Prop types

What are props?

When you want to animate something in Theatre.js, you first have to create a Sheet Object for it and then define the props that you want to animate on this object. The props can have different types, which can be imported via import {types} from "@theatre/core".

To understand Sheet Objects and their relationship with props, let's look at this scene from the project that we created in the Getting started with THREE.js guide.

/* ... */
import { getProject, types } from '@theatre/core'
/* ... */
// Adding the THREE.js mesh object to THREE.js scene
// Creating a Theatre.js object for the mesh with the
// properties we want to animate
const torusKnotObj = sheet.object('Torus Knot', {
// Note that the rotation is in radians
// (full rotation: 2 * Math.PI)
// `mesh.rotation.x` is a number we're using as an initial value
rotation: types.compound({
x: types.number(mesh.rotation.x, { range: [-2, 2] }),
y: types.number(mesh.rotation.y, { range: [-2, 2] }),
z: types.number(mesh.rotation.z, { range: [-2, 2] }),

In this scene, the "Torus Knot" object (torusKnotObj) has a rotation prop that contains 3 other props: the rotation of the torus knot on the x, y, and z axes.

On the left side of the screen, you will see the "Torus Knot" object in the outline menu.

The Torus Knot object in the outline menu

On the right side of the screen, you will see the props of the "Torus Knot" object in the Details Panel. By default, the props are static, meaning they are not animated. Once they are sequenced, they will also be displayed in the Sequence Editor at the bottom of the screen.

The properties of the Torus Knot object in the Details Panel

Property types

When you define a property you have to tell Theatre.js what kind of value it has. Studio will give you different tools to edit props based on their types (e.g. sliders for numeric values, color pickers for color values) and it will also handle the interpolation between keyframes differently under the hood (moving to 5 from 3 is different from moving from #ff0000 to #00ff00).

You can also customize the props when you create them by passing down an object containing the options. In the following example the x prop has a min value of -1 and a maximum of 1 in the UI.

const torusKnotObj = sheet.object('Torus Knot', {
x: types.number(mesh.rotation.x, {range [-2, 1]})

Let's go through the list of props that Theatre.js currently has.


The number prop holds a numeric value. See the examples below for more information about its usage.

// shorthand:
const obj = sheet.object('key', { x: 0 })
// With options (equal to above)
const obj = sheet.object('key', {
x: types.number(0),
// With a range (note that opts.range is just a visual guide, not a validation rule)
const x = types.number(0, { range: [0, 10] }) // limited to 0 and 10
// With custom nudging
const x = types.number(0, { nudgeMultiplier: 0.1 }) // nudging will happen in 0.1 increments
// With custom nudging function
const x = types.number({
nudgeFn: (
// the mouse movement (in pixels)
deltaX: number,
// the movement as a fraction of the width of the number editor's input
deltaFraction: number,
// A multiplier that's usually 1, but might be another number if user wants to nudge slower/faster
magnitude: number,
// the configuration of the number
config: { nudgeMultiplier?: number; range?: [number, number] },
): number => {
return deltaX * magnitude


The compound prop

The compound prop is useful for grouping props. In the example below, we create a rotation group for the rotation of the torusKnotObj on the x, y and z axes.

const torusKnotObj = sheet.object('Torus Knot', {
rotation: types.compound({
x: types.number(mesh.rotation.x, { range: [-2, 2] }),
y: types.number(mesh.rotation.y, { range: [-2, 2] }),
z: types.number(mesh.rotation.z, { range: [-2, 2] }),


The boolean prop

The boolean prop has a boolean value (like true or false).

// shorthand:
const obj = sheet.object('key', { isOn: true })
// with a label:
const obj = sheet.object('key', {
isOn: types.boolean(true, {
// override the label given in the Details Panel and DopeSheet
label: 'Enabled',


The string prop

The string prop type holds a string value.

// shorthand:
const obj = sheet.object('key', { message: 'Animation loading' })
// with a label:
const obj = sheet.object('key', {
message: types.string('Animation Loading', {
// override the label given in the Details Panel and DopeSheet
label: 'The Message',


The stringLiteral prop type is useful for building menus or radio buttons.

// Basic usage
const obj = sheet.object('key', {
light: types.stringLiteral(
// Specify labels for the specific values given in the Details Panel and Keyframe Editor
{ r: 'Red', g: 'Green' },
// Shown as a radio switch with a custom label
const obj = sheet.object(
light: types.stringLiteral('r', { r: 'Red', g: 'Green' }),
// Optionally pass in prop options
{ as: 'switch', label: 'Street Light' },


The rgba type holds a color value. In the editor UI, it supports all the syntax variants of <hex-color>:

#RGB // The three-value syntax
#RGBA // The four-value syntax
#RRGGBB // The six-value syntax
#RRGGBBAA // The eight-value syntax

const obj = sheet.object('key', {
color: types.rgba({ r: 255, g: 0, b: 0, a: 1 }),


You can play with the available prop types here:

Learn more

Look at Prop Types in the API Reference for a closer look at the code.

Want to learn more? Take a look at some more in-depth topics from our manual:


This guide covers creating projects, managing their states, saving and loading their states, and more.


This guide covers Sheets in Theatre.js

Sheet Objects

This guide covers Sheet Objects in Theatre.js.

Working with Sequences

In this guide, we'll explore the tools that Theatre.js offers for creating animations.

Using Audio

Learn how to load and synchronize music or narration audio to an animation.


Learn the different parts of the Studio.

Authoring extensions

The Theatre.js Studio API enables you to define extensions that extend the Studio's UI and/or extend the functionality of Studio.

Keyboard & Mouse Controls

A catalog of controls in Theatre.js Studio.

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Last edited on September 29, 2022.
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