Scene Designer

by Jon (Updated on 2014-01-27)

Note: This is a brief how-to guide on how to use the Scene Designer.

If you are a newcomer, we highly recommend running through Chapter 4 in full instead. Chapter 4 covers the fundamental concepts behind scenes.



  • What is the Scene Designer?
  • How to use the Scene Designer
  • Survey of the Interface
  • Tips & Tricks


What is the Scene Designer?

The Scene Designer allows you build levels for your game. Stencyl's term for "levels" is Scenes.

How to Use the Scene Designer

Summary: Stencyl works like Photoshop, Illustrator and other popular drawing apps.

Selecting & Moving Objects

To select a single object, click on it while the Select tool is active.

To select multiple objects, create a box around the objects you want to select by clicking the background and dragging, or CTRL + Click every object you want to select.

Once an item is selected, you can move it or change the layer it's on. To move an item or number of selected items, click and drag it/them. To change the layer items are on, right click them and click one of the send or bring items.


Adding Tiles

1) Select a Tile (or several!) from the Palette.

2) Click and drag around the main area to place them.

Tip: To select multiple tiles at once, click and drag to draw a box around the tiles you want to select. Selected tiles are indicated by a box with a yellow border.


Adding Actors

1) Select an Actor from the Palette.

2) Click to place the Actor. You can click and drag around to place multiple Actors.


Changing Layers (for an object)

1) Right-click the desired object.

2) You'll see this menu. Pick the desired option.


Task Bar

The topmost area of the Scene Designer lets you switch between different areas of the Scene Designer.

  • Scene is the actual scene editing area.
  • Behaviors allow you to manage the Scene Behaviors you have attached to this scene.
  • Events lets you manage the Events you've attached to this scene.
  • Physics allows you to adjust the physics settings for this scene, such as gravity.
  • Background lets you manage both Backgrounds and Foregrounds.
  • Properties allows you to set your scene's size, the background color and name.



The toolbar gives you control over what you can interact with in your scene and changes the current scene's display options.


Layer Mode

The Layer Mode determines whether your selections only grab from the current layer or from all layers (default).


Working Mode

The Working Modes let you work with specific kinds of objects within a scene.

  • Actors and Tiles (default)
  • Tiles Only
  • Actors Only
  • Joints
  • Regions
  • Custom Terrain


The Rest

  • Take a Snapshot
  • Show Backgrounds
  • Show Foregrounds
  • Show Scene Boundaries
  • Show Grid
  • Play Animations



The toolbox controls which tools are currently active.

  • Tools Group
    • Select Tool
    • Pencil Tool
    • Fill Tool
  • Scene Bounds Group
    • Add Column
    • Add Row
    • Remove Column
    • Remove Row
  • Scene Objects Group (double-click to select box/circle/poly)
    • Add Joint
    • Add Region
    • Add Custom Terrain
  • Zoom In/Out



The Palette lets you select Tiles and Actors from your game.

Tip: You can select multiple tiles at once in the Palette by clicking and dragging the selection box.



The Layers pane lets you manipulate layers and toggle the visibility of them in the Scene Designer.

The color corresponds to the color used to draw the selection box. This lets you tell different layers apart when selecting multiple objects at a time.

Tip: You can double-click a layer to rename it.


Status Bar

The bottom part of the Scene Designer will show you the x and y coordinates of the mouse as well as the zoom factor.


Tips & Tricks

  • Hold shift to snap your selection to the grid.
  • Mouse over the corner of an actor, click and drag the rotate icon to rotate the actor.
  • You can select multiple tiles at once in the Palette by clicking and dragging the selection box.
Disclaimer: All articles are geared towards Stencyl 3.0 and above. Use comments to provide feedback and point out issues with the article (typo, wrong info, etc.). If you're seeking help for your game, please ask a question on the forums. Thanks!


Never mind, I figured it out. Choose the select tool, right click on the actor. Simple :/
0 1 year, 5 months ago
How do you erase an actor you don't want in the scene? This is probably obvious but I don't see it.
1 1 year, 5 months ago
Ok.How do you scroll down the scene in testing.

0 1 year, 6 months ago
How create an actor on a specific layer??
0 1 year, 11 months ago
Thanks. This was actually one of the legacy articles. It's going to need some work to flesh out all the options like the one you've brought up.
0 2 years, 7 months ago
Great work on the new stencylpedia!
I suggest to add something like:

"you can right click on button in the left toolbar to:
1. add o remove columns
2. have different type of joints
... etc.


0 2 years, 8 months ago
There is a typo in the second sentence of the second paragraph of the Top Tool Bar section. "switchers" should be "switches"
0 3 years, 6 months ago

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