Canvas Animation inside React Components with Request Animation Frame

Canvas Animation inside React Components with Request Animation Frame

In this tutorial, we will learn to know Canvas Animation inside React Components with Request Animation Frame. Simple steps to start an animation inside a functional React component, and make sure it’s performant and cleans up after itself.

The relevant source code for this article can be found on GitLab 🙂


If you’re familiar with the HTML canvas element you know it’s relatively easy to create animations. We add a canvas element to our DOM and call a render function recursively with the help of requestAnimationFrame. The render function manipulates the context of the canvas and can add shapes, images, text, etc.

const ctx = canvas.getContext('2d');

Depending on which browser you use and how heavy your render function is, it executes around 60 times per second.

But what if you want to animate like this inside a React component?

This introduces some challenges. We certainly don’t want to rerender our React component 60 times per second. Let’s have a look at a solution.

Canvas component

We will create a single (functional) React component that uses three useRef hooks to help us achieve our goal.

Let’s start with the basics:


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