Nest layers and groups overview

Groups and layers in the Layers list appear in a hierarchy that shows which layers are nested inside which groups. Nested layers and groups appear underneath and indented to the right of their parent group.

It’s a good idea to group layers that work together as a unit. By nesting related layers you want to animate inside a group, you can save time by animating the enclosing group, instead of animating each layer. For example, when you select a group that has three layers nested in it, the entire group is selected as a single unit.

Layers list showing a selected group

Transforming the selected group in the Canvas moves all three layers simultaneously.

Canvas showing a group moving as a single object

Regardless of how they’re nested, layers can always be modified independently. Subordinate groups can also be modified independently. In the following example, a filter is applied to a layer in a group containing three fish layers. All other layers in the group remain unaffected.

Layers list and Canvas showing a filter applied to a single layer

However, If you apply the same filter to the group, all layers in that group are affected by the filter, as if they were a single layer.

Layers list and Canvas showing a filter applied to a group

Many filters produce different results when applied to a group, rather than individual layers in a group, as shown in the images below.

Canvas showing relative effect of a filter applied once to a group or multiple times to each object within the group

You can also nest groups inside other groups. You might do this if you’re creating a layer hierarchy to control the relationship of one group of layers to another, or if you’re grouping layers to which you want to apply a single set of behaviors and filters.

Note: You cannot group groups that appear at different hierarchical levels in the Layers list.