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Well stated 1canuck2. :T

The variables that you mention are why when we develop a screen mix we try to get it an close to perfectly neutral as we can, this helps to build in a "fudge factor" so that variations that must creep into the equation due to factors such as you mentioned can be taken in stride and the final mix still well within our neutrality standards.
 

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Wow wbasset, quite the in-depth explanation there. While some of the more technical aspects of the art and science will likely always evade me, I can follow along well enough, especially with the helpful posts from you guys.

I'll sum up your post for you though: K.I.S.S. It applies to much of life, not just screen formulas!

One question/thought occurred to me when reading your post, what is the expected variability from the paint store? How precisely calibrated are the pigment machines from store to store? Any formula that uses as "non-base" paint (i.e. where someone in the store will shoot pigment into a base to give you Winter Mist or whatever) is surely at the mercy of:
1. The accuracy of the pigment shooting machine
2. The care or skill of the employee mixing the paint
3. Other factors (such as subtle diffs in pigments from time to time/region to region, etc)

Even the base paints could "drift" over time as the factory that produces them makes changes...

It strikes me that we encourage a fairly decent amount of anality in the care with which we add our ingredients, but there's no guarantee that each ingredient is identical to that of the formula creator.

It certainly seems like you have mitigated as much of this as you can, especially by minimizing the places in which the user can screw it up (e.g. multiple colour pigments) but there's still some elements that are out of everyone's control.

I am basically looking to roll a close proximity to an N8 and have the variability be in the shade of neutral, not in the RGB "mix". If it ends up as N8.27, then, my eyes will tell me if its good. As I said yesterday, I am actually quite happy with the results from Kilz2. So any improvement on this would be a great thing.
This is always a very legitimate issue when it comes to house paints. For the most part we have seen pretty consistent results, but now and then we see a batch or sample someone sends that is off and it's due to the base being off. Why it's off is the variable. It could be the machine, or it could be the staff person that did the mixing.

One thing we did to try and compensate for this is that our mixes are tested and retested throughout development and not only are they neutral, they are well within the neutral tolerances. This doesn't mean if a store staffer messes up royally that things will be okay, but it does seem to cover minor variances. In other words, with such tight tolerances a little variance won't matter because we will still be in the neutral zone.

Think of it as a target...
Above is the CIE Chromaticity graph with our neutral tolerances. The red dot is our D65 reference and of course the bullseye. Now- things will remain neutral all the way out to the inner most circle. Anything within that ring is definitely a neutral gray.

The next ring out is the 'near neutral' ring. Anything in this area is very close to neutral but not quite a true neutral. For most people, they won't be able to tell much if any of a difference. Of course the closer to the bullseye is always better...

The outer most ring is the 'acceptable' ring. Anything within here certainly will be usable for a screen but not quite as good as options that are closer to our D65 bullseye. Anything outside of the acceptable ring is a roll of the dice... it may or may not work well as a screen and depends on the setting, and projector. For the most part screens outside the target area are the ones that start to exhibit a warm or cool push and starts making calibration more difficult to do. In some instances for example, if the screen leans blue or cool, and the viewer prefers a warmer or reddish image, they simply may not be able to dial it in to their liking. If the screen is D65, the user can calibrate the projector any way they want... although I prefer as close to D65 as possible! :)
 

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I am basically looking to roll a close proximity to an N8 and have the variability be in the shade of neutral, not in the RGB "mix". If it ends up as N8.27, then, my eyes will tell me if its good. As I said yesterday, I am actually quite happy with the results from Kilz2. So any improvement on this would be a great thing.
Odds are if it ends up as N8.27 verses N8... you will never notice a difference! Some people will, but most won't.

The lowest perceivable difference that some people have been able to detect is a .1 change in tint. These would be your eagle eye people though. Most people will not start seeing a difference in shade/tint until up around the .3 area, and with a projected image, not until around the .5 range.
 
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