Dragonframe 2020-01-21T05:02:19+00:00

Dragonframe Support for PINE

Starting with Firmware V3.0, all PINE Controller are now compatible with the famous stop-motion software “Dragonframe”, which allows to control up to 4 motors via the software. This makes our entire Black Forest Motion System of Slider, Pan, Tilt, and Lens-Control even more flexible.

And the best thing: All at no additional costs.

No additional hardware is required for this feature. All that is needed is a software update of the PINE Controller and a simple USB connection from the PINE to your computer.

Works with Dragonframe Version 4.

PINE supports non-real time moves within Dragonframe. These are also called Shoot-Move-Shoot Movements. Real-time video movements are not supported.

This tutorial gives you an introduction on how to get started with Dragonframe and PINE. If you are just getting started with Dragonframe or want to purchase the Dragonframe software, please check out the Dragonframe Website. They also have great tutorials about the “ARC MOTION CONTROL”.

Visit the Dragonframe Website

Getting Started

1. Activating Dragonframe Mode

Connect all motors to the PINE Controller and also a USB cable from PINE to your computer you want to run Dragonframe from.

Establish a connection to the PINE Controller via the PINE Motion App.

In the “Motor Quick Setup”, choose appropriate motor profiles for all connected motors.

From the Homescreen of the PINE Motion App (shown to the right) tap on the Dragonframe Symbol.
A dialog window will appear, asking you to switch to Dragonframe Mode. Confirm with “Continue”.

When Dragonframe Mode is active, an orange play symbol will be shown next to the Dragonframe Icon. The green status LED on the Controller will also blink slower than usual. Regular modes of PINE (e.g. Time-Lapse, Giga-Pixel, etc.) will not be accessible during Dragonframe Mode. In addition, most of the motor settings except Motor Current and Energy Saving will also be blocked.

2. Connecting PINE within Dragonframe

Launch the Dragonframe Software on your Computer.

In the top menu bar, go to “Scene -> Connections…”.

In the left dropdown menu, select “DFMoco Arduino”.

In the middle dropdown menu, select “ArcMoco#1”.

In the right dropdown menu, select the port where the PINE Controller is connected.

Then, click on the “Connect” Icon.


You might have to enable the “ARC MOTION CONTROL” window first.

In the top menu bar, go to “Window -> ARC MOTION CONTROL”

In the top right corner of the Dragonframe window, click on the ARC MOTION CONTROL symbol.

This section of Dragonframe allows you to control all motors and set keyframes.

4. Adding Motors

Click on the indicated symbol, which is located in the left area of the screen.

5. Configuring the Axis

Here you can configure the motor axis:

The following settings are of interest here:

  • Main -> Name: Give the axis a name (e.g. Slider, Pan, or Tilt)
  • Axis Setup -> Function: Select “Normal” for regular axis like Slider, Pan, and Tilt. Select “Focus” for Lens Units controlling the focus of the lens.
  • Axis Setup -> Channel: Needs to match with the motor port on the PINE
  • Motor -> Jog Max Speed: We recommend a max value of 15000. If the motor moves too fast for you, you can decrease the value.
  • Motor -> Steps per Unit: For Slider Motors, select units of “mm”. For Pan and Tilt, select units of “deg”
    • For our NT Head Motors, set the steps per degree to 568.88
    • For our Slider Motor 1:5 ratio, set the steps per mm to 451.66
    • For our Slider Motor 1:14 ratio, set the steps per mm to 1264.82
    • For our Slider Motor 1:19 ratio, set the steps per mm to 1715.82
  • Motor -> Acceleration: Leave at 2.00 seconds
  • Frame-to-Frame Speed: Set to 1/8x Jog Max Speed

All other settings can remain unchanged.

Confirm the selection with “OK” and repeat with all your other motors.

6. Setting Keyframes

Start by dragging the blue vertical marker all the way to the left to frame 1.

Then move your motors to the desired starting location using the arrow keys (indicated with a red circle on the left).

Add keyframes via the diamond shaped icons (indicated with a green circle on the left). Using the indicated keyframe symbol will add keyframes for all motors at the same time. If you want to set keyframes for individual axis, click the keyframe symbol that is located right next to the move arrows.

Drag the blue vertical marker to your desired ending picture frame.

Then move your motors to the desired ending location using the arrow keys.

Add a keyframe via the diamond shaped icon.

Dragonframe will then show the corresponding motion graph. You can modify the characteristic of the movement by moving the Bezier handles.

7. Starting the recording

When you are done programming your move, click on the recording icon indicated with a red circle on the right.

In the following window, set the range of the move you want to play. Usually, the range starts from frame 1 and ends at the last desired frame.
Continue the selection by clicking on “OK”.

Next, you might see another window, saying that the motors need to be moved to the starting frame. Click on the Play icons for each motor to move them to the starting frame.

Once all motors are at the starting frame, the recording can be started by clicking on “OK”.

8. Next Steps

This tutorial only gave a very brief introduction on how to get started with Dragonframe and how to set up a simple move.

Dragonframe is a very powerful software and offers tons of amazing features. Please check out the full tutorial by Dragonframe below.