Dragonframe stop motion software
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arc Motion control

Multiple axes within Arc motion control software interface

Using the DMC-16 with Arc

The DMC-16 is our real-time motion control coordinator, specifically designed to work with Dragonframe 3 software.

Connect the DMC-16 to your existing rig, the Volo camera crane, or compatible motion control hardware.

Using Arduino with Arc

The Arduino is an inexpensive hobby circuit board that is widely available. Load our DFMoco sketch onto it, do some basic wiring, and you have a step and direction signal generator for up to eight motors.

If you have a larger rig with dedicated drivers already in place, you can easily make a new step and direction cable straight from the Arduino Mega.

Alternatively, you could wire up the step and direction signals to a small stepper motor driver, such as the Big Easy Driver

step and direction cables from Arduino

Introducing Arc Motion Control

The Arc motion control workspace provides an interface for programming complex, multi-axis camera moves, directly within Dragonframe. Go real-time with our new DMC-16 and control up sixteen stepper motors. You can also control stepper motors using an Arduino and a program (sketch) that we provide. The Arduino can interface with any standard stepper motor drivers, and control up to eight channels at once (8 for the Mega/Mega 2560, 4 for the Uno/Duemilanove).

The Arc Motion Control workspace will enable you to perform the most dynamic camera moves.


Real-Time Motion Control DMC-16[ back to top ]

3D image in software interface

About the DMC-16

The DMC-16 (Dragonframe Master Controller) is a 16 axis motion control coordinator for use with Dragonframe 3 software.

It provides sixteen channels of fully synchronized step and direction signals at speeds up to 200kHz, a camera trigger, DMX512 lighting control, limit switch inputs, and a set of triggers for interfacing with an external device.

Find more details on the product page here.


DMX Lighting DDMX-S2[ back to top ]

DMX lighting hardware for stop motion

about the ddmx-s2

The DDMX-S2 is a hardware device that you can pair with Dragonframe to:

  • Automate a work light (bash light) turning on and off.
  • Automate front-light/back-light lighting passes.
  • Automate keyframe-based lighting programs for your scene.
  • Trigger a RED camera, film camera, or unsupported still camera.
  • Trigger a motion-control system for shoot-move-shoot integration.
  • Trigger Dragonframe from an external system.

Control Lighting

DMX512 (or DMX) is a standard protocol for controlling lighting. When paired with one or more DMX dimmer/switch packs, you can control up to 99 different light channels.

Control Devices

Interact with external devices using the built-in relay switch, digital input and digital output.

What else do I need?

The DDMX-S2 interfaces Dragonframe to one or more DMX dimmer/switch packs. You will need to buy a DMX dimmer/switch pack in order to power your lights. You can find several DMX dimmer packs at Amazon.com. Make sure that the one you choose can handle the power requirements of your lights. You will also need a DMX cable. You should not use a microphone cable, but a true DMX cable. If you use a 5-pin DMX dimmer pack, you will need a 5-pin to 3-pin adapter.

DDMX-S2 hardware for Dragonframe software
DDMX-S2 details


Find more details on the product page here.


Compatible Motion control Rigs[ back to top ]

Arc Motion Control

Arc Motion Control makes heavy duty, professional-level motion control equipment for stop-motion filmmaking. Their products include linear sliders, pan/tilt/roll heads, focus motors, and their flagship product, the Volo motion control crane.

The Volo is a track/boom/swing motion control crane designed specifically for stop-motion shooting with Dragonframe. It is packaged with the DMC-16 motion controller.

The Volo is real-time capable with Dragonframe.

Inquire at Arc Motion Control.



DitoGear produces motion control sliders, pan/tilt heads, and focus motors that are compatible with Dragonframe.

The DitoGear OmniSlider, OmniHead and LensDrive can be used with Dragonframe when paired with either the DitoGear DragonBridge or the DMC-16 motion controller.

For non real-time shooting, choose the DitoGear DragonBridge. This runs the DFMoco program to provide shoot-move-shoot capabilities, and is a great low cost option.

For real-time shooting, you must use the DMC-16 along with DitoGear DMC-16 adapters.

Inquire at DitoGear.


Dynamic Perception

Dynamic Perception produces rugged, light-weight linear sliders and pan/tilt heads.

Their NMX Digital Motion Controller (3-axis stepper controller) is now Dragonframe compatible.

The NMX Digital Motion Controller is non real-time (shoot-move-shoot only) when used with Dragonframe.

Inquire at Dynamic Perception.



SmartSystem is an Italian-based company that creates high-precision linear sliders. Their SmartSlider Reflex S employs a unique fluid drag system to reduce vibration.

The DigiDRIVE Portable is a Dragonframe compatible controller. It can control all of the DigiDRIVE hardware.

The DigiDRIVE Portable is non real-time (shoot-move-shoot only) when used with Dragonframe.

Inquire at SmartSystem.



eMotimo was the first third-party motion control company to provide Dragonframe integration.

The eMotimo TB3 is a pan/tilt camera rig that can be paired with a linear slider.

The eMotimo is non real-time (shoot-move-shoot only) when used with Dragonframe.

Inquire at eMotimo.



The Cognisys StackShot 3X controller, macro rail, and pan/tilt motors are Dragonframe compatible.

The StackShot 3X is non real-time (shoot-move-shoot only) when used with Dragonframe.

Inquire at Cognisys.


