3D Editor

These pages will guide you through how to use the 3D Editor to create lessons and exercises in Fieldscapes. Note that it will not teach you how to create the underlying 3D environments and locations, see our pages on Creating Locations for that since location creation is far more technically complex than lesson creation.

If you want to understand a bit more about our philosophy and approach to creating lessons in Fieldscapes then read about our  eDrama approach and the PIVOTE engine which underlies Fieldscapes. We will also create a Guide to Fieldscape Exercise Design which will explain these in more detail.

Please also read this page on Fieldscapes Third Party Intellectual Property and this one on Exercise Permissions.

First off though, watch this video introduction to the editor (other Video Tutorials are available on YouTube and Vimeo):

If you want to dive right in with 'How do I...' questions then check out our 3D Editor FAQs, otherwise work on down the page!

Accessing the Editor

You can access the 3D Editor by logging into the main Explorer application using an account with Editor privileges (which includes all Teacher accounts). 

Against most locations listed in the Editor you will see a Create Lesson button, just click on this to start creating a lesson. Note that some locations may not show the button if third party lesson creation has been disabled.

Against each exercise are two buttons, a PLAY button and a MENU button. Click on the MENU button to access the Editor functions. Some may be disabled depending on your access rights for that lesson:

  • The Pencil button loads the exercise in the 3D Editor
  • The Duplicate button creates an exact copy of the exercise with a different name
  • The Upload button uploads an edited lesson to the server (do this once you are ready to share a lesson)
  • The Globe button opens the web page to manage the lesson.
  • The Trashcan button deletes the lesson

Creating a New Exercise

If you have clicked on Create Lesson you will be asked to give the exercise a name. This can be changed at any point in the future. Any of the meta-data associated with the exercise (e.g. who can access, course notes etc) is usually edited through the 2D Lesson Manager rather than the 3D interface once you have finished making a draft of the exercise.

The Main Editor Screen

The main editor screen consists of four elements:

  • The landscape of the location. You can move (and fly) through this as when exploring an ordinary lesson.
  • A Summary Window top right, giving key information about the exercise and the system nodes and counters.
  • An Inventory Window at right, listing the inventories available to you for the exercise
  • A User Interface Window at left, letting you define what user interface elements the student sees.

Each panel can be opened and closed by clicking on its arrow, and by default only open opens at a time. If you want to keep a window open at the same time as another one then tick the circular tick box by the arrow.

Each of the panels is described in more detail below and in the linked pages.

The most important part of the editor is not visible at first, this is the Prop Interaction Window, and appears whenever you  double-click on a prop.

In addition there is a Test Mode Button at bottom left which lets you immediate test your exercise out.

The Core Exercise Authoring Process

The core process to exercise creation is:

  • Select an inventory (an exercise is currently limited to 3 inventories, one of which is a generic one, but the others can be location or topic specific)
  • Drag an item (called a prop) from the inventory onto the landscape, and drag/rotate it into position
  • Double click on the prop to access the Prop Interaction Window
  • Define the interactions you want, including any logic and any associated information/quiz pop-ups
  • Move onto the next position and repeat
  • Define a start location
  • Define the end state (and location if necessary)
  • Save and test!
  • Refine, save and publish!

Exercise Summary Window

The Key Information/Exercise Summary window shows you the key details about the exercise. Use the 2D Editor/Exercise Manager to edit these and other exercise meta data.

Click on the buttons to:

  • Save the lesson - So that you can re-edit it later, or run it. Note that the lesson stays as draft and only available to you until you publish it.
  • Clone the lesson - Creates a copy of the current lesson - useful if you are creating several variants of the same basic lesson. You remain in the editor BUT IN THE NEW LESSON. Once you save and quit back to the exercise list you will see your cloned lesson has the name of the old lesson and a suffix of the date. To changes its name click on the Menu icon and then the Globe icon to go to the 2D Exercise Manager and change the exercise name there.
  • Exit - Leave the editor and return to the main Fieldscapes location and lesson directory.

