v4.2 Dragonframe




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The Premier Image Capture Software for Stop Motion Animation, Motion Design & Visual Effects

Dragonframe is the premier frame-grabbing software for stop motion animation and time-lapse photography. Dragonframe has innovated in the world of stop motion software by pushing the functionality beyond frame grabbing to provide a full assortment of production tools.



Put Dragonframe at the heart of your next stop motion film.


Bring your animation to life. Professional on-screen tools for precise movements. Step, play, capture, repeat.


Compose and light the perfect shot with camera controls, test shots and advanced image review tools.


Import and edit multiple audio tracks. Perform dialogue track reading for multiple characters.

DMX Lighting

Program animated lighting with simple keyframes. Automate work lights for the animator. Simple front light / back light programming.

Motion Control

Use the intuitive graphical interface to program advanced camera moves.

Dragonframe is an excellent frame-grabber, with tools such as step-to-live, onionskinning, auto-toggling, and drawing (virtual grease pencil). Using the live view of supported Canon and Nikon DSLRs, Dragonframe provides video assist tools for the animator, and is the central hub for capturing and organizing your high-resolution frames from your camera.

Create beautiful animation, one frame at a time.


Step directly between live view and captured frames or switch to auto-toggle. Loop playback to get the sense of movement you’re aiming for. The playback and stepping functions are fully customizable for your needs.


Load multiple reference stills or videos and view them with your animation. Blend them with opacity, pull a chromakey (blue screen), and even assign a garbage matte to see just the part you want. Pop out reference videos into a synchronized player if you want it off to the side.


With the Dragonframe keypad, you can stay focused on animating instead of hunting around with the mouse. And the hotkeys are fully configurable, so if you really like a feature that is not on the keypad, you can move it there.

dragonframe animation

Timeline – Frame-based editing as simple as drag and drop. Adjust timing, reshoot sequences, and even restore deleted frames.

Drawing Tools – Mark the screen to guide your animation with vector-based drawing tools. Plot and preview motion paths with the increment editor.

X-Sheet – Plan your scene and track your progress in the X-Sheet side panel. Add reminders, sketch motion paths and adjusting timing.

Guide Layers – Configure all of your composition guides, drawing layers and reference material from the Guide Layers side panel.

Live View Mag – Use live view magnification to punch-in on a section of video assist image. (Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Fujifilm.)

Perfect your exposure, focus and composition.

dragonframe focusCAMERA CONTROLS

Set camera settings such as shutter speed, ISO and white balance directly from the program. Check and adjust focus with Canon, Nikon, Olympus or Fujifilm cameras. Take test shots and get your shot right, before you start.


Compose for multiple formats with confidence. Create custom aspect ratio masks. Combine masks with TV-safe guides. Add grid overlays for help with composition. Add a push-in mask to allow post-production push-in or panning.


Check images at full-resolution. Check for over or underexposed areas with the clipping view. Load images from other scenes to compare exposure and composition. Compare image contrast with the Digital Densitometer.


Multiple Exposures – Set up multiple exposures (sub-frames) with different camera settings. Link exposures to keep their settings the same.

Color Detection – Use the color detection tool to compare tone ranges between shots, or to judge matte lighting for greenscreen effects.

Color Palettes – Create color swatches by sampling colors from your high-resolution images. Save as Adobe Swatch Exchange to share with other programs.

Movie Recording – Trigger movie recording on some supported cameras. Download videos and review them within the Test Shots tray.

Stereoscopic 3D Tools – View anaglyphs, set convergence or edge float, and adjust interocular distances.

dragonframe audioAdd audio and perform character track readings.


Import multiple audio tracks and make basic edits. Split tracks and drag segments to adjust timing on the fly. You can even move waveforms and character track readings together, to keep them in sync.


Create characters, scrub through your audio, and assign words and phonetics for all your dialogue. View this data while animating, in the X-Sheet, Timeline, or Audio HUD.

Waveform Views – View the mixed audio waveform in the Timeline or X-Sheet, so you can see what’s coming next while you are animating.

Reference Track Audio – Use the audio from a reference movie within the audio workspace. View the video as you scrub through the audio and perform track readings.

Time-Warp – Audio stays locked to your animation at the project frame rate. If you review your animation at a different speed, the audio adjusts to stay synced.

