1.3.4 • Public • Published


A simple way of setting up a whole basic environment for your A-Frame VR scene.


Make sure you are using A-Frame 1.3.0 or later. Then just include aframe-environment-component.js in your HTML:

  <script src=""></script>

and add the environment component to an entity:

  <a-entity environment></a-entity>

That's it! :)


The previous code will setup a default scene, but you have a bunch of already predefined presets to choose from, using the preset parameter, like this:

  <a-entity environment="preset: <name of the preset>"></a-entity>

You can view and try all the presets in the aframe-environment-component Test Page. The current list of presets are listed in the next section.


Apart from using a preset, you can tweak the environment with many parameters, like this:

  <a-entity environment="lightPosition: 1 5 -2; groundColor: #445"></a-entity>

You can also select a preset but change some of its parameters:

  <a-entity environment="preset: forest; groundColor: #445; grid: cross"></a-entity>

This is the list of the available parameters.

Parameter Default Description
active true Show/hides the component. Use this instead of using the visible attribute
preset 'default' Valid values: none, default, contact, egypt, checkerboard, forest, goaland, yavapai, goldmine, threetowers, poison, arches, tron, japan, dream, volcano, starry, osiris, moon
seed 1 Seed for randomization. If you don't like the layout of the elements, try another value for the seed.
skyType 'atmosphere' Valid values: color, gradient, atmosphere
skyColor When skyType is color or gradient, it sets the main sky color
horizonColor When skyType is gradient, it sets the color of the sky near the horizon
lighting 'distant' Valid values: none, distant, point. A hemisphere light and a key light (directional or point) are added to the scene automatically when using the component. Use none if you don't want this automatic lighting set being added. The color and intensity are estimated automatically.
shadow false Shadows on/off. Sky light casts shadows on the ground of all those objects with shadow component applied
shadowSize 10 Shadows size
lightPosition 0 1 -0.2 Position of the main light. If skyType is atmospheric, only the orientation matters (is a directional light) and it can turn the scene into night when lowered towards the horizon.
fog 0 Amount of fog (0 = none, 1 = full fog). The color is estimated automatically.
flatShading false Whether to show everything smoothed (false) or polygonal (true).
playArea 1 Radius of the area in the center reserved for the player and the gameplay. The ground is flat in there and no objects are placed inside.
ground 'hills' Valid values: none, flat, hills, canyon, spikes, noise. Orography style.
groundYScale 3 Maximum height (in meters) of ground's features (hills, mountains, peaks..)
groundTexture 'none' Valid values: none, checkerboard, squares, walkernoise
groundColor '#553e35' Main color of the ground
groundColor2 '#694439' Secondary color of the ground. Used for textures, ignored if groundTexture is none
dressing 'none' Valid values: none, cubes, pyramids, cylinders, towers, mushrooms, trees, apparatus, torii. Dressing is the term we use here for the set of additional objects that are put on the ground for decoration.
dressingAmount 10 Number of objects used for dressing
dressingColor '#795449'  Base color of dressing objects
dressingScale 5 Height (in meters) of dressing objects
dressingVariance '1 1 1' Maximum x,y,z meters to randomize the size and rotation of each dressing object. Use 0 0 0 for no variation in size nor rotation
dressingUniformScale true If false, a different value is used for each coordinate x, y, z in the random variance of size.
grid 'none' Valid values: none, 1x1, 2x2, crosses, dots, xlines, ylines. 1x1 and 2x2 are rectangular grids of 1 and 2 meters side, respectively.
gridColor '#ccc' Color of the grid.

The best way to work with them is to press ctrl-alt-i to open the inspector, search for 'environment' in the filter box and select it, and tweak the parameters while checking the changes in realtime. When you are happy, you can use the Copy attributes button or even better, copy the attributes logged in the browser's dev tools console.


The main idea of this component is to have a complete and visually interesting environment by just including one .js file, with no extra includes or requests. This requires to store all the assets inside the js or (in most of cases) to procedurally generate them. Despite of the computing time and increased file size, both options are normally faster than requesting and waiting for additional textures or model files.

Apart from the parameter dressingAmount, there is not much difference among different values in parameters in terms of performance. Just keep dressingAmount value under watch and lower it if the performance is not optimal.

Help and contact

PRs are appreciated, issues are welcomed. For any question, ping @feiss at aframevr in Slack or Discord.

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  • dmarcos
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