 17, 2018 at 23:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .