Dragonframe Tether

From Help Wiki

Dragonframe Tether is a free app that allows you to use your an Android or iOS device as a capture source in Dragonframe 5.

Getting the Apps

  • On the iOS device get Dragonframe Tether from the App Store.
  • On the computer install and authorize Dragonframe

Getting Started

  1. On the computer open Dragonframe
  2. Select Create New Scene from the dialog box, or open a previously created scene with Open Scene.
  3. Name your production, 5 characters maximum.
  4. Set the Frame Rate and click OK.
  5. In the new window that opens browse to your desktop.
  6. Click New Folder and give it a name and hit Create.
  7. Select that folder and click Save.
  8. Connect the iOS device to the computer via USB
  9. Open Dragonframe Tether on the iOS device
  10. Dragonframe should detect the back camera of the iOS device

Configuring Dragonframe

  1. If you do not see the live camera feed from the animation stand press command R to refresh the live camera feed. 
    • a red outline will appear around the window signifying that live view is enabled.
  2. Set the frames per second for playback speed:
    • 1's = 30fps 
    • 2's = 15fps
    • 3's = 10fps

Set the Aspect Ratio for the project

  1. In the Animation window, click on the Guide Layers tab. 
  2. Select Aspect Ratio Mask and choose 16:9 (rectangular),  4:3 (square) depending on the requirements for your assignment.
  3. Adjust the mask opacity as needed. 
  4. Select Aspect Ratio Lines and select Outline and/or Crosshairs as needed.
  5. In the Aspect Ratio Mask section set the Aspect Ratio to match the 16:9 or 4:3 setting above.

Set Up Artwork

  1. Arrange your artwork
  2. Adjust you lights
  3. Check for reflections


  • Try to have uniform lighting over your artwork.
  • Try not to mix different light color temperatures if possible.
  • Watch out for light sources that could change
    • Light from a window might change as clouds block the sun

Color Temperature


  • Different lights will have different color temperature ranging from red to blue
  • The temperature is measured in a unit called kelvins
  • Many bulbs will come with a specific kelvins label
  • "Soft white" bulls around 2500 - 2700K

White Balance

In Dragonframe Tether you will need to select a color temperature for the white balance setting.

  • Auto - This setting could change from shot to shot. Try not to use.
  • Daylight - 5200K. Use if you are using daylight or daylight balanced bulbs
  • Tungsten - 3200K - For studio lights
  • Or choose a specific kelvin setting
  • If you have bulbs with a specific kelvin rating try to match that setting

Cinematography Window

In Dragonframe, click on the camera icon  Camera icon dragonframe.png on the top right of the screen to enter the Cinematography window. 

Camera Settings

    • White Balance - See above
    • Image Quality - JPG
    • Flash - OFF
    • Set the ISO dial to be 100


  1. Click the focus check button.
  2. A focus slider and focus buttons will appear over the camera image
  3. Use the slider and buttons to adjust the focus

F-Stop and Shutter Speed

With Dragonframe Tether the f-stop setting is not available. The Shutter speed and ISO can be set.

  1. Adjust the shutter speed dial by clicking and dragging to the right or left to adjust exposure 
  2. Take a test shot after each adjustment to confirm the exposure
    1. The Test Shot button is located underneath the camera settings of Cinematography 
  3. Click the camera icon to return to live view 

Setting Exposure 

  1. Set the ISO to 100
  2. Adjust the shutter speed for the desired exposure
  3. Focus. 
  4. Take a test shot.

Test Shots 

  • After changes any camera settings take a set shot
  • Test shots will look better than the live view images 
    1. They will have better focus and exposure 
  • Click on a test shot to look at it in the view pane
  • The camera settings will be viewable in the top right corner of the Cinematography window
  • Click the camera icon below the view pane to return to live view.

Capturing Animation

  • Return to the Animation window
  • To begin capturing frames press return key
  • This will take a moment to transfer the still image file from the camera to the Dragonframe software
  • Do not capture frames too quickly - this will cause Dragonframe to crash and may corrupt your last captured frame. Please encourage yourself to practice patiences when working on animation in the Dragonframe software

Playback Animation

  • Activate the hi-res button on the remote to set the playback source to preview the hi-res stills instead of the lo-res video assist images. 
  • To playback your captured frames the spacebar
  • or use key 1 and 2 to step through frame by frame.

Onion Skininning

Onion skinning is a technique used in animation that allows an animator to see several frames at once. Check the Onionskin article for more detail


  • When you are done you will need to export a video from Dragonframe
  • Read the Exporting article for details