How It Works - FreeStyler DMX Portal(FS_Portal) is an optional add-on tool for Sound Mill (SM) and Video Mill (VM). It allows you to send lighting commands from a SM/VM automation Script to syncronize DMX light control with audio or video.
You use FreeStyler DMX, a free DMX light programming tool, to create all your DMX lighting controls (as cues and sequences). Then simply add commands to your SM/VM automation that starts/stops cues and sequences. For example, start a light sequence when an audio file begins playing and stop it when the audio ends. FreeStyler can control tracking lights and fog machines as well.
You can also run the FS_Portal user interface on a network connected tablet that allows a novice operator (not trained in FreeStyler) to run lights.
Note: Works with Sound Mill or Video Mill Ultimate editions only.
Wiki - Tutorials, documentation and usage information.
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This product runs on:
Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista 64bit, 32bit, and "N" editions
(See a few exceptions.)
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Hardware Required - FreeStyler requires a USB (or serial) DMX interface hardware for connecting your DMX lights to a computer. A DMX interface is sometimes included in the DMX light fixture itself. Good, entry level USB DMX interfaces are available for $50-100 (USD).
This support forum topic discusses DMX interfaces known to support FreeStyler, although it is not a complete list.
FreeStyler features supported - FS_Portal commands can Play, Stop, and Change Speed of FreeStyler cues and sequences. It can also toggle some FreeStyler Cuelist modes and the Blackout command. For a complete list see the FS_Portal Commands help page.
Two Program Roles
FS_Portal Controller - The Controller is installed on the same computer as the FreeStyler program. It acts as an adapter interface to receive commands from Sound Mill and Video Mill, then communicate commands to FreeStyler (Figure 1).
FS_Portal Remote Client - Remote Client provides a simple user interface for untrained operators to control DMX lights from a laptop or touchscreen tablet (Figure 3). You technical person will setup the Remote Client and all the novice operator has to do is select a cue and push Play. You can run as many FS_Portal Remote Clients during a show as needed.
Uses IPC Comms - If you already use our IPC Comms (Inter-Process Communications) feature, then you already know how to setup the network linkages to make Sound Mill and Video Mill talk to FS_Portal.
Trigger automation from a third party tool - You can kick-off automation from any third party tool that can execute Windows command line tools. (via free SendTo_UDP Tool based on IPC Comms above)
Figure 1. Sound Mill, Video Mill, and FS_Portal
IMPORTANT! - For this integration to work properly, you must start FreeStyler and leave it open on its main window. DO NOT open any of the sub windows or edit panels in FreeStyler. If you do, FreeStyler will override commands it receives from IPC and operations like Fades will not work properly.
Do you need a very simple app to let a novice operator control DMX lights for a community theater production? FS_Portal Remote Client may fit the bill.
Your tech person does the setup for lighting cues in FreeStyler and the simple network communications configuration. All the operator needs to know is which cue goes with which act/scene and when to push the Play button.
Runs on any Windows laptop or tablet. The device does not need to have a high speed CPU.
Operate lights from any location. Network connection is wired or wireless. Range is limited only by your network router.
Simple user interface. Anyone can operate it with just a few minutes of instruction. No need to know the inner workings of FreeStyler to operate.