Custom Face Sets – Create your own face set as a multi-layered Photoshop file. Add groups for mouth, eyes, ears, or whatever parts you need.

Audio HUD – View character dialogue or face sets while animating, in a configurable heads-up display.

dragoneframe lightingTake your lighting to the next level with Dragonframe’s exposure-based DMX lighting board.


Control up to 512 lighting channels in conjunction with our DDMX-512, DMC-16 or DMC+. You define your lighting program before you shoot, and then watch as Dragonframe controls your lights during the shot, leaving your animators to focus on animating.


Define your lighting program with keyframes. Adjust the smoothness in each direction with a simplified “bezier” handle—giving you a large degree of control while maintaining an efficient programming interface.


It’s easy to create custom lighting programs for different exposures. You can customize the exposure’s lighting program directly, or create a new program for one or more exposures to share.

512 Lights – Program up to 512 lights with the new DDMX-512 (or upgraded DDMX-S2)

Light Profiles – Create custom light profiles to match DMX values to light output.

Bash Light – Program a work light to use while animating.

dragonframe cameraProgram complex camera moves in an intuitive interface.


Integrated motion control means that you can program camera moves and lighting effects from within the same system. It means that you can quickly preview moves using the same camera you will be animating with. It means that the lighting and motion control will be in the right place, at the right time. So if the animator needs to reshoot a few frames, Dragonframe can safely move the rig back into the proper position, every time.


Once you’ve programmed a move, you’ll want to test it out. Run a move test within the Arc workspace and see how it looks. The move test captures video assist frames only, in order to speed up the test process. On a long move, you can reshoot just the section you’re working on. You’ll have the move perfected in record time.


You can use a wide range of hardware, from the do-it-yourself Arduino-based DFMoco sketch to the Volo motion control crane. See compatible hardware in our FAQ for more information.

Jogpad – Enter the jogpad mode to get large text and a simple keypad interface so that you can step away from the computer and get near your rig and set.

Virtuals – When used with the DMC-16 or DMC+ and a motion control crane, such as the Volo, Dragonframe can provide virtual cartesian axes.

3D Import/Export – Transfer camera moves between Dragonframe and Maya, Kuper, or other 3D software.

Feathering – Add extra smoothing of acceleration or deceleration with the new “feathering” tool.

Markers – Create motion paths by marking positions you want to hit, then adjusting keyframes to move through them.

New In Dragonframe 4

dragonframe what's newImproved Camera Support
Support for over thirty new models, including many from Sony, Olympus, Fujifilm and Panasonic.

Windows 64-Bit Support
Dragonframe 4 provides both 64 and 32 bit Windows versions, for maximum performance and compatibility.

Cross-platform Hi-DPI Support
Dragonframe 4 provides Hi-DPI support for Mac, Windows and Linux, rendering crisp text and graphics on hi-dpi capable systems like “Retina” Macs or the Surface Pro 4.

Linux Support
Use Dragonframe 4 on Ubuntu, Fedora, or similar 64-Bit Linux systems.

Guide Layers
New interface for configuring composition guides, line-up layers and drawings.

Improved Reference Material System
Load multiple line-up layers with separate opacity, chromakeying and masking.

Reference Video Player
Move reference videos into a separate window and keep them off to the side.

Timeline Pre-Roll
Use a reference movie as a lead-in clip to preview transitions.

Multiple Drawing Layers
Create multiple drawing layers, name them, and blend them as required.

Improved Live View Magnification Tool
Punch-in on up to three locations while animating.

Focus Check in Animation Workspace
Check focus without having to move into Cinematography.

Color Palette Tool
Create and compare color palettes (swatches).

A/B Tool
High-resolution image comparison tools.

Movie Recording
Movie recording and playback for supported cameras.

Multiple audio clips
Improved audio clip handling, with multiple tracks, separate volume, muting, etc.

Control 512 Lights
With the new DDMX-512 (or an updated DDMX-S2), you can now control 512 DMX channels.

Custom DMX light profiles
Create a light profile to better match the DMX level and the light output.

DMX Test Shots
Improved live view and test shot setup in DMX.

Virtual Axis Configuration
Configure the DMC-16 or DMC+ to control a boom/swing/track camera crane using x/y/z axes.

Project Management

dragonframe project managementProduction/scene/take naming
Name your project based on the classic clapboard naming convention.