Inventory Window

This shows what props are available to you. Your current inventories are listed in the drop down, and the props in the currently selected inventory are in a scrollable list below. We current limit you to 3 inventories (including the default generic one).

Click on the Add Inventory button to add a new inventory (you can have a maximum of 3). See  How to Add Inventories for, well, how to add inventories!

Click on an Inventory Item to place it in world in front of you.

Placing Props

Once you have placed a prop in world you can move it as follows:

  • Click and hold on it with the mouse and then drag it into a new position - not easiest done if standing at right angles to the direction you want to move it.
  • Click and hold on it with the mouse and then use the cursor/WASD keys to move you avatar - the prop moves with you as long as you keep the mouse button down
  • Hold the CONTROL key down and then move your mouse up and down to move the prop up and down.
  • Hold the ALT key down and then move your mouse left and right to rotate the prop arounds its vertical axis (there is no way at the moment to rotate the prop about a different axis).

There is currently no way to resize a prop.

It can be useful to zoom your view out and to above you when placing props.

Controls/User Interface Window

This window will let you:

Prop Behaviour Window

Double click on a prop to bring up the Prop Behaviour window. This is the heart of the editor as it lets you define how props respond to student actions. Read the full Editing Prop Behaviour page for more information and see the Actions list for all the things that you can dynamically do within a lesson, and the Widgets page for the widget you can add to a prop for additional functionality (eg meters, measuring tapes, object inspection, enabling a web browser on the prop).


Fieldscapes supports two types of audio:

  • Global Audio which plays at the same volume regardless of avatar position. Use this for things like wind/ambient sounds, audio commentaries and helmet "beeps" and breathing.
  • Spatial Audio which plays on a specific prop, and has a fall-off over a certain range. Use this for things like localised ambient sounds (strea, traffic), equipment and animal sounds etc (not yet implemented)

Follow the links for more information about how to set them up.

Non-Player Characters

With version 1.5 we have begun to support non-player characters, i.e. avatars under the control of the system not the user. These can be used for thing like virtual patients, co-workers on a task, virtual tutors or "locals" providing colour and information in the background of a task. Read Non-Player Characters for more information, and also Dialogues.

Test Mode

Clicking Test Mode will cause the exercise to be built (takes a few seconds) and then run. All normal student features will be available whilst running, but NO editor features. Click on End Trip at any point to return the to Editor.

Full list of child pages:

Location Based Lessons

Note that all lessons/exercises in Fieldscapes are based around a location. You must choose a location before you start to create a lesson. As well as the physical-world specific locations (e.g. Carding Mill Valley, Moon) we will also be creating more generic environments (e.g. classroom, laboratory, warehouse, medieval village) in which you can base your lessons.

The Fieldscapes Hierarchy

We use terms in a particular way in Fieldscapes to define the hierarchy of the student (and tutor) experience.

A location is where a lesson or exercise takes place. Every exercise/location must take place in one location. A location can support a limitless number of exercises/lessons.

Exercise and lesson are synonymous, although we tend to prefer exercise so as not to confuse with a timed school lesson. A exercise is one learning experience that a student does in a location, and which is completed in one learning session. However that exercise/lesson could just be one task done in one minute, or 100 tasks done in 100 minutes, it depends on your learning context and approach.

An assignment is one or more exercises, each of which may take place in a different location, assigned to a group of students to complete, optionally within a defined timescale. You can define logic between exercises, so that for instance they must be done in order, or a certain score must be reached before the student progresses to the next one. The results of an assignment can be passed back to a VLE.

A course (not yet implemented) is a group of assignments, which again may have a set of logic to link them.

Authoring vs Programming

We refer to the exercise creation process as one of "authoring" not "programming" as:

  • Everyone should think that they should be able to do it (and actually be able to do it!)
  • We're not asking to write any code, just fill in some forms - mainly with drop-downs
  • There's no weird semi-colon syntax going

However you do need to be able to think logically, particularly if you start to use variables and rules, if you are going to get the best out of the system.