SILVER clone - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-22-12, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Don
 
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SILVER clone

This thread will be a test bed for developing a clone of the S-I-L-V-E-R paint mix that has been promoted on the AVS DIY Screen forum for years. The original silver paint used in their mix is no longer made, and it's replacement silver paint has also been discontinued (or is at least very hard to find) so they are now recommending Liquitex BASICS Silver paint be used (BTW, we were using BASICS Silver for well over a year before AVS ). The base of their mix is Behr Faux Glaze, but in keeping with trying to make our mix components available world-wide we are using Liquitex Matt Medium as a base.

The idea behind SILVER is simple, make a mix that is mostly transparent, but has a small amount of reflective particles in it that will provide added gain as they are laid down in multiple coats of mix. The problem with both S-I-L-V-E-R, and our current clone under test, is that there is almost nothing in the mix to control the sparkle from the mica. Mica not only reflects light (which is good), but also refracts light (which is bad). When light refracts it changes color like a rainbow. Rainbows are pretty to look at in the sky, but I sure don't want my screen to behave like that!

The first clone under test is a mix consisting of 90% LMM (Liquitex Matt Medium) and 10% LBS (Liquitex BASICS Silver). The mix MUST be applied by spraying.

This mix MUST be diluted to spray, in my case I had to add 30% water to get it to spray through my compressor-powered HVLP gun.

Due to the nature of these mixes they should be applied by volume and not by a specific number of coats. For this test I applied 4 fluid ounces (not including the water to thin the mix) to a 4 square foot test panel; this equals 1 fluid ounce per square foot of screen surface. Don't include the water to thin in this calculation since it will evaporate as the screen dries and isn't a permanent part of the mix.

The screen substrate MUST be primed or painted white since it will be visible even after spraying with SILVER.

I learned in the process of doing this test that this mix MUST be stirred very well (I would recommend a mechanical stirring attachment for an electric drill, or perhaps even a kitchen mixer on low) to combine the LBS with the LMM base. If you don't you will end up with flecks of LBS on the screen that may be large enough to look like large reflective flakes.

The final mix should be filtered before spraying.

This mix turned out to be darker than I thought it would be coming in an N8.4. Without adding tint to correct the color it is also a long way from being a neutral gray. So much so that I couldn't recommend this mix be used to paint an actual screen unless your projector has a LOT of color adjustment.




This SILVER clone will be compared to Cream&Sugar Ultra (a mix consisting of 50% lightly tinted latex paint and 50% LBS) and to Sherwin-Williams ProClassic and Color To Go paints in 'Extra White' with a satin finish.

In the photos below a U.S. quarter (0.957 inches, 24.31 mm) has been included for a sense of scale.

C&S Ultra in existing room light (overhead fluorescent)
[IMG][/IMG]

C&S Ultra illuminated by a bright L.E.D. flashlight


SILVER clone in existing room light (overhead fluorescent)


SILVER clone illuminated by a bright L.E.D. flashlight


There were no apparent sparkles on the C&S Ultra photos, a few can be seen in the SILVER clone in room light and they are VERY apparent in the last photo when a directional light struck it. The SILVER clone also has a mottled appearance which is due to nature of the finish (numerous transparent coats of mix with little pigment in it).


The screen panels from left to right: SW ProClassic 'Extra White' satin, SILVER clone 10/90, C&S Ultra, SW Color To Go 'Extra White' satin. SILVER clone 1 day old, others about 1 year old.

Panels under room light


Panels with camera flash



Projector is hitting the screens with 27 fL of brightness and is table mounted.

American flag from DVE calibration DVD


Space shuttle from DVE calibration DVD Notice how the 2nd and 4th panels have off-color clouds.


Another space shuttle still from DVE calibration DVD


Space shuttle inorbit from DVE calibration DVD



Now to some reference photos. I know they are boring, but they tell you much more than "screenies".

On-Axis 100 IRE white. The top of the 2nd panel (the SILVER clone) is quite a bit darker than the bottom of that panel. This is due to that panel hot spotting.


On-Axis Contrast Bars. On-axis the SILVER clone is a bit brighter than the other panels, but the price paid is hot spotting and off-axis dimming (as will be seen shortly).


On-Axis Color Bars. While the bottom of the SILVER clone panel (2nd) is a bit brighter than the C&S Ultra panel (3rd) the top is darker - again due to hot spotting.


Next photos taken from 17 off-axis. Camera was 16 feet back from the screens and 5 feet off-axis. Off-axis the SILVER clone at it's brightest is only on par with the C&S Ultra panel and the top of it is visibly less bright. That is the thing with high gain screens, it usually doesn't take moving far off-axis to lose the brightness gained by going with the high gain screen. You lose the added brightness, but still have to put up with any artifacting introduced by the higher gain.

17 off-axis 100 IRE white.


17 off-axis Contrast Bars.


17 off-axis Color Bars.



Next photos 37 off-axis. This viewing angle would probably equate to someone sitting by one of the side walls in the average (if there is such a thing) home theater. The camera was 16 feet back from the screens and 12 feet off-axis. The SILVER clone has lost all the benefits of having a high on-axis gain.

37 off-axis 100 IRE white.


37 off-axis Contrast Bars.


37 off-axis Color Bars.



If the SILVER clone was color-corrected to be neutral it would be even darker since paints are subtractive colors (the only way to decrease a "color push" is to add a complimentary pigment) which would go against the purpose of the mix in the first place (to produce a brighter image than a white screen).

