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Basic Animations

This guide will help you get started with basic animations in TresJS.

We will build a simple scene with a cube. We will then animate the cube to rotate around the Y and Z axis.



The useRenderLoop composable is the core of TresJS animations. It allows you to register a callback that will be called every time the renderer updates the scene with the browser's refresh rate.

To see a detailed explanation of how it works, please refer to the useRenderLoop documentation.

const { onLoop, resume } = useRenderLoop()

onLoop(({ _delta, elapsed }) => {
  // I will run at every frame ~ 60FPS (depending of your monitor)

Getting the reference to the cube

To animate the cube, we need to get a reference to it. We can do it by passing a Template Ref using ref prop to the TresMesh component. This will return the THREE instance.

To improve the performance, we will use a Shallow Ref to store the reference instead of a regular Ref. See why here

<script setup lang="ts">
import { TresCanvas } from '@tresjs/core'
const boxRef: ShallowRef<TresInstance | null> = shallowRef(null)

    <TresMesh ref="boxRef" :scale="1" cast-shadow>
      <TresBoxGeometry :args="[1, 1, 1]" />
      <TresMeshStandardMaterial v-bind="pbrTexture" />

Animating the cube

Now that we have a reference to the cube, we can animate it. We will use the onLoop callback to update the cube's rotation.

onLoop(({ _delta, elapsed }) => {
  if (boxRef.value) {
    boxRef.value.rotation.y += 0.01
    boxRef.value.rotation.z = elapsed * 0.2

You can also use the delta from the internal THREE clock or the elapsed to animate the cube.

But why not using reactivity?

You might be wondering why we are not using reactivity to animate the cube. The answer is simple, performance.

// This is a bad idea ❌
<script setup lang="ts">
import { TresCanvas } from '@tresjs/core'

const boxRotation = reactive([0, 0, 0])

onLoop(({ _delta, elapsed }) => {
  boxRotation[1] += 0.01
  boxRotation[2] = elapsed * 0.2

We can be tempted to use reactivity to animate the cube. But it would be a bad idea. The reason is that Vue's reactivity is based on Proxies and it's not designed to be used in a render loop that updates 60 or more times per second.

The embedded page below shows the benchmark of a proxy vs a regular object. As you can see, the proxy is 5 times slower than the regular object.

You can read more about this in the Caveats section.