Manage multiple takes for a scene
Create multiple takes within the same scene project. This carries over all of your camera settings, exposures, camera moves, notes, etc.

Customizable, printable X-Sheet (dope sheet)
Manage the project from a dynamic exposure sheet that updates automatically as you add exposures, audio phonemes, camera moves, and change scene length.

Pop-up notes
Enter notes that pop up when it’s time to capture a frame.

Copy and rename scenes and takes
Duplicate a scene or take from within Dragonframe.

Cinematography and Composition

dragonframe cinematographyMultiple exposures (sub-frames)
Shoot multiple passes for each frame for effects like front light/backlight or stereo pairs.

Graphical camera control
Adjust your still camera’s shutter speed, aperture, ISO with visual sliders.

Depth of field slider
Adjust shutter speed and aperture together to affect depth of field without adjusting exposure.

Exposure preview offset
Adjust live view exposure simulation to match final shot (Canon EOS only).

Save camera settings in scene
Dragonframe saves your camera’s settings and restores them when you re-open the scene.

Exposure lock
Lock camera settings for each exposure.

Integrated test shot system
Save test shots separately and view them during any take of a scene.

Compare images from other scenes
Import any images and view them at full resolution.

Clipping view
Quickly see if you are clipping in the highlights or bottoming in the blacks.

Digital densitometer
Compare and match areas of exposure regardless of monitor inconsistencies.

Adjustable background gray value
Adjust the area around images in Cine widow to give your eyes a rest—or to suit the imagery.

Aspect ratio mask
Add a standard or custom aspect ratio mask and adjust opacity.

Separate mask and TV-safe overlay
Frame for both 16:9 and 4:3 in one view.

Push-in mask
Add an adjustable push-in mask for checking TV-safe and framing for pre-planned push-ins.

Grid layers
Add up to two custom grids to help with horizon line-up and composition.

Advanced composition guides
Emulate ground glass with composition guides in the guide layers.

Image Capture

dragonframe image captureCamera support
Full integration with the most cameras: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, HDV, HDMI and more.

Folder watching
Use Dragonframe with many unsupported DSLRs.

Capture black-out
Darken your monitor while capturing to keep its glow from interfering with your lighting.

Auto-detect cameras
Automatically connect to cameras.

Automatic live view rest
Pause live view after configurable period of inactivity to avoid overheating.

Video frame averaging
Average 2-60 frames to reduce video noise (video only).

External shutter control option
Capture live view and then wait for external shutter release (for timing motion control shots).

Animation Tools

dragonframe animationStep to live
Step directly from captured frames to your live view.

Blend the live view over any frame in your animation.

Auto toggle
Toggle between live view and captured frames with adjustable speed.

One keypress toggles between live and captured frames, then back again when released.

Quickly navigate your animation sequence, as well as select frames for playback.

High-res playback
Play back either your video assist frames or proxies of your full-resolution captures.

Short play
Play back the last twelve frames (configurable).

Drawing tools
Draw paths and lines on screen to assist with animation.

Difference mode
Useful for re-lining up a shot if camera or set is bumped.

Lights prominent / darks prominent
Useful when character is dark and background is light, or visa versa.

Rotoscope layers
Import images, movie files, or Dragonframe scenes as a line-up layer for easy double-pass line-ups, chromakey, or onion-skin.

Chromakey / greenscreen
Use basic chroma key (green screen) pull for line up of effects shots.

Layer position/size/orientation
Adjust rotoscope layer orientation, scale and position.

Play/loop markers
Mark in and out points for playback and looping using the Nav-Line.

User-assigned hot keys
Simple interface for re-mapping the default keyboard commands.

Punch-In for Animation
Use Canon, Nikon, Olympus or Fujifilm live view magnification to punch in on a section of the video assist image.

Auxiliary monitor
Send main view to second monitor (video village).

Stereoscopic 3D Tools

dragonframe stereoscopic toolsIntegrated 3D shooting
Automate 3D shooting with a stereoscopic slider.

3D stereo review
View anaglyphs, set convergence or edge float, and adjust interocular distances.

3D test shots
Take 3D test shots and use the 3D review tools to evaluate them.

3D playback
Play 3D sequences using anaglyphs or transparencies in color or black and white.

