Paper targets found on a firing range use silhouettes or the likeness of a person to simulate an encounter with a real human, however the motion of paper targets cannot simulate the movement of a real person. DART’s 3D TruTargets do a much better job of simulating real people because they look, move, and behave very similarly to a real human.
Each stage of your course can have up to ten TruTargets. The TruTargets menu provides options for loading targets, defining a target’s movement, and other settings.
Note: TruTarget options are only available within DART Studio. DART Creator can load courses with TruTargets, but it cannot modify or add new ones.
Adding and Deleting TruTargets
By default, the TruTargets options are inactive because there are no TruTargets included in a new stage. To add a TruTarget to the current stage, click the Add button at the top of the screen whenever TruTargets is selected in the Info Bar.
- Press the F4 key (or select TruTargets from the bottom menu bar). You’ll notice that the top Info Bar will automatically change to TruTargets.
- Click the Add button at the top of the screen. The default TruTarget will appear in the center of the screen and the target counter at the top right corner of the screen will update.
- Click the TruTargets button at the top of the screen and change the selection to Targets. The press the Delete key. This will remove the paper target from the scene.
Each stage is limited to a maximum of ten TruTargets. Once you reach that limit, the Add button will be inactive.
Since DART supports up to ten TruTargets in a single stage, it is important to know which one you are working on at any given time. Selected TruTargets are shown with a pink outline to distinguish them from other TruTargets in the scene. Any changes you make to TruTarget settings will only apply to the selected TruTarget with the pink outline.
You can select a TruTarget by using the Previous and Next button in the Info Bar at the top of the screen when “TruTargets” is selected. Alternatively, you can left-click on a TruTarget using the mouse when the Targets/Path command is selected. When the Info Bar is set to TruTargets, the right side of the bar will show you the name of the currently selected target and the total number of TruTargets in a stage.
- Press the F4 key to ensure that you are in the TruTargets section.
- Click the Add button at the top of the screen twice to add two more TruTargets to your scene.
- Click the Path button at the bottom of the screen.
- Click and hold the left mouse button on a TruTarget and move your mouse around. You can easily move the TruTarget prop front to back and left to right.
- Repeat the process to select and move the other targets.
Note: when the bottom menu is set to something other than TruTargets, the pink outline around the selected TruTarget will turn black. You can still use the Info Bar to delete the selected TruTarget, but the black outline lets you know that the TruTargets menu is no longer selected.
Clicking the Load button opens a window that will load a TruTarget in place of the selected TruTarget, or if there are no TruTargets in the scene it will add one.
In DART, TruTargets travel along 3D paths. These paths are defined by at least two and as many as ten waypoints. The Path commands allow you to place and position these waypoints anywhere you like using the mouse and the Navigation Panel.
Editing path waypoints happens in real time. This makes it easy to place TruTargets exactly where you need them.
Every TruTarget is assigned a default path with two waypoints, but a path can have as many as ten waypoints. The waypoint controls allow you to Delete, Add, and move through available path waypoints. When you select a waypoint, the TruTarget’s position will instantly update to reflect the selected waypoint. Once a waypoint is selected, you can edit its position using the mouse and Navigation Panel at the top of the screen.
Deletes the currently selected waypoint. All paths must have at least two waypoints, so when a path only has two waypoints, this option will be inactive.
Adds a new waypoint to the existing path behind the currently selected waypoint. Paths are limited to a total of ten waypoints, so if a path already has ten waypoints, this option will be inactive.
Selects the previous waypoint. If waypoint 1 is selected, this option will be inactive.
Selects the next waypoint. If the last waypoint is selected, this option will be inactive.
Poses are a powerful way of setting TruTarget actions and behavior. Every waypoint can have its own pose. By changing poses over span of the path, you can alter a TruTarget’s movement. For example, you may have a TruTarget start by walking and switch to crouching. Clicking the Change Pose button will display a list of available poses.
Note: each pose works with all available TruTargets.
- Create a scene with a single TruTarget.
- Select the Path button at the bottom of the screen. Left-click and drag the TruTarget to the left side of the screen.
