Can anyone tell me if it's possible to set a panel behind a 3D Canvas?

Basically, my problem is that when a button is called, a 3dapplet is supposed to run, and a 3d canvas is drawn. I want, however, for that canvas to display over the existing panels that I already have on the screen.

I tried to set the panels to setVisible(false), but once I do that, I for some reason cannot set it back to visible. I tried to remove the panels, but again I cannot restore them when I want the 3D canvas gone and everything reset.
So I was thinking of just having the panels behind the 3d canvas, and when the canvas is destroyed, the panels will still be there behind it.

But I don't know how....when the 3d applet is called, the 3d canvas is displayed over everything except the panels. How can I bring the panels behind it?