Like DART Range, DART Trace uses a simple menu strip at the bottom of the screen, which can be opened by clicking the “hamburger” icon at the bottom left.
New to DART Trace is a STATS tab at the top right of the screen. Once you have taken shots in DART Trace, you can open the STATS panel by clicking on the tab.
The main menu consists of Course Options, Preferences, Setup, and Exit buttons, and a Help icon.
Clicking the Exit button opens a dialog asking you to confirm closing the program because any unsaved data will be lost. Clicking the Help (?) icon will open a context-sensitive dialog with useful information.
The remaining buttons – Course Options, Preferences, and Setup – are almost identical to DART Range.
The STATS Panel
The STATS panel is divided into three areas with basic shot data at the top, data gauges in the middle and data display options at the bottom. In addition, DART Trace will draw a colored shot trace line over the target in the main display.
The Colored Trace Line
The trace line is divided into four colors, each representing a different portion of the shot.
- Green shows the aim point of the gun leading up to the shot.
- Yellow shows the aim point one second prior to the shot.
- Blue shows the aim point 0.2 seconds before the shot. Think of this as the trigger squeeze portion of the shot since this is the approximate time it takes to pull the trigger.
- Red shows the aim point up to one second after the shot was made. This is the follow-through.
Basic Shot Data
DART Trace registers the score and the time it took to make the shot for each shot made. The currently selected shot is shown highlighted in blue. You can select any shot on the list simply by clicking it. As you move from shot to shot, you will notice the data gauges and colored trace line update to reflect the data for the newly selected shot.
The data gauges display different shot metrics including the movement of the gun and how much time the shooter’s aim was focused on a specific area of the target.
There are two types of data gauges: the Muzzle Movement speed gauges and the Time on Target by Zone gauges. You can toggle between the gauge types by clicking the gauge icon in the lower options section of the STATS panel.
The speed gauges show the relative speed of the aim point as it moved across the target. The gauges interpret speed with a value between 0 and 9.9. Lower numbers indicate slower speeds. A speed of zero would indicate absolutely no motion (impossible to achieve). A speed of 9.9 indicates that the muzzle of the gun is moving rapidly.
Muzzle movement is divided into three sections.
- The green gauge shows the speed of the aim point from the time it was first observed by the program until one second prior to the shot.
- The yellow gauge shows the speed of the aim point for the one second period prior to the shot.
- The blue gauge shows the speed of the aim point for the final 0.2 seconds prior to the shot.
Separating the speed data into groups makes it possible to see if the shooter is jerking the trigger, for example.
Time on Target
The second set of gauges shows the Time on Target by Zone.
DART uses two images to make a target. As shown in the mockup image below, one image looks like a traditional target. This is shown on the left side of the picture and is the target we see when using the DART program.
However, a second “zone” image is also used to let the computer know which areas of the target image have special meaning. Targets can have up to eight zones, each defined by a different color. Using zones, we can identify specific areas of interest and assign point values among other things.
The Time on Target by Zone gauges tell you how much time a user’s aim point spent in a specific area of the target. In the screen below, we can see that the aim point was in the green zone 51% of the total time it took to make the shot.
Unless you spend a lot of time creating targets, you may not know where the green zone is. In this case, you can click the target/zone toggle icons to switch between a view of the target and target zone image.
In many cases, particularly where there is little movement in the aim point, it is helpful to zoom into the target for a closer look. This can be done using the zoom toggle icon. Clicking on the icon will change the target zoom from 1x to 2x to 4x.
When you are zoomed into a target, press and hold the right mouse button while moving the mouse to pan around the target area.
Clicking the Replay button will play back the muzzle trace in real-time. This is particularly helpful for picking out movement associated with breathing, recoil anticipation, and other potential problem areas.
Animated traces can be saved to disk as video files by clicking the Save Trace icon.