- Click the Next button at the bottom of the screen to select the second waypoint. Left-click and drag the TruTarget to the right side of the screen.
- Click the Change Pose button and select Crouching. Notice that the TruTarget will instantly crouch down.
- Select the Motion button at the bottom of the screen and set the Travel Time slider to 2.
- Preview the motion of the selected TruTarget by pressing the 3 key. You should see the TruTarget walk across the screen and crouch down when he reaches the end of the path.
Note: in some sections of DART Studio, clicking the left mouse button will fire a shot. Firing shots is disabled in Path section of TruTargets.
Clicking the Load Path button will load a previously saved path. Loading a path will completely replace the path for the current target with the loaded path. Once you load a path, the name of the path will appear above the load and save buttons.
Note: remember that loading a path replaces all waypoints and pose selections with the newly loaded path.
Once a path is created you may want to save it for future use. Clicking the Save Path button will open a window that will allow you to save the current path to disk. Since all DART paths are 3D, they can be used with regular targets and TruTargets. This means that a path made for a regular target can be loaded and used for a TruTarget and visa versa.
Note: You may notice an asterisk (*) appear next to the path name from time to time. This is an indication that you have made changes to the path since it was last saved. If you think you might want to use the path in other stages and course, you can use the Save Path options to save the path.
Moving a TruTarget
Moving a TruTarget is almost identical to moving a 2D target or prop.
- While the Path button is selected, left-click the mouse on a TruTarget. Continue to hold down the mouse button and move the mouse around. Notice that the Horizontal and Distance values in the Navigation Panel update in real-time as you move the mouse.
- Release the mouse button and right-click the mouse on a TruTarget. Continue to hold down the mouse button as you move the mouse up and down. Notice that the TruTarget now moves up and down. You can move the target as high as 30 feet and as low as 9 feet below the ground.
- Scroll the mouse wheel. This changes the target's rotation value. TruTargets can rotate between 180 and -180 degrees.
You'll notice that changing a TruTarget's rotation affects the upper body only. TruTargets will always move in the direction of their path, but they can be made to face in different directions based on the rotation setting. By default, the target will rotate in 1-degree increments, but this can be changed with the Snap option in the Navigation Panel.
Click the Snap button on the right side of the Navigation Panel and select Snap to 1 Foot / 5 degrees. Now use your mouse to move the target around the screen. Notice that it jumps in 1-foot increments. Try rotating the target and you will notice that it rotates much more quickly.
You can also use the Navigation Panel to precisely place your TruTarget.
- Click the numerical value under Horizontal. A gray highlight should appear. Type 5 and press Enter. It’s OK if the target temporarily disappears offscreen.
- Click the numerical value under Distance, type 20 and press Enter.
- Click the numerical value under Height, type 3 and press Enter. In all cases, your TruTarget will instantly jump to the new position.
Note: The active TruTarget will always be outlined in bright pink. This lets you know exactly which one you are working on in instances where there is more than one TruTarget in a scene.
The Navigation Panel
The Navigation Panel appears when the following options are selected; Targets/Path, TruTargets/Path, and Props/Settings. It can be used to track the position of a target or prop, make precise adjustments to the position of a target or prop, and set snap options which affect how a target or prop is moved when using the mouse.
The Horizontal setting changes the left/right position of a path waypoint in feet or yards based on the Snap setting. A value of 0 places the waypoint directly in the center of the screen. Increasing the value will move the waypoint to the right. Decreasing the value will move the waypoint to the left.
Note: It is possible to place the waypoint beyond the visible edge of the screen. This can be useful for starting or ending a target’s movement beyond the vision of the shooter.
The Distance setting changes the distance of a waypoint in feet or yards based on the Snap value. Acceptable distance values are between 3 and 75 feet (1 and 25 yards).
The Height setting changes the height of a waypoint in feet or yards based on the Snap value. A value of 0 places the target on the ground. This is useful for TruTargets or other targets that should remain anchored to the ground. Acceptable height values are between -9 and 30 feet (-3 and 10 yards).
