Munsell N5 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 35 Old 08-31-10, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
Shackster
 
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Munsell N5

Hi there

I'm new to this forum and this is my first post.

I'm really hoping someone here can help. I need to find the pain formula mix for Munsell N5 to finish off my film color grading suite.

I have the N8 mix which is...
mixing one gallon of Pittsburgh Paint's pastel-tint white base #80-110 with Lamp black (B-12/48 PPG*); Raw Umber (L-36/48 PPG); and Permanent Red (O-3/48 PPG)

But I really need a break down of N5.

Please someone help

Cheers
Rory
Mine Films
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post #2 of 35 Old 09-01-10, 09:28 AM
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Re: Munsell N5

Hi Rory, welcome to the forum!

I assume you are looking for a paint formula, but if you truly want a pain formula we can probably dig one up somewhere.

I took a Kodak 18% Gray Card (which is N5 on the Munsell neutral scale) to Home Depot and had it color matched, the formula is:
Behr Deep Base
8 oz. sample
B - 0 - 95
C - 0 - 16
F - 0 - 7
KX - 0 - 170


IMPORTANT NOTE: This formula has been replaced by the one in post #12 of this thread here.

This is given in the format of:
Tint Code - oz. - 384th oz

Any Home Depot should be able to make quarts or gallons using this formula as well. If they say they can't, ask to speak with a supervisor or manager.

I seem to have misplaced my spectrophotometer test of this, but I have another sample chit drying and will post the results tomorrow. My memory is that this mix meets our neutrality criteria at HTS, which is quite strict.

PS. Forgot to mention that N5 is available in many artist paints as well. Golden acrylics has a line of neutral grays going from N8 to N2 and Liquitex has a color called Neutral Gray that is N5.
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post #3 of 35 Old 09-02-10, 02:44 PM
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Re: Munsell N5

Yep, I had a N5 formula, but upon further investigation I think I'll try to tweak it to get a better mix. The published formula in the post above does pass most of our criteria for being a neutral gray, but I think I can make it better and bring it into full accord. It is also just a tad dark coming in with a N value of 4.75.

The mix specs:
L*a*b*: 47.51, 0.62, 0.48
RGB: 114.1, 112.3, 111.8
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post #4 of 35 Old 09-09-10, 06:29 PM
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Re: Munsell N5

Have any of you encountered the Pantone Neutral Gray paint? They only license Fine Paints Of Europe to make it . I'm trying to track down a spectral chart in order to compare it to the eCinema SP-50 Surround Paint and my own custom mixes. I also tried to get a spectral chart from eCinema but they never replied. Thanks!

Here's the Pantone info...

Neutral Gray
PANTONE
17-4402 TPX
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post #5 of 35 Old 09-09-10, 11:18 PM
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Re: Munsell N5

Quote:
illyalaney wrote: View Post
Have any of you encountered the Pantone Neutral Gray paint? They only license Fine Paints Of Europe to make it . I'm trying to track down a spectral chart in order to compare it to the eCinema SP-50 Surround Paint and my own custom mixes. I also tried to get a spectral chart from eCinema but they never replied. Thanks!

Here's the Pantone info...

Neutral Gray
PANTONE
17-4402 TPX
Welcome to the forum illyalaney!

If you need a literal spectral reflectance chart showing reflectance (usually every 10 nm over the visible color spectrum), then no I can't help you with the Pantone color you specified; but I can give you a page that has a mess of color space data for it. http://www.perbang.dk/rgb/898E8C/

For what it's worth, that color doesn't pass our criteria for a neutral gray having a L*a*b* a* value of -2.2. As you will note on the page referenced, the color is called "Dark spring greenish gray".

The spectral reflectance chart for the Behr N5 formula I gave earlier in this thread is below. If you want the actual reflectance values I can give them to you as well. I hope to get a better (more neutral and closer to true N5) version the next time I go to a Home Depot, but the closest one to me is a 70 mile round trip and I haven't gone that direction lately.

