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Implement the Line Mode

In the previous tutorial we scaffolded the tool mode. Now let's fill it out by creating a line drawing mode.


To make it easier to create items in Owlbear Rodeo the SDK offers a set of builders. These use the Builder pattern to make it easier to ensure your item has all the correct properties.

In this example we'll use the Line Builder.

Edit the main.js file to import our line builder:

import OBR, { buildLine } from "@owlbear-rodeo/sdk";


The Interaction API allows you to sync and update an item with high frequency over the network. We'll use this API to show the user their in progress drawing. Then once they've finished drawing we'll create the item officially using the Items API.

Drag Events

We want to create a new line when the user drags on the scene. To do this we'll use the drag events (onToolDragStart, onToolDragMove, onToolDragEnd and onToolDragCancel).

Edit the createMode function in the main.js file to respond to drag events.

let interaction = null;
id: `${ID}/mode`,
icons: [
icon: "/line.svg",
label: "Line",
filter: {
activeTools: [`${ID}/tool`],
async onToolDragStart(context, event) {
// Get the stroke color from the tools metadata
let strokeColor = "red";
if (typeof context.metadata.strokeColor === "string") {
strokeColor = context.metadata.strokeColor;
// Build a line with the start and end position of our pointer
const line = buildLine()
// Start an interaction with the new line
interaction = await OBR.interaction.startItemInteraction(line);
onToolDragMove(_, event) {
// Update the end position of the interaction when the tool drags
if (interaction) {
const [update] = interaction;
update((line) => {
line.endPosition = event.pointerPosition;
onToolDragEnd(_, event) {
if (interaction) {
const [update, stop] = interaction;
// Perform a final update when the drag ends
// This gets us the final line item
const line = update((line) => {
line.endPosition = event.pointerPosition;
// Add the line to the scene
// Make sure we stop the interaction so others
// can interact with our new line
interaction = null;
onToolDragCancel() {
// Stop the interaction early if we cancel the drag
// This can happen if the user presses `esc` in the middle
// of a drag operation
if (interaction) {
const [_, stop] = interaction;
interaction = null;

In the onToolDragStart function we create our new line item then start a new interaction with it.

This creates an InteractionManager which allows you to update or stop the interaction. An interaction manager is a tuple with the update function being the first element and the stop function being the second.

For example you can access both functions like this: const [update, stop] = interaction.

Next in the onToolDragMove function we update the lines end position.

Next in the onToolDragEnd function we perform a final update on the lines end position. We then add the line to the scene. This officially creates the item and ensures that it is stored in the scene. It also makes the item available in the undo/redo stack. At the end of the function we make sure to stop the interaction.

Lastly in the onToolDragCancel function we stop the interaction immediately without adding the line to the scene. This effectively cancels the operation.

With all this we should now be able to drag on the scene and create new red lines:

In the next section we're going to look at adding a color picker to change the lines color.