The Rotation setting affects the direction the TruTarget will face. The default value of 0 will cause the TruTarget to face forward. Positive values (1 to 90 degrees) will cause the target to look to its rights. Negative values (-1 to -90 degrees) will cause the target to look to its left.
You can make small changes to any of these settings by clicking the left and right arrows on either side of a specific setting. You can make precise settings, by clicking the number, typing in a new value, and pressing the Enter key.
The Path options are used to create a path that tell your TruTarget where it will travel. The Motion options allow you to control the speed of the TruTarget along the path. You can also set travel beginning and end points and preview TruTarget motion.
Sets the starting position of the TruTarget along the path. If your TruTarget will not move (meaning Travel Time is set to 0), this will be the fixed position where the TruTarget will appear. The slider moves between 0 and 100. This sets the percentage of the path at which the TruTarget will start. For example, a value of 50 will cause the TruTarget to begin in the exact center of the path, while a value of 100 would start the TruTarget at the very end of the path.
Sets the end position of the TruTarget along the path. If your TruTarget will not move, this setting will be ignored. The slider moves between 0 and 100. This sets the percentage of the path at which the TruTarget will end.
Like most options in DART, these sliders provide real-time feedback. Simply move the sliders back and forth to see where the TruTarget will be at any given point (including any assigned pose changes). Notice that the yardage indicator in the title constantly updates to show you the target’s distance from the shooter at the selected ending position.
Sets the time it will take in seconds, to travel the distance set by the Start and End positions. Shorter travel times results in quicker movement. A setting of 0 will prevent the TruTarget from moving.
Travel Time and TruTargets
When using 2D targets, the Travel Time is exact. Even if you instruct a 2D target to do something impossible for a human – such as travel 25 yards in a single second, it will. TruTargets operate a little differently. Since our goal is to simulate human motion and movement, a TruTarget will avoid doing things that are impossible for a person such as running at super-human speed.
TruTargets operate under these basic guidelines:
- I will not move faster than a human is capable of running.
- I will not walk through walls or other TruTargets.
- I will follow the defined path as closely as possible.
- I will move until my path ends or Travel Time expires (whichever occurs first)
These guidelines mean that the movement of your TruTarget may differ slightly from the settings you have created for it. If the path is long and the travel time is short, a TruTarget will run as fast as it can for as long as it is allowed (based on Travel Time), then stop.
- Add a TruTarget to an empty stage. One the TruTarget is added, you can delete any 2D target in the scene.
- Go to TruTargets/Path and set the first waypoint to these settings; Horizontal -7 and Distance 15.
- Click the Next button to select the second waypoint and adjust it to these settings; Horizontal 7 and Distance 15.
- Click the Motion menu button and set Travel Time to 3.
- Select Preview One Target (or press the 3 key) to preview the target motion. The target walks casually along the path.
- Change the Travel Time slider to 1 and preview the motion. The target, given a shorter period of time to traverse the path, will now run.
The Preview option allows you to test the motion of a target or targets while you are working with the motion commands. This is very useful for testing TruTarget speed. There are two options: One Target and All Targets.
Selecting One Target will only preview the motion of the currently selected target, no matter how many targets are in the scene.
All Targets will preview the motion of all regular and TruTargets in a stage. This allows you to test target interaction.
TruTarget behaviors allow you to control what happens to a TruTarget by defining trigger events that can cause actions at some point during the simulation.
Describes the starting behavior of a target. A target may start as Visible, Hold Visible, or Hold Invisible. Hold Visible and Hold Invisible are special behaviors that will cause a target to remain in place, even if it is assigned motion along a path until a trigger event happens. the hold option works in conjunction with the Action called Release.
A Trigger is an event that causes a predetermined Action to happen. A trigger event can be based on time, distance, shots fired, or a specific waypoint. A simple example might be that we want a target to move at half-speed if it is hit in the leg. In this case, the Trigger is a Zone Hit (a hit in a specific area of the target), and the Action is Half Speed.