After doing the tests on the Sherwin-Williams paints I learned that SW states that the Color To Go paint is for color testing only and not for use as a permanent top coat finish, I can now see why! The 4th panel in these photos has drifted WAY off color from when it was painted about a year ago.
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-22-12, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: SILVER clone

Quote:
mechman wrote: View Post
That is downright awful!! Please tell me that they are not pushing this one on anyone!
The answer is yes and no. No one at AVS is using Liquitex Matt Medium that I know of, they are still using the Behr Faux Glaze; but they are recommending using Liquitex BASICS Silver as the metallic element in their S-I-L-V-E-R mix.


Quote:
The push is obvious by eye. And the hotspotting in the one shot is so bad that it affects the two panels next to it.
Some of the hot spotting can be attributed to my PJ, but the SILVER panel shows a lot more than that.

I forgot to say that I'm going to send you a piece of that SILVER panel for gain testing - it could be interesting.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-23-12, 09:13 AM
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Re: SILVER clone

So is this a test project to get the right paint? If so what are your plans for a permenant screen. In know that the panels would drive me crazy. I am curious if you have prior experience with painting? I am one of those who loathes painting as I see all of my imperfections in the project.

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post #4 of 6 Old 03-23-12, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: SILVER clone

Quote:
bigjbk wrote: View Post
So is this a test project to get the right paint? If so what are your plans for a permenant screen. In know that the panels would drive me crazy.
The purpose of this thread is really two-fold. First is to see if the theory of having a screen mix, using widely available paints, that is mostly transparent medium with a relatively small amount of reflective particles in it can actually make a good screen. The second is to see if such a mix can be made color neutral. So far the answer to both is no.

Having multiple test panels acting as one large screen is only for testing purposes, not to promote the use of such a composite screen in a home theater.

Quote:
I am curious if you have prior experience with painting? I am one of those who loathes painting as I see all of my imperfections in the project.
Yes, I have years of experience painting with my HVLP spray rig. Practice makes perfect (but I'm still not there). If you want to spray a screen then practice on some cheap substrate (large pieces of cardboard come to mind) until you can get the finish you want. You can't just throw some paint in the gun, point it in the general direction of the screen and pull the trigger and expect to get a good looking screen, but on the other hand it isn't rocket science - a bit of practice and you will soon be able to adjust the viscosity of the paint so that your gun sprays a nice mist and know how much overlap you need to create a non-blotchy finish.

Clear mixes like this thread is investigating are NOT for inexperienced sprayers since it is hard to tell how the paint mix is going on the screen. It's best to have a bright light shining on the screen at a steep angle, that way you can see the gloss of the wet paint and tell how the paint is going on even though the paint itself is almost invisible.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-24-12, 08:29 AM
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Re: SILVER clone

I don't mean to hijack the thread but i'm curious.
This mix seems to hotspot too much not to mention the neutrality part, i guess less LBS would help, but also lessen the gain.

I'm curious as to how this mix would perform on top of a gray paint instead of a white, or even a BW mix or a darkend BW mix.
I'm wondering if a semi-translucent mix as this would make it possible to produce a screen similar to say a black diamond or firehawk.
A dark screen with translucent layer on top to boost gain like a layered manufactured screen.

On the other hand a darker basepaint would make off-axis even darker than a white basepaint, making for an even worse hotspot situation?

On a side note Harp, that sparkle seen in some pictures are somewhat similar to what I see in BW mixes containing AAA when projecting bright pictures.
Exept it's not that pronounced and it's a denser, more uniform sparkle pattern.

Last edited by Henke; 03-24-12 at 08:36 AM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-24-12, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: SILVER clone

Quote:
Henke wrote: View Post
I don't mean to hijack the thread but i'm curious.
This mix seems to hotspot too much not to mention the neutrality part, i guess less LBS would help, but also lessen the gain.
Correct. Another problem with lessening the amount of LBS would be that you would get an even more speckled or mottled appearance to the screen.

Quote:
I'm curious as to how this mix would perform on top of a gray paint instead of a white, or even a BW mix or a darkend BW mix.
From undocumented tests I've done in the past, using a gray base coat would result in a darker screen overall, but would actually make the hot spotting worse. This is due to there being a greater brightness and contrast difference between the base color and the specularity added by the SILVER top coats.

Quote:
I'm wondering if a semi-translucent mix as this would make it possible to produce a screen similar to say a black diamond or firehawk.

A dark screen with translucent layer on top to boost gain like a layered manufactured screen.
There is a remote possibility that something like this would work, but in the real world that possibility drops to zero. The two big problems are that orientation and even distribution of the reflective particles in the top coat can't be controlled properly with equipment available to the home user, and when you introduce a multi-layered surface you have problems with internal light scattering that will soften the image. Even the commercial screens you mentioned are plagued with artifacting caused by this.

Quote:
On the other hand a darker basepaint would make off-axis even darker than a white basepaint, making for an even worse hotspot situation?
This is true for both on-axis and off-axis viewing.

Quote:
On a side note Harp, that sparkle seen in some pictures are somewhat similar to what I see in BW mixes containing AAA when projecting bright pictures.
Exept it's not that pronounced and it's a denser, more uniform sparkle pattern.
The aluminum flakes in Auto Air Aluminum-fine (the reflective paint used to make BW) are visible in close up photos like those shown in the first post of this thread, but they shouldn't be visible from regular viewing distance (about 10 feet away from the screen); although a group of AL flakes can congregate in the painting process and give the effect of a single large flake so it might "wink" at you as you move your head from side to side.

BW was designed back when very few HT setups could produce over 16 fc of image brightness at commonly used HT screen sizes, but as time has passed (it's hard to believe that it's been over 4 years since BW was introduced! ) PJ's have gotten much brighter. As I recall, the only cases where folks have complained about graininess or excessive sparkling in the image have come from situations where the screen was being hit with more than 16 fc.

All in all, this is why we think that reflectively enhanced mixes like BW are reaching the end of their life cycle. As PJ's become brighter and brighter they simply aren't needed.
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