3d stereo shooting[ back to top ]

3D image in software interface

Shooting 3D Stop Motion Animation

The most common technique for 3D stereoscopic shooting of stop motion animation is to use one camera on a special left/right slider. For every frame of animation, the camera shoots one or more images for the left eye, moves into the right eye position, and shoots one or more images in that position.

Dragonframe's multiple exposure feature is a perfect way to set up left and right "sub-frames". This way, Dragonframe will shoot multiple images per frame. In addition, you can name the exposures to identify if they are left or right eye images, making it easy to work with the files in post-production.

"We particularly appreciate Dragon's ability to preview in 3D. The opportunity to evaluate stereo directly in Dragon, without exporting to compositing programs, truly accelerates our work flow. It's not just that Dragon gives you a 3D preview, it gives you professional 3D controls such as parallax adjustment for both channels and calipers for measuring the degree of the parallax."
—BreakThru Films

Automate 3D Shooting

You can fully configure and automate your 3D shooting directly within Dragonframe's Arc motion control workspace. Connect a stereoscopic slider to the DMC-16 or use the Mark Roberts S3 Stereoscopic Stepper, then configure a special 3D axis within the Arc workspace. You can set interocular distances and shoot test stereo tests within minutes. You can even set multiple keyframes on each stereo position and animate the interocular distance over time.


live-view correction cap[ back to top ]

Canon EOS DSLR live-view correction cap

Introducing the LIve-view correction cap

Live View Correction Cap for Canon EOS DSLRs corrects a compatibility issue between camera and non-digital lenses, allowing the ability to match live view with actual camera exposure.

About the live-view correction cap

The EOS Live View Correction Cap is designed to reset the Live View Exposure Simulation level in Canon EOS camera bodies.

Canon EOS live view cap with chip

Live-view exposure correction cap on Canon EOS body

The Issue:

Many of the EOS cameras have a setting called “Exposure Simulation.” This setting is designed to ensure the Live View image brightness matches the actual photos shot. Unfortunately Canon drops the ball with non-digital lenses. The camera actually knows the current correct exposure, hence the ability for the light metering to be correct, but fails to communicate properly to the internal “Live View Exposure Preview Calculator.” Instead, the internal calculation is locked - based on the last digital lens attached to the camera.

The Solution:

The Live view correction cap is an EOS body cap with a chip that mimics many settings on a Canon digital lens. You place the cap on your EOS camera body and follow our directions to effectively “Zero” the frozen f-stop setting from the last digital lens used.

When you remove the cap the Exposure Simulation will be set correctly. The camera will stay zeroed and the internal Exposure Simulation Calculator will then work properly *until the next digital lens is connected to the camera.

Major studios are currently using the cap on their feature productions.

ALSO, as always with Dragonframe, we strive for better working solutions, if you have a simpler fix please let us know - so we can spread the word!

dragonframe keypad controller[ back to top ]

Dragonframe USB Keypad Controller

About the Keypad Controller

Break free from the computer and get closer to your animation with the Dragonframe Keypad Controller.

The Dragonframe Keypad Controller is a high-quality USB keypad for controlling the most important Dragon functions. It features screen-printed icons and a ten-foot long USB cable.

It is included with your purchase of Dragonframe, or you can buy it separately for $25.

Keyboard layout

0 Shoot
1 Step Backward
2 Step Forward
3 Jump to Live
4 Auto Toggle
5 Toggle
6 Short Play
7 Play to Black
8 Loop
9 Cutback
- Onionskin Left
+ Onionskin Right
/ Mute
bs delete
. High=Res
see details
Keypad front details
Keypad angled view
Keypad details

arduino integration[ back to top ]

Arduino Uno for integration with Dragonframe animation software


Arduino (http://arduino.cc/) is a hobby electronics board with open-source software and hardware specifications. With some simple wiring and pre-made software, you can wire the Arduino to work with Dragonframe. We provide two different ways to use Arduino with Dragonframe. One is a simple two-way remote control for sending commands to Dragonframe and receiving events from it. The other is a multi-axis stepper motor signal generator for use with our Arc Motion Control workspace.

You can purchase an Arduino Uno for about $30 USD from a distributor.

Two-Way Remote (DFRemote)

Create a remote control for Dragonframe using an Arduino. Use the remote to interact with motion control systems, cameras, or other hardware devices. The remote can send commands to Dragonframe (shoot a frame, delete a frame, play/stop, go to live) or receive notifications from Dragonframe (shoot, delete and position frame).

The DFRemote sketch is installed at:

The DFRemote sketch uses the Simple Serial Interface to communicate with Dragonframe.

The sample programs below show you how easy it is to use the Arduino to instruct Dragonframe or receive notifications from it.


Stepper Motor Controller (DFMoco)

The DFMoco sketch turns an Arduino into a multi-axis motion control signal generator.

  • Control up to four motors with an Uno or Duemilanove board.
  • Control up to eight motors with a Mega or Mega 2560 board.

The DFMoco sketch is installed at:
[DF]/Resources/Arc Motion Control/DFMoco

Wiring the Arduino for Motion Control

An Arduino running the DFMoco sketch will generate step and direction signals for stepper motors.

If you already have stepper motor drivers, you can take these signals and wire them into a connector for those drivers.

If you do not have stepper motor drivers, and need to move relatively small stepper motors, you can wire the Arduino signals to an Big Easy Driver or comparable board. You will use one Big Easy Driver for each stepper motor.

The pin-out for each step and direction signal is described in the DFMoco sketch.

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