You can put multiple stack items into a shared parent, called a group. Expand/collapse these groups to show or hide their contents. You can add a group within a group (Nested groups) and also control opacity in blend settings for the whole group.

Layer stack Groups.

Mask Stack Groups.

You can make a group of layers by:

  • Selecting multiple layers and then pressing CTRL + G.
  • You can also create a group from a single layer.
  • By selecting multiple or single layer and clicking the Group icon at the bottom of the layer stack.
  • You can also create a group by selecting layers and then selecting group option from the right click menu.

Masking On Group:

You can apply Paint Mask and a Mask Stack on group if it’s within the layer stack. This means that the opacity control needs to work together with the potential masks.

Paint Mask texture overrides Mask Stack output based on the painted alpha, acting as a master mask. The result is multiplied with the opacity value for the group, determining how visible the group is.

Add mask to the group by right clicking on the group or clicking on the mask icon at the bottom of the layer stack

Clipping Groups:

Since groups do not have a separate render target, other items cannot be clipped to groups.
A group can, however, clip to something below, that supports being a clipping target. The group’s content can render into another stack item’s clipping chain/tweaked textures. Inside a group the bottom layer cannot clip to something outside the group. Press Alt to change cursor into clipping mode and click LMB.

Save As Smart Material

You can also rename your group accordingly as these groups are also used to create Smart Materials.

  • Select all the layers you want to add in the group
  • Press Ctrl + G or click on the group icon at the bottom to add all the layers in the group.
  • Right click on the group and click on export as Smart Materail.

Other Group Operations:

Deleting groups
Delete a group just like any other stack item. If deleted, everything inside it also gets removed.

Copy/paste groups
Copy/paste groups via the right click menu and keyboard shortcuts.

Moving items in and out of groups Multiple selected items can be dragged into or out of a group. They are sorted vertically by their original vertical position in the stack.

Adding Layers
You can add any layer inside a group by dragging and dropping it on the group.

Duplicating a group
You can duplicate a group by pressing Ctrl + D.

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