Your first scene

This guide will help you setup your first React Three Fiber scene and introduce you to its core concepts.

This tutorial will assume some React knowledge.

Setting up the Canvas

We'll start by importing the <Canvas /> component from @react-three/fiber and putting it in our React tree.

import { createRoot } from 'react-dom/client'
import { Canvas } from '@react-three/fiber'

function App() {
  return (
    <div id="canvas-container">
      <Canvas />

createRoot(document.getElementById('root')).render(<App />)

The Canvas component does some important setup work behind the scenes:

  • It sets up a Scene and a Camera, the basic building blocks necessary for rendering
  • It renders our scene every frame, you do not need a traditional render-loop

Canvas is responsive to fit the parent node, so you can control how big it is by changing the parents width and height, in this case #canvas-container.

Adding a Mesh Component

To actually see something in our scene, we'll add a lowercase <mesh /> native element, which is the direct equivalent to new THREE.Mesh().

  <mesh />

Note that we don't need to import anything, All three.js objects will be treated as native JSX elements, just like you can just write <div /> or <span /> in regular ReactDOM. The general rule is that Fiber components are available under the camel-case version of their name in three.js.

A Mesh is a basic scene object in three.js, and it's used to hold the geometry and the material needed to represent a shape in 3D space. We'll create a new mesh using a BoxGeometry and a MeshStandardMaterial which automatically attach to their parent.

    <boxGeometry />
    <meshStandardMaterial />

Let's pause for a moment to understand exactly what is happening here. The code we just wrote is the equivalent to this three.js code:

const scene = new THREE.Scene()
const camera = new THREE.PerspectiveCamera(75, width / height, 0.1, 1000)

const renderer = new THREE.WebGLRenderer()
renderer.setSize(width, height)

const mesh = new THREE.Mesh()
mesh.geometry = new THREE.BoxGeometry()
mesh.material = new THREE.MeshStandardMaterial()


function animate() {
  renderer.render(scene, camera)


Constructor arguments

According to the docs for BoxGeometry we can optionally pass three arguments for: width, length and depth:

new THREE.BoxGeometry(2, 2, 2)

In order to do this in Fiber we use the args prop, which always takes an array whose items represent the constructor arguments.

<boxGeometry args={[2, 2, 2]} />
Note that every time you change args, the object must be re-constructed!

Adding lights

Next, we will add some lights to our scene, by putting these components into our canvas.

  <ambientLight intensity={0.1} />
  <directionalLight color="red" position={[0, 0, 5]} />


This introduces us to the last fundamental concept of Fiber, how React props work on three.js objects. When you set any prop on a Fiber component, it will set the property of the same name on the three.js instance.

Let's focus on our ambientLight, whose documentation tells us that we can optionally construct it with a color, but it can also receive props.

<ambientLight intensity={0.1} />

Which is the equivalent to:

const light = new THREE.AmbientLight()
light.intensity = 0.1


There are a few shortcuts for props that have a .set() method (colors, vectors, etc).

const light = new THREE.DirectionalLight()
light.position.set(0, 0, 5)

Which is the same as the following in JSX:

<directionalLight position={[0, 0, 5]} color="red" />

Please refer to the API for a deeper explanation.

The result

  <ambientLight intensity={0.1} />
  <directionalLight color="red" position={[0, 0, 5]} />
    <boxGeometry />
    <meshStandardMaterial />