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Discussion Starter #1
Furthering the investigation of aluminum as a mix in screen paint. And investigating possible simpler methods of achieving what we've done with Black Widow. This is by no means a replacement for Black Widow, more of a compliment. ;) One thing that will be different though is this will be conducted out in the open in this thread. :bigsmile:

Auto Air Aluminum base - fine

Spectro Readings

Readings from a couple days ago:

150 152 154
0.309 0.326 31.3
62.8 -0.44 -1.23

Readings today:

159 162 164
0.308 0.326 35.7
66.3 -0.61 -1.62

What does that tell us? That it's lightens as it cures. :)



 

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Discussion Starter #2
So where do we go from here? Conventional wisdom states that we get a base that starts out at X for red value, and then X-2 or 3 for green value, and X-4 or so for a blue value. Right?

Well that's where we're starting off. I have three cans of paint.

Sherwin Williams Essential Gray

From EasyRGB



My readings today:

167 162 158
0.321 0.334 36.5
66.9 1.24 2.59

You can see that there quite a bit different. I don't know what happened at the Lowe's color matching computer but my sample ended up a bit darker. But in the end still useful, data-wise, for this experiment. ;)

Laura Ashley White Clay



My readings today:

222 220 218
0.315 0.331 71.7
87.8 0.44 0.91

An excellent choice!

Laura Ashley Sterling



My readings today:

199 195 193
0.318 0.332 55.3
79.2 0.92 1.74

Another good selection!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So I added 2oz of Auto Air Aluminum base - fine to 8oz each of the paint samples.



Essential Gray



Spectro Reading

160 159 157
0.316 0.332 34.6
65.4 0.30 1.15

Laura Ashley White Clay



Spectro Reading

180 187 192
0.303 0.322 48.9
75.4 -1.34 -3.41

Laura Ashley Sterling



Spectro Reading

176 179 181
0.308 0.326 44.7
72.7 -0.64 -1.53

I'd have to say that I'm confused at best! :scratch: OK, well maybe not! We know what's going on with this. What we need to figure out is how to control it.

You have three separate paints - all using the same exact base but tinted differently. And one of them comes out the way you'd expect while the others are way off base.

As to what's going on with this, I'd like to leave you guessing for awhile. Feel free to post your comments and thoughts. Me? I gotta run to the store to counter act this stuff! :bigsmile: Maybe Bill will chime in...:whistling: After all he's the one who told me what was going on! :T

mech
 

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Im finding it difficult to find an Aluminium product which doesn't contain other pigments which crash Red and Green. (Possibly just black which has the same non-linear crashing effect on white).

I find myself adding Raw Umber back in to address the issue, all gets very messy and you get that push pull effect and adding too many components.
To find a product that doesnt alter the balance of the base paint is rare.

I am trying to get some raw Aluminium in paste form.

As aside note, some glass bead of 50 micon level fell in my lap.
Created a mix with an RGB of 196 197 196 and glass beaded.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I got a 2X4' panel painted up of the Essential Gray mix. I've also 'treated' the other formulations for a second round of readings. As well as mixing up a small batch of Winter Mist 4:1 'treated'.

The readings....

LA White Clay 'treated'

178 184 190
0.303 0.322 47.6
74.6 -1.25 -3.35

LA Sterling 'treated'

172 175 177
0.308 0.326 42.6
71.3 -0.64 -1.50

Winter Mist 4:1 'treated'

180 188 195
0.301 0.320 49.6
75.8 -1.47 -4.42

It appears they require more treatment! lol! I think I'll have to switch to a whiter base. So that I can 'treat' this stuff properly.

Suggestions? Comments? I'm all ears! :scratch:

mech
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Im finding it difficult to find an Aluminium product which doesn't contain other pigments which crash Red and Green. (Possibly just black which has the same non-linear crashing effect on white).

I find myself adding Raw Umber back in to address the issue, all gets very messy and you get that push pull effect and adding too many components.
To find a product that doesnt alter the balance of the base paint is rare.

I am trying to get some raw Aluminium in paste form.

As aside note, some glass bead of 50 micon level fell in my lap.
Created a mix with an RGB of 196 197 196 and glass beaded.
Ding ding ding! We have a winner! We're trying to add a bit of black to counter act the aluminum! I should have realized we'd have a 'ringer' show up! :T

Check aircraft stores Smoke. They may have paste aluminum. There's got to be private pilots over there isn't there?

So no aluminum in the glass beaded paint? How did the beads end up laying?

mech
 

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I have found a source of raw paste Aluminium, it is just not off the shelf here as it is mostly in large container stock. I have to wait for a sub sample.

