Dragonframe

Dragonframe 4.2

Create stop-motion animation and add visual effects to them.

Capture images and design stop-motion animation. Create a sense of movement and customize the loop playback and stepping options. Control your shots with image review tools, add and edit dialogues and soundtracks, blend videos, manage DMX lighting, etc.

Dragonframe is intended for creating stop motion animated movies. In this respect, the tool accompanies you through all the stages of film creation process, including planning, capturing shots, animating objects, editing and exporting.

The application has an elegant design and I am certain that it could not be made any easier to use than it already is. Luckily, the tool suits the workflow perfectly and there are workspaces for different tasks, such as ARC Motion Control, Cinematography, DMX and Audio Editing. Regrettably, its lots of features, options and windows represent a steep learning curve for learners. Fortunately, its help documentation is as excellently crafted as the app itself.

As any stop motion app, Dragonframe allows frame-by-frame processing of capture images. Still, it does much more than that. For instance, it helps you plan your animations before the shots are actually taken. In this respect, it comes with an excellent built-in drawing tool to sketch movements and shots. Likewise, it lets you compose scenes out of different takes and keep everything well organized.

Dragonframe allows using the onion-skin technique. This means that you can still see the last shots when taking a new one, which simplifies moving objects and characters. Likewise, it is possible to use snapshots and videos as reference. This way, the animation can be made a lot smoother. Among its many effects, my favorite is chroma keying, which lets me completely erase a solid color background and replace it with anything else. Finally, you can easily integrate the resulting videos with recorded sounds. Regrettably, it does not seem to come with a library of sounds you can freely use.

Good news is that the application supports a long list of cameras and controllers. In this respect, it allows using practically any DSRL camera. Moreover, it integrates seamlessly with the chosen camera, allowing to preferences, such as ISO values, white balance and shutter speed. Likewise, its built-in motion control lets you automate the moves of the camera and the lights without the need of a third-party tool.

All in all, I guess this is too short a review to mention everything Dragonframe allows you to do. No wonder why it is considered the best app of its type by so many users. Fortunately, the product can be tried at no cost but will leave a watermark on the resulting video. It is sold together with a controller (Bluetooth or USB).

Pedro Castro
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Onion-skin animation
  • Built-in drawing tools
  • Various workspaces
  • Greenscreen support
  • Excellent documentation
  • Allows organizing the different parts of your movies
  • Allows integrating sounds
  • Supports DSRL cameras
  • Lets you automate the moves of the camera and the lights

Cons

  • Does not seem to come with a library of sounds
  • Steep learning curve
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