Export stereo (3D) Movie
Export 3D sequences to various movie formats.


Set an interval in hours, minutes, seconds.

Start time
Start time-lapse at a future date or time.

End time
End time-lapse at a future date or time.

Total frames
End time-lapse after specified number of frames are captured.

High precision
Capture within 0.1 second of the specified interval with most cameras.


Direct access to source RAW/JPG/TIFF files
Your camera’s high-res source files are saved in an easily-accessible directory.

Export Movie
Create a QuickTime, AVI or MP4 movie with many export options.

Export Image Sequence
Export your frames in different image formats, customize naming, etc.

After Effects
Import image sequence directly from scene source location.

Dragonframe 4.x stop frame animation software for Mac, Windows, or Linux. The software is delivered as a digital download as soon as your payment clears, so you can get to work right away. The keypad controller will arrive in the mail within a few days (depending on your location).


Dragonframe USB Keypad Controller requires shipping. The software is downloadable.

How quickly can I start using the software after I purchase?

As soon as your payment clears, we send you an invoice with your serial number in it.

Note: Student orders must also wait to be approved, which can take 1-2 business days.

If you have already been using the trial, you can instantly activate the full version. (You do not need to download the program again.)

If you haven’t downloaded the trial, you will have to download and install the software.

Can I switch my license between Mac, Windows or Linux machines?

Yes.  The serial number you purchase is good for all platforms, and it doesn’t matter to us how you allocate it. So if you purchased multiple licenses, you could install on any combination of Mac, Windows or Linux machines. (Of course, only DF4+ supports Linux.)

You can also deactivate your license on one platform and activate it on another. (Deactivate License… is an option in the Help menu.)

System Requirements


  • macOS 10.10+
  • OpenGL 2.1 Capable Graphics Card
  • 1.33 GHz CPU or faster
  • 2 GB RAM or more
  • A supported camera


  • Windows 7/8.1/10
  • OpenGL 2.1 Capable Graphics Card
  • 1.33 GHz CPU or faster
  • 2 GB RAM or more
  • A supported camera


  • 64-bit Ubuntu 16+ or Fedora 22+ (Ubuntu recommended)
  • OpenGL 2.1 Capable Graphics Card
  • 1.33 GHz CPU or faster
  • 2 GB RAM or more
  • A supported camera

Dragonframe 4.2 – 20 March 2020

A feature-packed update to our award-winning stop motion animation software. Highlights include support of the new EOS R features, major additions to the motion control programming workspace, and numerous stability and performance improvements.

All Dragonframe 4 license holders can update their software today to get the latest features in 4.2. Use the program’s Preferences | Updates or visit the Downloads page on our site to get it.

  • Increase maximum allowed video assist size to 1920 wide. (Video assist resolution is usually limited by camera.)
  • New take/exposure/frame notes stored in metadata text file for passing on to post-production.
  • Reference images can now be popped out into separate window.
  • New alternate composition guide layers, for framing for multiple deliveries.
  • New movie record tool in Cinematography workspace makes it more clear which settings will be used when
    camera is set to record video.
  • New motion control adjustment layer to apply subtle adjustments to moves.
  • New motion control “time warp” feature to stretch or compress final move over time.
  • New DMX keyframe table view.
  • Support for simple arithmetic in many Arc and DMX fields.
  • Support for 4K webcams and Elgato Cam Link 4K.

Dragonframe 4.1.8 – 29 September 2019

  • macOS Catalina fixes and security requirements
  • Fixed Windows audio system crash for certain configurations
  • Improved Dragonframe Tether connectivity
  • Fixed Sony A6400 detection
  • Improved Sony live view focus magnification (on supported models)
  • Motion control : use reduced jog speed for backlash rollback
  • Motion control : fixed time-lapse when in “move shoot move” mode

Dragonframe 4.1.7

  • Added support for Fujifilm GFX 50R
  • Added support for Panasonic DC-S1 and DC-S1R
  • Added support for Canon EOS SL3 / 250D / 200D II
  • Fixed Sony capture issue with manual aperture lens
  • Improved Fujifilm integration on Windows
  • Fixed Import Image Sequence images landing in wrong exposure
  • Other small fixes