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post #6 of 35 Old 09-10-10, 01:57 AM
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Re: Munsell N5

Thanks for the input! That's interesting. I thought since Pantone paint is owned by X-Rite, the neutral gray would be fairly accurate. I'll have to pick up a quart of the Behr paint, I live about 5 blocks from a Home Depot.

I forgot to mention in the last post that I've been looking at the Rosco TV White(60% reflectance) and TV Black(3% reflectance) paints recently. They recommend mixing the two together to get any shade of gray in between. Have you had any experience with their paint? A few of the studio supply stores here in Hollywood carry it so I'm tempted to try them out.

Last edited by illyalaney; 09-10-10 at 01:57 AM. Reason: wanted to say thanks
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post #7 of 35 Old 09-10-10, 10:47 AM
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Re: Munsell N5

Quote:
illyalaney wrote: View Post
Thanks for the input! That's interesting. I thought since Pantone paint is owned by X-Rite, the neutral gray would be fairly accurate. I'll have to pick up a quart of the Behr paint, I live about 5 blocks from a Home Depot.
If I understand the Munsell color space right, all truly neutral grays should have a* and b* values of absolute 0 thereby having no "color" at all and only a lightness value L* (100=white, 0=black and everything in between is a gray). As for why Pantone has their neutral gray actually a bit greenish...

While any Home Depot should be able to make a quart of paint from the tint formula I gave, that formula was for making a 8 oz. sample. To make a quart simply multiply the tint amounts by 4.

Quote:
I forgot to mention in the last post that I've been looking at the Rosco TV White(60% reflectance) and TV Black(3% reflectance) paints recently. They recommend mixing the two together to get any shade of gray in between. Have you had any experience with their paint? A few of the studio supply stores here in Hollywood carry it so I'm tempted to try them out.
The only experience I have had with the Rosco paints is with their Off Broadway White; a member here sent me a sample to measure with my spectrophotometer. It is a nice bright white paint, but no more neutral than white paints sold by Behr and Valspar (they are all a little "warm").

I just looked at Rosco's catalog and while they call the paint "TV White", the actual description says it's a neutral gray. At 60% reflectance in a flat/matte paint that means it's color should be around N8.2. That is very close to a discontinued color from Glidden called "Universal Gray" which measures N8.3 and was indeed neutral. That color should still be in the Home Depot database.

"TV Black" is not called neutral in the Rosco catalog, and it would surprise me if it was a true neutral since most black paints aren't (they tend to be bluish). At 3% reflectance that would be a N2 which is just about as black as can be had using normal paint pigments.

If you do get some of the Rosco TV White and TV Black to experiment with it would be greatly appreciated if you would send Mech or myself some samples to measure with our X-rite i1Pro spectrophotometers.

I don't mean to pry, but what is your interest in neutral gray paints?
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post #8 of 35 Old 09-10-10, 03:09 PM
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Re: Munsell N5

When I pick some of the Rosco up, I'll be sure to send you guys a sample.

I'm interested in neutral gray because I work as a colorist and 18% gray is the recommended surround for critical viewing. I know that this is a bit off topic from DIY screens but when it comes to paint, you guys are the only people around that actually know anything about it. There's only one professional "standard" paint right now for color suites and that's the eCinema brand which runs about $125 a gallon. I'm not against spending the money for a good product, I just think it's fun looking for alternatives.
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post #9 of 35 Old 09-10-10, 08:47 PM
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Re: Munsell N5

Quote:
illyalaney wrote: View Post
When I pick some of the Rosco up, I'll be sure to send you guys a sample.
This would be greatly appreciated. All we need is about a square inch of painted substrate (heavy cardstock, cardboard etc.), that way it can be wrapped in a white paper towel and sent as a regular letter. The paper towel gives some protection against the rigors of modern postal travel and also guards against any printed interior of the envelope itself (like a security lining) from rubbing off on the samples. A sample of the black and white paints as well as at least one combination would be fantastic.

