https://feedback.unity3d.com/suggestions/separate-physics-and-render-laye It is a longstanding Unity issue. Layers are used for both Physics and Rendering. This is probably fine for small games but when you start creating custom rendering buffers you can really run into corners. Basically for few games I made in the past (Hard West, Ancient Space) I just couldn't do certain graphics features due this limitation. I just had to cut them out. The only solution for separating graphics and physics layers is to duplicate your gameobject and assign different layers to each duplicate. That is not acceptable in a complex game due to performance reasons (you are adding considerably large amount of new gameobjects). Imagine doing that for 20 skinned characters (I am not even mentioning the need of syncing animations for each duplicate). I just don't see a reason why layers would be shared between physics and rendering. And also, why one object can be only assigned to one layer? That is a mystery to me.