Actually the person I was talking to over the phone mentioned issues of smudging with using Ali pigmented paint and one needs to seal the surface with a top coat of clear nature. The soft, smudgable surface could be due
to the Ali not chemically bonding to the carrier, rather it sits in the carrier.
This comment is conjecture, however very likely.

The glass bead, I made a small test area, 200mm by 200mm. It was nasty.
Although it got better when I thinned out the viscosity towards watery which allowed settling and surface smoothing. Spraying may be the only option for glass bead.
Yet to sit it in front of a screen to see how that goes, although I did a spectroscan and was quite pleased.

Still it was only a diversion as it fell into my lap. Want to concentrate on Ali to replicate or help others replicate PFG.

So far 2 main issues from my perspective when the base and ali of PFG is not avaliable.
Base mix of a light grey.
Waterbased Aluminium pigmented product.

The first really relys on how good the person mixing a base grey for you is.
My personal experience is that it not without error.
You cannot trust the companys specs, sorry to say. This is mostly due to the tolerance of the mixing proceedure. There will be +/- error.

You really need a spectro reading done of a sample.

I wonder if it would be better to start with a white base, standard Titanium pigment which is fairly universal world wide.

Then add the aluminium product, avaliable to you.
This is where it gets tricky, some ali product has other pigments to create the greyness or other effects or colours.

Again a spectro reading at this point is prudent.

If the ali product is fairly clean you won't see much drop in RGB readings overall. However I think you will see a tendency towards lowering the Red and Green part of the spectrum.

At this point fixing the result with raw tint for pigmentation, ie Raw umber, which again is very universal world wide.

The idea of my dribble is to lower the possible error of the end result when using product other than that used in PFG.


My main point is no matter what shade, Greyness or white you choose or end up with as long as it has a spectrum that is flat you will have a good screen.
If it turns out not flat you will have some balance issues.
 

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Bill and I were discussing the use of just a "Base" as well... I meant to have the guy give me a sample of the base B4 he added colorant, but I was busy looking for other stuff, and just simply forgot to.

I seem to be doing that alot lately....:thud:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Might not be a bad idea muzz. I was asking about the bases at Lowe's and they said they're geared for the amount of colorant added. The Laura Ashley's I had mixed up required very little colorant so they used Base 1. Base 4 would be for something black I'd guess. :huh: And I know there's clear bases as well. I may delve into this a bit deeper tomorrow. ;)

mech
 

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We're starting to understand the aluminum interaction too.

While doing research and thinking about all of this I realized I had a great source I could consult... my sister-in-law went to art school to be an artist and knows colors and how they interact.

Aluminum isn't paint, we all know that. It's also not a typical pigment, we also know that. What she said is the aluminum flakes are over powering the paint and even any pigments that may be in it. So it's not as easy as looking at the numbers and say just for sake of example we have an aluminum source of 178 180 182, we want to make it a 178 178 178 (again guys, just numbers not real samples) we can't just drop the Green and Blue components in our base color we're adding to the aluminum. It will still over power the pigments. So we have to go further out to compensate for the stronger influence of the aluminum.

All that matters is the end result. If the spectro sees it as neutral it's neutral. It doesn't matter how it was made. I know there has been a lot of debate on that, but when two colors are combined, a new color is made, and all that matters is what that new color's readings are. RGB alone won't tell us if something is a true neutral, someting could 'look' the same as a neutral reference, but when put under a different light source we see a different color. That's why we have to check the L*ab values as well as the spectral curve and even the temp or we could have metamerism pop up.

My sister-in-law suggested going with a white base and aluminum, and then add a drop of black to warm it up and try to balance things out. She said add until it starts moving away from our neutral reference point again and then we have our peak, and base if you minus the aluminum.

I have to admit I was skeptical because we know lamp black (the pigment all paint companies use) leans a bit bluish and is more like a deep dark purplish/black ink. That's when she said "That's the difference between art paints and pigments and house paints. Black is black." Well mech tried it and yes it did work.

We're testing some OTS colors to keep this easy and not turn it into a mixing mess. If this works (and trust us, we will find a base for Auto Air and just plain raw aluminum) people may be blown away at what the base color ends up as. Don't worry though, as mentioned, it's the final color that matters not the individual pigments.

I asked her about brands too, and when I mentioned Folkart, she laughed. She said stick to the art section not the craft section.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We are just starting to understand it (aluminum). And one of the things that really helps Black Widow is more than likely the small amount of asphalt in the paint. But I couldn't tell you for sure.

Back into the Lab coats again...

I'm going to take another route in addition to the addition of drops of black to the mix. I'm going to keep trying to find a good easy base color to use. Why? Cause I have the spectro and it would be easy for me. Plus Lowe's sells these 1/2 pint can samples for $4 so it's not a huge waste of money. Believe it or not Bill and I had both put quite a bit of thought into the Auto Air conclusions from the previous experiments. And we've both come to the same conclusions, albeit in completely different ways!

