The purpose of this article is to give a brief overview of how to get started with using DragonFrame and the eMotimo spectrum ST4. DragonFrame (http://www.dragonframe.com) is a powerful stopframe animation package. It can also be used for timelapse and programming very complex keyframed 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 4.0 - http://www.dragonframe.com/downloads/
- USB to I/O port cable for spectrum ST4 - http://store.emotimo.com/usb-to-io-port-cable-for-spectrum-st4-p155.aspx
- Mac users: Additional drivers may be required
- Update your spectrum with the latest B007 firmware. At the time of this writing, DF functionality was introduced with B007_9. – You may find it here on our Beta Software Download Page.
- Power on spectrum, go to settings screen, second page. For I/O Port: select Dragonframe (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 your spectrum
- Go to setting, ensure on page 2, Dragonframe is selected, then hit the DPad right, two times until the following screen appears – this is live motor feedback and mode where Dragonframe positions and commands are processed.
- 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 black, please download and install VCP drivers for your OS. If your USB connector is blue, please download and install Prolific Chipset and SiLabs CP210X Drivers. 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, 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 green connect button. Within 10 seconds it should say connected and the Status should read: Connected to DFMoco (v1.3.0). Close out of this window
- From the top menu, select Windows --> ARC MOTION CONTROL.
- Import your axis Settings – for convenience, we have created an ST4 Pan/Tilt/Slide/Focus and other axis setups. These are descriptively listed and attached as a zip file to this article. The main reason for these files is to get the steps/deg/inch working correctly and the correct channels assigned. Download these and unzip them 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 ST4PanTilt.arcx from the zip folder you just downloaded. When correctly imported your ARC MOTION CONTROL window will look similar to this. Note the ST4Pan and ST4Tilt axis are populated.
- Use the Jog buttons (white arrows) to move the head around and ensure connectivity.
- Build a move and play!
Known Issues with our firmware or their software:
- 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
- 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, I believe.
- ST4 PS4 when connected, slows jogging to a near stop (controls are battling).
- Must be on feedback screen shown below to function correctly (Settings, right twice on joystick). If you aren't on this screen, the integration will not work as designed.