Impress Clients with Layers

I didn’t explore this feature for a long time. It is incredibly simple. Wish I’d learned it sooner! Now I use layers for all of my designs. It is so much easier.

How many layers does DreamDraper have?

As many layers as you want to design. The variations are endless!

Why use the layers feature?

  • Less work. You design the treatment once, putting different components on different layers. With a blink of an eye, you can turn layers on and off, showing different variations on the treatment.
  • DreamDraper runs faster. It is not burdened with several canvases full of pictures and components. Each time you add a picture or design to a canvas or fill a treatment with color or pattern, it adds ‘weight’ to the portfolio. Using layers, you don’t have to fill up multiple canvases, you use only one. All of your functions run faster.
  • Impressive presentation. Take your laptop to the client and show them variations with just a blink of the eye. Imagine how fast you can convince them to add the extras when you can add them to the design with one click.

Use the layers on your renderings to build up a design. Flip the layers on and off to show the designs with different variations. The pictures below are from a single canvas in DreamDraper. By turning the layers on and off, I can show four variations on one design. Click on each image to enlarge

Layer 1_Layer 2

Layer 3_Layer 4


How do you use the layers?


  1. Plan out your treatment. Usually, the picture, floor plan or elevation drawing are on layer 1. Layer 2 might be the design the client has asked for. Layer 3 and 4 can be the extras you think will make the treatment really special. Or, you could make layer 3 the same design as layer 2, but with completely different colors.
  2. Open the layers window on the right of your screen and stick it to stay open (Click on the push pin if a PC and on the yellow button if a Mac).
  3. It shows a list of layers for this canvas. Add new layers by clicking on the + sign at the bottom of the window. Delete layers by clicking on the trash can. Rename your layers by clicking on the pencil.
  4. Select the layer you want to work in by clicking on the layer name. It will be highlighted in the list. Each layer has an eye. Click on the eye to close it and everything on that layer disappears. Click on it again to open it and everything reappears. Each layer also has a lock. Click on the lock to lock the layer so you do not accidentally move anything on it.

When working with layers, you simply have to keep track of which layer you are on:

  • The layer you are on is highlighted in the list. Simply select a new layer by clicking on it in the list.
  • Can’t select the design? Is the layer locked? Click on the lock to unlock it.
  • Can’t remember which layer the design is on? Simply close the eyes on each layer. When the component disappears, it is on that layer.

The rest is up to your imagination! If you’d like to learn even more about using layers and creating a variety of options for client presentations, feel free to ask a question or check out the tutorial and webinar information below.

Another example of layers: Click on each image below to enlarge and view more detail!

Treatment Shown With Layers_Variation 2_Variation 3

How can you learn about the layers?

Check out the tutorial on layers. The tutorial is short and it explains the layers feature. You’ll easily learn the basics of using it. Registered DreamDraper users can also go to the file sharing subforum and download the layers tutorial .ddf portfolio and play.

We also conduct a great webinar on Edit Points and Layers. The instructor demonstrates how to use these functions and gives some great tips. The current webinar schedule is always available to you on our Webinars page. In fact, our next “Edit Points & Layers – Learn to Draw” webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, January 20 at Noon Eastern!

So get to work and have fun working with layers and impressing clients!

– Ann K. Johnson

xChange Forum Moderator

Sew Easy Windows

One Response to Impress Clients with Layers

  1. style interior February 13, 2010 at 6:30 am #

    This is a really cool blog! I wish I had found it sooner. Keep up the good work.

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