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Just got off the phone to Createx and found out that about 6 moths ago they changed from using a liquid aluminum additive to a powdered one to make their aluminum bases. So yeah, the current problem is almost certainly the AAA-F. They are going to call me back tomorrow with additional info and I'll try to find out the lot number of the change. Mech and I will both get new bottles of AAA-F to see what changes have to be made to the BW™ base paint to make a neutral mix.

Thanks to all of you who have told us about this problem instead of just going with something else!!! :thankyou:
 

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Harpmaker:

I was writing my previous reply when you were writing your latest. I want to try what you suggest but I pause because I don't really know if I will be able to correctly tell. Any idea where I can get a sample of neutral grey? Also lighting has to play a big part when looking at these colors. I mean a 5000K bulb or what I like to call a blue light will look totally different than say a 2500K bulb right? When I went outside I could totally see there was some change to the paint. Which light temperature is best to calibrate in?

Thanks
The term that applies to color changes due to light "temperature" changes is called Metamerism. The more neutral a gray is the less color change will be noted between different "Illuminants". The Illuminant (also called White Point) used in all video specs is D65 and this is the color temperature that calibration DVD's use to set color. While the 6500K CFL's you can get at the hardware store aren't D65 they are as close as you can get outside of a professional lab or a properly calibrated PJ.

As for samples of true neutral grays, the cheapest would be to go to a Michael's store and buy a tube of Liquitex BASICS Neutral Gray Value 5. This is an N5 paint. For other N values Golden makes Heavy Body acrylic paints in 2 oz. tubes that range from N8 to N2, but they aren't cheap. Before you go to Michael's search online for coupons for both Michael's and A.C. Moore (they take each others coupons). Many times you can find a 40% or 50% off coupon. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #45
I might be able to persuade a worker friend at my Sherwin Williams to whip me up a quart batch of flat neutral gray paint for free. If I tell him I would like an RGB of 185,185,185 and take that paint home and paint a little on a piece of MDF that was left over could I use that as a reference? Is there anything else he would need to now or maybe a better way? Sorry to keep bothering you just really trying to get this theater back in one piece, my wife wants to watch The Hobbit, lol.
 

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I might be able to persuade a worker friend at my Sherwin Williams to whip me up a quart batch of flat neutral gray paint for free. If I tell him I would like an RGB of 185,185,185 and take that paint home and paint a little on a piece of MDF that was left over could I use that as a reference? Is there anything else he would need to now or maybe a better way? Sorry to keep bothering you just really trying to get this theater back in one piece, my wife wants to watch The Hobbit, lol.
I asked a guy at a SW store if he could tint paint to an RGB formula and he said no so if your friend can do so I'd sure like to know how he does it.

SW 'Unique Gray' and SW 'Gray Screen' are fairly neutral grays of about N8. My sample jug of SW 'Unique Gray' was much more neutral than the EasyRGB or SW databases state.

Be sure to use outdoor light to match colors due to metamerism.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Harpmaker you are right, they can't tint paint using an RGB formula. But for 3 bucks the store manager said he would get me a test sample of SW 'Gray Screen' for color matching, 6"x6" square. Hope this works. And please when you find out about the AAA-F and any changes that need to be made to the formula, please, please keep me in the loop I plan on making another screen on our new house here in a couple years.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Harpmaker you are right, they can't tint paint using an RGB formula. But for 3 bucks the store manager said he would get me a test sample of SW 'Gray Screen' for color matching, 6"x6" square. Hope this works. And please when you find out about the AAA-F and any changes that need to be made to the formula, please, please keep me in the loop I plan on making another screen on our new house here in a couple years.

Thanks for the help.
Will gladly keep you in the loop! :T

BTW, you would only be giving up a bit of ambient light absorption ability, and maybe a small lose in image brightness, by just going with an N8 gray instead of BW™.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Harpmaker, are you saying to go ahead and use the Sherwin Williams 'Grey Screen' paint mix or just use the 'SW Grey Screen Mix' as a comparison and add some more AAA-F to my recent mix until it reaches an approximate N8 or N7.5 when compared to the SW 'Grey Screen'? Confused yet?

I could have bought the Sherwin Williams quart of 'Grey Screen' paint for $7.95, please dont tell me I wasted all that cash on AAA-F. I actually have a quart of SW 'Grey Screen' but was under the assumption that Black Widow destroyed it in testing. A quart is plenty to cover a 110" 16:9 screen. What do you think...