Bill was calculating color temps of each of the mixes and correlating that to a lighter base. I was looking at percentages and the effect aluminum had on darker and lighter bases. I'll let Bill explain his methodology which was a heckuva lot more simpler than mine. I looked at the numbers and the percentage shift from original measurements and then tried to extrapolate that into a much lighter base. Why lighter? Well if it's off I can add some black to it and not affect it as much as a darker gray.

What we've come up with and what will be tested are three Laura Ashley colors. I chose Laura Ashley as it's sold at Lowe's and is in the EasyRGB database. But I'm certain any of the brands would work as long as the numbers line up. The colors chosen were all light pink in color.

Cappucino
240 230 219



Sugar Blossom
245 230 222



Ivory 1
243 234 225



We're pretty confident that one of these will give us the neutrality that we're looking for with Auto Air Aluminum. After it's found then we'll have to do further testing with matte finishes. The Auditions samples are all satin.

On an encouraging note, I painted up a 4:1 panel of the Essential Gray. It blew away my FG with regards to blacks and whites appeared to be very close to FG! This from a mix that is a much darker gray. Now we need to figure it out and get it dead on neutral and come up with lighter shades! ;)

mech
 

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To reiterate what mech said, our goal is to make this easy.

Also this isn't a replacement for HE558, it's an additional way that people can make BW. Whatever is easiest for a person to get.

What I like about the Auto Air if we can get it worked out is you can get it in a 4oz, and 8oz bottles (but DickBlick only carries the 4oz size). That would be extremely easy... get the recommended base that ends up working the best, dump the quart of that into a larger mixing bucket, then dump in the two 4oz bottles of AA Aluminum or one 8oz bottle, stir, apply...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
To reiterate what mech said, our goal is to make this easy.
Amen! That's something that just seems to escape people! Too many people want to swing a dead cat!

Add just one teaspoon of Heinz Ketchup to your white paint to counteract the green shift in your lens. We call this Pennsylvania Paste. Then buy eight cans of silver spray paint. Now alternate a spray paint layer with a layer of Pennsylvania Paste, for a total of 58 layers, over a silver hand mirror. Sand each layer in a way so that the total thickness of all layers is 5". You may need to do this several times before you get the thickness right. While doing this, stand on one leg, while swinging a dead cat in your left hand, in homage to Grzboken, the patron demon of Home Theater. And whatever you do, Don't forget to stir each can of paint exactly 167 times!!!
If you have to go through all that just buy a screen. I've heard folks saying that commercial screens are $8-10k. Not true folks! Just look at the commercial reviews I've done. I've listed MSRP for each and every one of them and none go for anywhere near that much!

mech
 

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Cost also becomes a factor. DIY is good, but reaches a point when expense or uncontrollable variables caused from too complex of a method sometimes changes what I would recommend to someone.

Some people blew their budget on their projector and when they start looking at screens had no idea they can cost that much. That's usually when they look at DIY as an interim solution. Many end up staying with it, some eventually upgrade.

BW PFG is meant to be simple, inexpensive, and very easy to apply.

If someone has a bigger budget or if their DIY project list looks like it is getting out of hand and too expensive, we're not afraid to recommend they go with some outstanding commercial options, both in material screens or commercial screen paints. As good as DIY is, we still have some work to do to acheive what some of the commercial companies have done. When it comes to the cheaper lower quaility commercial screens, I'd recommend DIY over them. Save your money and buy some movies ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sugar Blossom 4:1

190 194 197
0.307 0.324 53.4
78.1 -0.71 -2.37

Ivory 1 4:1

185 191 195
0.305 0.324 51.5
77.0 -1.34 -2.91

Cappucino 4:1

182 188 192
0.305 0.325 49.7
75.9 -1.35 -2.47

These are the preliminary readings. The samples are still a bit tacky. Looks like it's back to the drawing board. :nerd:
 

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Sugar Blossom from EasyRGB:

245 230 222
0328 0337 81.0
92.1 3.75 5.75

My sample:

245 228 221
0.329 0.336 80.3
91.8 4.68 5.34

Ivory 1 EasyRGB

243 234 225
0.324 0.338 83.2
93.1 1.43 5.44

My sample:

245 233 226
0.325 0.337 83.2
93.1 2.66 5.03

Cappucino EasyRGB

240 230 219
0.327 0.340 80.1
91.7 1.68 6.44

My sample:

242 231 221
0.327 0.340 81.4
92.3 2.09 6.36

May have to go deeper red and shallower blue. :nerd::scratch:

mech
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Also the Essential Gray panel that I painted is coming in 160 159 158 now. :blink:

It looked good! Until the edges curled anyways. I used foam board. I believe that will be a tint for further investigation!

mech
 
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