You might not always want a trigger to happen at an exact moment. There may be times when you want to add an element of unpredictability. For this reason, most triggers let you set parameters for a trigger event. For example, we can instruct a target to stop moving when it is between 5 and 10 yards from the shooter. The following section describes the six types of behavioral triggers.
The Time trigger uses parameter sliders for Starting Time and Ending Time, which can be set between 0 and the number of seconds in your stage as defined under stage rules (with a maximum value of 120 seconds). These sliders establish the period at which the trigger will occur. If both sliders are set the to the same value, for example 10, the trigger event will happen precisely 10 seconds after the beginning of the stage (not including instruction and countdown time if any). However, if the sliders are set to different values, for example 15 and 30, the trigger event will happen at a random point between 15 and 30 seconds after the stage begins.
Note: The time slider cannot exceed the max time for the stage. For example, if your stage has a time limit of 15 seconds, the maximum value of the time sliders will be 15 seconds.
The Distance trigger uses parameter sliders for Near Distance and Far Distance. These sliders establish the distance from the shooter the target must be to trigger an action. Both sliders have minimum and maximum values between 3 and 25 yards. If both sliders are set the to the same value, for example 10, the trigger event will happen at the first point the target is 10 yards away from the user. However, if the sliders are set to different values, for example 10 and 25, the trigger event will happen when the TruTarget reaches a random point between these two distances.
Note: The distance slider cannot exceed the minimum or maximum distance that your target is set to travel. For example, if your target is set to move between 10 and 15 yards, the minimum and maximum distance values will be 10 and 15.
The Any Shot trigger uses parameter sliders for Low Shot Count and High Shot Count, which establish the period the trigger will occur. Both sliders have values between 1 and 50 shots. If both sliders are set the to the same value – for example 10 – the trigger event will happen as soon as any 10 shots are fired, regardless of whether the shots are hits or misses or any combination. If the sliders are set to different values – for example 10 and 20 – the trigger event will happen at a random point between 10 and 20 shots.
Note: The shot count sliders cannot exceed the max shots allowed for the stage. For example, if your stage has a time limit of 20 shots allowed, the maximum value of the shot count sliders will be 20.
The Zone Hit trigger sliders are used to specify Shot Count and Target Zone. These two sliders determine how many shots in a specific zone must occur to trigger an action. The Shot Count slider has a value between 1 and 10 shots. The Zone slider has a value between 1 and 6 with the corresponding target values – 1=head, 2=chest, and so on. If the Shot Count slider is set to 5 and the Target Zone value is set to 2 (Chest), the trigger event will happen as soon as 2 shots strike the chest area of the target.
Note: The Shot Count slider cannot exceed the total shots allowed for the stage.
The Waypoint trigger uses parameter sliders for Starting Waypoint and Ending Waypoint, which establish the target position the trigger will occur. Both sliders have values between 1 and 10. If both sliders are set the to the same value – for example 2 – the trigger event will happen as soon as the target reaches the second waypoint. If the sliders are set to different values – for example 2 and 5 – the trigger event will happen when the target reaches a random waypoint between the second and fifth waypoints.
Note: The waypoint sliders cannot exceed the number of waypoints in the selected target’s path. For example, if your target’s path has only three waypoints, the maximum value for the Ending Waypoint slider will be 3.
When a trigger condition is met, an Action is initiated. There are six possible actions: None, Freeze, Disappear, Release, Half Speed, and Double Speed.
If None is selected, no action will result although other non-action options may occur as a result of a trigger.
Causes the target to stop where it is and discontinues all further motion.
Causes the target to disappear. Targets which disappear can no longer be shot.
If a target is being held in place by the Hold starting option, this action will release the target and begin its movement along a path. This allows a target’s motion to be delayed.
Causes the target to slow down and travel at half of its designated speed.
Causes the target to speed up and travel at twice its designated speed.
Selects an alternate pose to display once the trigger conditions are met. Clicking the Change Pose presents options which include; None, Dead, Crouching, Hands Up, etc. For example, you may set a target to freeze and raise its hands as soon as the first shot is fired.