Quote:
I'm interested in neutral gray because I work as a colorist and 18% gray is the recommended surround for critical viewing. I know that this is a bit off topic from DIY screens but when it comes to paint, you guys are the only people around that actually know anything about it.
Don't worry about it being a little OT, it's no big deal to move these posts into their own thread if the other mods or admins think it necessary. Neutral gray is neutral gray no matter the ultimate use.

Yeah, while we try to have fun doing it, we do take paint and paint colors seriously enough to purchase equipment to actually measure color, gain and gloss level. Bill (wbassett) even went back to school to learn proper color theory. We want to get this stuff right.

Quote:
There's only one professional "standard" paint right now for color suites and that's the eCinema brand which runs about $125 a gallon. I'm not against spending the money for a good product, I just think it's fun looking for alternatives.
I did a little snooping on the 'net and found eCinema's "How to Create a Professional Final Cut Studio Color Grading Suite" PDF. I didn't see anywhere in the article where is stipulated the N level of the surround (it only calls for a neutral gray), but I'll take your word for it that it's 18%/N5.

Something I found interesting is their quote (I added the bolding):

"Well look at each requirement and the solutions eCinema provides. First, a neutral calibrated wall behind your monitor is most easily achieved by painting the wall a neutral shade of gray. Can I get this at the hardware store? Not really. For precise colorimetry a complex formula is required. Household paint has variations from batch to batch which make the formula slightly different depending on when you get it mixed. And there's the problem of knowing exactly what that mixture should be. eCinema has formulated our SP-50 - spectrally flat latex paint specifically for this purpose."

I'm not sure when this was written, but things have changed with house paint tinting in the last several years. In days gone by paint used to be tinted manually and the minimum amount of tint that could be added was 1/96th of an ounce. Today Home Depot can tint to an accuracy of 1/384th of an ounce and Lowe's can even do better than that. I know they can do 1/768th of an ounce and I think I remember being told that their computerized machines are accurate down to 1/1000th of an ounce. While mistints are still possible, the cause would be either because of insufficient maintenance procedures or mechanical failure. This is another reason we try to make our screen mixes as neutral as possible, to include a "fudge factor" that allows for small mixing errors.

No "complex formula" is required for a neutral gray paint. All that is required is a white base paint, black pigment, yellow pigment and red pigment in the correct proportions. Other colors could be used rather than yellow and red, but those are the ones commonly used for a neutral house paint. On another AV forum there are some saying that their screen mixes have "special" properties because they make their "Color Component" (which is added to darken their screen mix to whatever N value they need) out of red, blue, green and yellow artist acrylics. This is demonstrably untrue, but it's a hoot listening to them try to validate their opinions and pseudoscience (which go against proper color theory and even the laws of physics).

BTW, I got to my Home Depot today and got another sample of N5 made. We'll see how this one measures up.

Also, many artist acrylics are available in N5 (sometimes just called Neutral Gray). The least expensive I know of is "Liquitex BASICS 'Neutral Gray Value 5'". Dick Blick sells this on-line for $4.90 for a 8.5 oz. tube. The only hitch is that it is a "satin" paint. They also have the Liquitex BASICS MATT in the same color, but it is only available in 75 ml tubes.

I don't know if you would have need of such tools as a colorist (still not quite sure what that is), but there is an dandy on-line color calculator at EasyRGB.com. They have a free version that runs on your PC called OpenRGB as well.
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post #10 of 35 Old 09-11-10, 01:46 PM
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Re: Munsell N5

I have an updated Behr N5 formula for those following this thread.

Behr ULTRA
8 oz. sample
Deep Base
B - 0 - 85
C - 0 - 11
F - 0 - 4
KX - 0 - 170


L*a*b*: 49.48, -0.03, -0.32
RGB: 117.3, 117.7, 118.1
Color Temperature: 6565.7K @D65

Any Home Depot should be able to make 8 oz. samples, quarts and gallons from this formula; just multiple the tint amounts by 4 to make a quart, and by 16 to make a gallon.
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