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At Edorble, our goal has always been to make it as easy as possible for teachers and students to come together in private, 3D worlds. To that end, we made a world so that no one has to do any building. It's our default Edorble map, a sprawling campus with an auditorium, a theater on the beach, a campfire, and more. We'll always keep this world available for users that want to get in a pre-made space as quickly as possible, but we've heard from plenty of teachers, trainers, and students that they'd love to create their own Edorble environments.
Now, we've got something new for you. It's early days, but we've laid the foundation for what's to come. In this post, I'll tell you about the Edorble Creator Tools and about how we see Edorble fitting in to the 3D/VR ecosystem for education. Using the Edorble Creator Tools, you can grab and create models from the best tools and libraries out there, build a scene using Unity 3D, and quickly export it into an Edorble environment that you can use as your multiplayer 3D online classroom, meeting space, or exhibition room, accessible from PC, Mac, or VR.
At Edorble, we don't want to compete with Unity 3D, Blender, Tinkercad, Maya, 3DS Max, Sketchup, Minecraft, and all of the great 3D creation tools out there. We also don't want to limit you to blocks or to pre-made geometric shapes. We want to let you use the tools you want to use to create beautiful, powerful scenes and models. We want you to be able to use pre-made models and scenes from Sketchfab, 3D Warehouse, Turbosquid, and other libraries - individually or all together.
That's why we're making the Edorble Creator Tools for Unity 3D, a free piece of software which, in our humble opinion, is the most powerful piece of 3D/VR development software, one which allows you to import all manner of 3D file formats. So, instead of being locked into one creation ecosystem, you could grab a model from Sketchfab or Sketchup, build a model with Maya or Tinkercad, drag them both into Unity 3D, and use Unity's native building tools to create the surrounding scene. Some file formats that we know work particularly well in Unity 3D are .fbx and .obj, but here's a complete list of supported formats.
So, to use the Edorble Creator tools, do you need to know the basics of Unity 3D? Yes. Do we think this is worthwhile for any teacher and student? Absolutely.
You don't need to be a Unity expert or have any programming experience. You just need to know the basics of how to import models and arrange them in a scene. I'd get started here, but we'll be running our own courses on how to use Unity and the Edorble Creator tools over at Edorble Academy soon. We're convinced that our solution gives you the most flexibility while at the same time being accessible to beginners and experts alike.
First, you'll open up Unity 3D and create your scene by either importing or creating models. Again, this allows you to use basically whatever creation tool you want, so long as it can export into a file format that plays well with Unity (almost all of them). Unity itself has some great building tools, and the Unity Asset Store has lots of free assets you can use to start playing with some pre-made scenes. You'll want to learn the basics of how to import 3D models into Unity and learn the basiclayout of the software using Unity's Tutorial videos.
Then, if you're an Edorble Creator, you'll have access to a .package file which contains the Edorble Creator Tools, and we'll send you a checklist so that you can optimize your scene for Edorble. The package tools include a "Spawn Point", which is where avatars that join your world will spawn, and also the export tools that allow you to export your scene as an Edorble world. The checklist walks you through how to make a "navigation mesh", which is the area of your scene you'd like users in your scene to be able to walk on, and you'll remove the main camera that comes in the default scene. After a few more quick tweaks, you'll be ready to publish to Edorble. Clicking the "tools" button at the top of Unity 3D will show "Edorble Maker", and from there you can select your operating system. Once you build for your desired OS, you can then "publish" to Edorble. This will publish it locally to your machine so that you can then open up Edorble, put in the worldcode "playground" and you'll be able to see how your scene looks in Edorble and walk around it. If you like what you see and the scene looks great, you can email it to us and we'll publish it to the Edorble Cloud so that users all over the world can access it, and you can start having meetings or classes in your 3D space.
Any questions? Feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org