Causes the target to play an audio file once the trigger conditions are met. For example, you may set a target to pull a gun (using the Change Pose option) and play a gunshot sound once it reaches a specific waypoint.
The Return Fire option requires an optional hardware device which consists of a laser emitting box and laser detecting device worn by the shooter. Using the Return Fire hardware, the DART system can “shoot back” at the shooter and is useful for practicing “off the X” and cover drills. The Return Fire button has two options; Narrow and Wide. Narrow fires a narrow laser burst. Wide fires a wide laser burst.
TruTarget Settings allows you to set shot requirements for ending one stage and moving to the next. This is done by defining zone hit requirements. For example, you might require two hits to a target’s red zone before moving on. With TruTargets you can also set kill conditions which override all other settings.
Unlike flat targets which use colored areas to define target zones, TruTargets have six fixed zone areas; Head and Neck, Chest, Abdomen, Pelvis, Arms, and Legs. This multi-selection box allows you to specify which target zones the shooter must hit before advancing to the next stage, and the number of shots to the selected area that will kill a target.
Zone Hits Required
Once a zone has been selected, move the Zone Hits Required slider to adjust the number of hits that should be logged in a particular zone. For example, if you wanted to require two hits to the Chest, you would select Chest using the Body Zone button and move the slider to 2. Any value between 0 and 10 can be selected. A value of 0 means that no hits are required for that particular zone.
The Condition button gives you two options for zone hit requirements: All Zones and Any Zone.
If All Zones is selected, all zone hit requirements must be satisfied before advancing to the next stage. This means that if the Head zone is set to 1 and the Chest zone is set to 2, both conditions must be met before advancing.
If Any Zone is selected, any single zone hit requirement will advance the shooter to the next stage. This means that if the Head zone is set to 1 and the Chest zone is set to 2, either one hit to the Head OR two hits to the Chest will be enough to advance to the next stage.
Note: All three rules; ammo, time, and zone hit requirements operate on a “whichever occurs first” basis. For example, if you have Max Shots Allowed set to 10 and Max Time Allowed set to 0:03 seconds, the stage could end at 0:03 seconds even if the shooter has not fired a single shot.
Zone Hits to Kill
Defines the number of hits to the selected zone that will instantly kill a TruTarget. Use the Body Zone button to select the Head and Neck zone. Move the Zone Hits to Kill slider to 1. You have just told the system that a single shot to the head will kill this target no matter what else is happening. It doesn’t matter if the target is standing still, running, or in the middle of an Action; the first shot to the target's head will drop it to the floor dead.
Note: Shots made to a target after it is dead are logged and shown in the after action review.
Tip: by adjusting the number of hits it takes to kill a target you can simulate different situations. For example, two shots to the chest may kill a normal target, but a target wearing body armor may withstand all shots to the chest.
The Target Settings options set the score value and optional zone hit sound to be played when a particular zone is hit.
TruTargets have six fixed zone areas; Head and Neck, Chest, Abdomen, Pelvis, Arms, and Legs. This multi-selection box allows you to specify the target zone that will be adjusted.
Zone Point Value
Sets the point value for the currently selected zone. Point values can vary between -25 and 25 points.
Note: In some DART courses, scoring is based on a percentage of hits. Hits are defined as any shot that results in a score of 1 or higher.
Every zone can have an audio file assigned to it that will play whenever the zone is hit. This is especially useful when shooting targets at long distances where it becomes impossible to see the impact on the target. Clicking the Load Audio button will open a dialog window that will allow you to load a sound. The DART system includes more than 100 sounds and you can add your own by placing a .WAV file inside the DART Data/Audio folder.
Once a sound file is loaded, it can be removed by clicking the Remove button.
Note: The volume of zone hit audio can be independently adjusted in the DART Range program.
The Save button opens a dialog window that allows you to save the current point values and audio cues to a TruTarget.
Important! The TruTarget Save option ONLY saves point values and audio cues. All other options found under Settings, Behavior, Motion, and Path are saved with Course data.