Before diving into the details of the aforementioned layer types, here are a few tools to help manage the layer stack effectively and efficiently.
*Alt + LMB *a layer to make it the child of the parent layer below. In the mixing process, the child and parent layer will be mixed first, before mixing with the rest of the layer stack. A child layer cannot have its own child layer, but a parent layer can have multiple child layers. One behaviour that is worth keeping in mind when clipping layers is that matching color to base on a child layer will sample the parent’s reflectance value instead of the underlying Mix’s average value.
Drag From Library:
You can drag and drop a layer from your local or online libraries to the desired position in the layer stack.
Drag with LMB and reposition a layer at any time.
With one or more layers selected, hitting Ctrl + G, right-clicking and selecting Group or by clicking the Group icon at the bottom of the Layer Stack, will group the selected layer(s).
You can add color tags to layer to identify different layers used for different purposes.
You can swap out the textures of the layer and preserve all properties of the layer by selecting Replace Maps option from the menu.
Add Mask Stack
You can add mask stack to a layer.
Add Material ID
You can add material ID to a layer.
You can view a Surface or Atlas layer in the online library by clicking the View Online option from the menu.
You can duplicate layers by using the shortcut key Ctrl+D.