Colors and Layers

By default the Layers and Material panels are visible on the right of the UI. These can be repositioned as required. See Docking Panels for more information.

Material Tools

Color Picker

Colors can be selected either from the RGB sliders or from the HSL wheel and slider.

The box to the right of the RGB sliders shows a preview of the currently selected color and its hex code. Any subsequent painting or sculpting uses this color.

Layer Material Properties

Recolor Whole Layer sets everything in the current layer to the selected color.

Roughness and Metallic properties apply to the entire layer.

Layer Tools

Scenes can be created using multiple layers. There are many benefits of using this workflow, including:

Reducing the complexity of an individual layer to improve editing response time

Creating scenes with varying levels of detail

Allowing different regions to have different material properties

Layer Hierarchy

Layers are arranged in a hierarchy:

When a layer is contained by another layer, it’s called a child of that layer. For example, in the screenshot above, Head is a child of the Scene layer.

When a layer contains another layer, it’s called the parent of that layer. For example, in the screenshot above, Head is the parent of the Eyes and Earring layers.

If two layers have the same parent, we call them sibling layers. In the screenshot above, Eyes and Earring are sibling layers.

Layer Types

There are five different types of layer:

1.   A sculpting layer. This provides an area you can sculpt in. You can also move, rotate, and scale these layers as well.
Press the Add Layer button to create a new sculpting layer.
2.   A reference model layer contains a 3D model imported from a file. You can move, rotate and scale these layers, but you can’t sculpt or otherwise interact with them.
To create one of these layers, choose File > Add Reference Model...
3.   A reference image layer contains an image which is displayed on a 3D rectangle in the scene. You can move, rotate and scale these layers, but you can’t sculpt or otherwise interact with them.
To create one of these layers, choose File > Add Reference Image...
4.   The Scene Layer. This is a special empty layer which is always present. It’s the only layer which isn’t contained in another layer.
The Scene Layer cannot be copied, deleted, or renamed, but it can be moved, rotated, and scaled. This has the effect of moving/rotating/scaling everything in the scene.
This layer is created automatically for every new scene.
5.   The Work Plane Layer. This is a special layer which is used for hit detection, and decides where to put brush strokes over empty space.
You can rotate the work plane to face the camera by pressing the spacebar.
The layer is hidden by default, but will appear as a grid of green lines while you are drawing a stroke on it.

Layer Operations

New - creates a new sculpting layer. The new layer will be created as a child of the currently selected layer. When creating a new layer, the New Layer Resolution slider lets you choose the detail level of the layer. For layers that contain very large, simple structures, choose a lower detail level for better performance

Duplicate - creates a copy of the currently selected layer.
You can copy sculpting layers, reference model layers, and reference image layers but you cannot copy the scene layer.
The new layer is created as a sibling of the currently selected layer. The name of the copy is the same as the selected layer, with “Copy” appended.

Delete - deletes the currently selected layer. You can delete sculpting layers, reference model layers, and reference image layers, but you cannot delete the scene layer or the work plane.

Reset - This resets the transform on a layer; the layer will no longer be rotated, scaled or translated relative to its parent layer in the tree.

Copy To Brush - This takes the currently selected layer and converts it into the active brush. The brush type changes to Custom and you can then paint using the new brush.

Save As Brush - Once you have used Copy To Brush to create a custom brush, you can store your brush for future use by clicking Save As Brush. The Brushes Palette shows all saved brushes and the location of the brushes folder.

Change Res - Click this to change the resolution for the layer. If you are increasing the resolution you can choose whether to Resample. Resampling attempts to refine the existing model up to the next resolution. More detail is captured by subdividing the model where necessary. If Resample is not checked, Kanova won't generate any additional detail when you increase the resolution, only future strokes are affected by the new resolution.

A high resolution may impact on performance but it can smooth out previously flat or angular areas; the resolution increase means a curve has more points to represent the surface.

Copy To Clay - This will convert a reference model into geometry that you can sculpt. The result of the conversion is added as a new layer. Use File > Add Reference Model... to add a model, select the reference model in the layer tree then click Copy To Clay. When clicked, a progress bar appears at the bottom of the UI. You can terminate the conversion using the Cancel button to right of the progress bar, or by pressing Esc.

Reference model Clay version with Size(%) at 40, Resolution at 8.
Clay version with Size(%) at 90, Resolution at 10.


The clay model is added to a new layer labeled ADF, and the original model is hidden.

You can adjust the following settings for the copy.

Size(%) - The amount of sculpting area that the converted model should occupy; this is the size of the converted model relative to the sculpting area. At 100% the converted model touches the edges of the sculpting area. The lower this value, the more room you'll have left for your own sculpting, though you have less resolution to work with.

Resolution - The maximum subdivision level for the converted model.

Coarseness - How coarsely (or finely) details are captured relative to the resolution.

Inside Threshold - This is used by our inside/outside calculation to determine whether a sample point is inside or outside the model. Any value higher than 1.0 will work for a well-formed input mesh. If your input mesh has unclosed areas or self-intersections, setting this to a higher value may produce a more accurate result.

Shell Only - If checked, generate a “shell” instead of a solid model. This produces clay only within a small radius of the input triangles, so your converted model will be hollow. It is faster than generating a solid model and doesn’t have any problems with unclosed areas or self-intersections.

Shell Thickness - The distance from a triangle that we consider to be “inside” the shell. A low value will give output which looks very close to the original model, but may have problems. A high value will make the output look inflated.

Renaming Layers

Layers can be renamed. To edit a layer’s name, double click on it in the tree view and type the new name, then press Enter to accept the change. To abandon editing, press Escape.

Manipulating Layers

Layers visibility can be toggled using the button in the visibility column next to the layer name. If the currently selected layer is hidden it will be “ghosted” in that it will appear pale and translucent. If you want it to be completely hidden rather than ghosted, select a different layer.

Warning:  Hidden layers are not included in any export operation but are included when saving a scene for future development in Kanova.

All types of layer can be moved, rotated and scaled. When a parent layer is moved, all of its child layers (and all of their child layers and so on) are moved by the same amount. The same applies when you rotate or scale a parent layer.

You can change the parent-child relationships in your scene between by dragging and dropping layers.

The detail column in the tree view shows the maximum detail level for each of the sculpting layers.

Note:  For non-sculpting layers the detail column will be empty.

Grip Transform Controls

In VR mode, a row of additional controls is available at the bottom of the Layers tab. in the Grip Transform section.

Selected Layer - let's you move the currently selected layer. To move everything in the scene, select the Scene layer. Alternatively, you can select and move the Work Plane.

Camera - when selected, you only move the camera and no other scene items. (This is switched on by default.)

Reset Camera - resets the reference position, orientation, and scale for VR, back to their original values. This is relative to the position of the headset in the 3D space.