Dragonframe 4.1.6

  • Added support for Canon EOS RP full-frame mirrorless camera
  • Added support for Olympus OM-D E-M1X mirrorless camera
  • Improved reliability with Fujifilm X-T2
  • Resolved missing drawing layers with Radeon Vega 8
  • Fixed anamorphic high-res proxies and focus check
  • Fixed digital focus (iPhone) move with DMC+ or DMC-16
  • Fixed live view server IP detection on Windows

New In Dragonframe 4.1.5

  • Improved Canon EOS R download speed
  • Fixed stepping with audio loaded after 6000 frames
  • Fixed multiple Windows webcam issues
  • Fixed Windows mp4 export audio sync

New In Dragonframe 4.1.4

  • Added support for Nikon Z6 full-frame mirrorless camera
  • Added support for Nikon D3500 DSLR
  • Resolved issue with initial setup of Microsoft LifeCam VX-7000
  • Resolved issue with slow image download on Canon EOS Rebel cameras
  • Resolved issue with Folder watching re-activating Dragonframe
  • Improved Flair integration reliability
  • Resolved issue with Canon EOS + DMC-16 go-motion setup
  • Fixed potential crash while changing Arc axis badge color
  • Fixed potential crash when closing Preferences
  • Updated User Guide with sections on indexing, focus stacking and backlash
  • Improved macOS Mojave dark mode color choices

New In Dragonframe 4.1.3

  • Added support for Canon EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera
  • Added support for Nikon Z7 full-frame mirrorless camera
  • Added support for Fujifilm X-T3
  • Improved Intuos pen support for character track readings
  • Restored motion control real-time playback countdown timer
  • Fixed gamepad configuration with virtuals
  • Numerous stability improvements

New In Dragonframe 4.1.2

  • Fixed DMX program contextual menu
  • Fixed crash loading empty audio file
  • Fixed X-Sheet dark theme button
  • Fixed Windows potential crash in 3D mouse initialization

New In Dragonframe 4.1.1

  • macOS Mojave support, including dark mode
  • Fixed export with push-in mash when no aspect ratio is active
  • Fixed onion-skin + high-res mode
  • Resized dialogs to fit on 13″ laptop screen
  • Fixed Cinematography link exposure menu
  • Fixed crash exporting mp4 video

New In Dragonframe 4.1.0

Mac version REQUIRES macOS 10.10+

  • New “Notepad” for keeping track of scene notes.
  • Up to eight “punch-in” positions of live view magnification.
  • Focus check support for Sony A7III and A7RIII.
  • Support for ARRI direct ARRIRAW capture.
  • Support for RED DSMC2 direct R3D capture.
  • Support for Pentax KP, K-1, K-1 Mark II, 645Z.
  • Support for Canon EOS M50, T7/1500D/2000D and 3000D/ 4000D.
  • Support for 3rd-party DMX hardware: ENTTEC DMX Pro and Art-Net protocol.
  • New gamepad controller integration for programming motion control.
  • New 3D mouse support for motion control.
  • More virtualized axis configurations for motion control.
  • Motion control capture in reverse.

New In Dragonframe 4.0.6

  • Fixed OpenGL error if live view JPEG can’t be decoded (improves stability)
  • Added support for Canon EOS 1500D / 2000D / Rebel T7
  • Added support for Canon EOS 3000D / 4000D
  • Fixed crash when performing ‘undo’ while dragging drawing objects
  • Fixed DMC triggers not firing
  • Added support for DMC v 2.2+ firmware

New In Dragonframe 4.0.5

  • New camera support: Sony Alpha A7 III
  • New camera support: Panasonic LUMIX DC-GH5S
  • New camera support: Panasonic LUMIX DC-G9
  • New camera support: Fujifilm X-H1
  • Fixed ‘Export Still Image’ feature in Cinematography
  • Windows: Fixed issue with UI not updating in Arc workspace
  • Fixed DNG converter stalling
  • Fixed reference video’s audio losing sync after changing start frame of scene

New in Dragonframe 4.0.4 Update

  • Fixes macOS 10.13 + NVidia crashing
  • Adds support for Fujifilm X-Pro2

All Dragonframe 4 license owners can update the program via its Preferences | Updates.

QubaHQ Stop Motion Kit with Tutorial

QubaHQ Stop Motion Kit is a free download and is marketed as “The Fastest Way to Accomplish Stop Motion in After Effects!”