The purpose of this article is to give a brief overview of how to get started with using DragonFrame and the eMotimo spectrum ST4 using the real-time interface. DragonFrame (http://www.dragonframe.com) is a powerful stopframe animation package. It can also be used for timelapse and programming very complex keyframed moves. Now it can also be used for programming and playing real-time moves.
This article is not meant to be a general how-to on using DragonFrame. It's functionality and usage is well documented in their online references.
- eMotimo ST4 with the Beta Firmware shown below
- DragonFrame Beta 4.1 - http://www.dragonframe.com/dev/
- USB to I/O port cable for spectrum ST4 -https://emotimo.com/products/usb-to-i-o-port-cable-for-spectrum-st4
- Update your spectrum with ST4_RC007_31. It is attached.
- Power on spectrum, go to settings screen, third or fourth page. For I/O Port: select Dragonframe V2 (this setting will be maintained after power cycle so you only need to do this again if you change it or upgrade your firmware).
- Power cycle the spectrum and leave on the main menu screen.
- Insert the USB cable to your computer and allow any automatic drivers installation to continue.
- *Mac users: typically drivers install automatically, but if you aren't prompted, you may need to download and install additional drivers. If your USB connector is blue, please download and install Prolific Drivers and the SiLabs CP210X Drivers. If your USB connector is black, please download and install VCP drivers for your OS.
- Once you install the drivers, you will need to restart your computer before continuing.
- Connect the other end of the cable to the i/o port of the spectrum. Ensure the cable is fully seated.
- Start up Dragonframe and create a new scene.
- In DF, go to Scene --> Click the Add Connection button. Under Device, select eMotimo spectrum ST4, then select ArcMoco #1. Under location, select the serial port of the cable you just added. This cable will be named differently and may change if you install on a different USB port. If there are multiple connections you may have to try each to understand which one is connected to your spectrum.
- Once selected, click the connect button. Within 3 seconds it should say connected and turn green. The Status should read: Connected to eMotimo ST4 (2.X.XX) these numbers will vary. Close out of this window by clicking OK.
- Your spectrum's screen will change to one that looks similar to this:
- In Dragonframe, from the top menu, select Window --> ARC MOTION CONTROL
- Import your axis Settings – for convenience, we have created an ST4 Pan/Tilt/Dana Dolly Slide/Focus. This is attached to this article and called ST4 Dana Dolly and Fz.arcx. The main reason for these files is to get the steps/deg/inch working correctly and the correct channels assigned. Download this to a convenient location.
- Import the Arc Axis Setup by hitting the menu icon
and then selecting Import-->Arc Axis Setup (arcx)
- Start with importing ST4 Dana Dolly and Fz.arcx When correctly imported your ARC MOTION CONTROL window will look similar to this.
- Use the Jog buttons (white arrows) to move the head around and ensure connectivity.
- Build a move and play!
- Soft Limits are not enforced on any axis and seem to cause directional issues when Jog Reverse is selected under the axis settings.
- GoMotion not yet supported
- Jogging and scrubbing of live move not yet enabled.
- Backlash compensation setting are sensitive to direction and sign. Results in issues with jogging through keyframes – use of these is not recommended. This is more of a configuration thing than an issue with setup or software.
- The PS4 gaming remote, when connected, slows or stops jogging through DF(controls are battling). We don't recommend having the PS4 Dualshock remote connected.