Use the quart of Sherwin Williams 'Grey Screen' I have..?

or

Use my recently mixed bermuda beigle and AAA-F and add more AAA-F until it looks the same color as the SW paint mix?

Thanks
 

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Harpmaker, are you saying to go ahead and use the Sherwin Williams 'Grey Screen' paint mix or just use the 'SW Grey Screen Mix' as a comparison and add some more AAA-F to my recent mix until it reaches an approximate N8 or N7.5 when compared to the SW 'Grey Screen'? Confused yet?

I could have bought the Sherwin Williams quart of 'Grey Screen' paint for $7.95, please dont tell me I wasted all that cash on AAA-F. I actually have a quart of SW 'Grey Screen' but was under the assumption that Black Widow destroyed it in testing. A quart is plenty to cover a 110" 16:9 screen. What do you think...

Use the quart of Sherwin Williams 'Grey Screen' I have..?

or

Use my recently mixed bermuda beigle and AAA-F and add more AAA-F until it looks the same color as the SW paint mix?

Thanks
First off, BW™ (when it's working as it should) will provide a brighter image than an N8 gray screen while at the same time absorbing more ambient light than an N8 gray thus increasing perceived image contrast and black level. This is because of the aluminum in the BW™. There IS a visible difference between a BW™ screen and an N8 gray screen, but it's not a day-and-night difference. I think saying BW™ "destroys" an N8 gray screen is a bit of an overstatement, but then that is what makes horse races because such things are quite subjective. All I was saying is that a N8 gray screen might work well for you IF you don't get your BW™ mix straightened out by the time you need to make your screen. You can definitely use the 'Gray Screen' panel to help try to color-correct your BW™ mix by adding more AAA-F.

However...

That brings us to the topic of adding more AAA-F to your BW™ mix to make it darker and grayer. Both Mech and I are pretty much shooting in the dark here since we don't really know how "off" BW™ is when made with the new AAA-F. From what I understand by both your and olwe's posts the new AAA-F doesn't darken the 'Bermuda Beige' much at all. If this is the case then adding AAA-F alone may not be the answer. Olwe is sending me some samples to measure and I'll know more after that is done.

We WILL get this situation straightened out and BW™ back on track, but perhaps not in a 2-week period.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Harpmaker thanks for the reply. I am going to mix my last 4 oz AAA-F into my last batch of Bermuda Beige/AAA-F mix. I am going to do it 1 fl oz at a time and see what it compares to when set up against the SW Gray Screen paint I got from the Sherwin Williams store. If 4 fl oz isn't enough then I will just use the SW Gray Screen paint for now. When you guys get the results back in testing the new version of AAA-F or a new BW formula I will take the screen back down and re-paint it all over again, that is if I am not satisfied with the SW Gray Screen.

Thanks again for all the information and I will be looking forward in seeing your results on the tests.
 

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Harpmaker thanks for the reply. I am going to mix my last 4 oz AAA-F into my last batch of Bermuda Beige/AAA-F mix. I am going to do it 1 fl oz at a time and see what it compares to when set up against the SW Gray Screen paint I got from the Sherwin Williams store. If 4 fl oz isn't enough then I will just use the SW Gray Screen paint for now. When you guys get the results back in testing the new version of AAA-F or a new BW formula I will take the screen back down and re-paint it all over again, that is if I am not satisfied with the SW Gray Screen.

Thanks again for all the information and I will be looking forward in seeing your results on the tests.
I would strongly suggest that you do your BW™ reformulation on a MUCH smaller scale, mainly because I don't think simply adding more AAA-F alone is going to work. You might be better off adding the AAA-F to the 'Gray Screen'.

In my future testing to correct the current BW™ color problem I will also try to come up with a way to fix "broken" mixes like yours and olwe's so don't throw those mixes away just yet! The only thing wrong with them is probably the color and that can be corrected. When I do mix testing I usually use 1/4 teaspoon amounts of paint to find approximate ratios (such as four 1/4 tsp. base to one tsp. AAA-F for BW™).

Createx just called me back and there WAS a significant reformulation of their aluminum bases. They have changed to using an "encapsulated" form of aluminum to prevent "out-gassing" during shipment. The gas that is liberated in this process is hydrogen and they had to change to the encapsulated aluminum for both safety and liability reasons. The encapsulation prevents the 'Bermuda Beige' latex paint from directly interacting with the aluminum so the strong color change doesn't occur with the new AAA-F. This is a good thing in many ways and it could very well mean lighter gray versions of BW™ are on the horizon. Every cloud has a silver lining... but that doesn't help you when you are the one getting rained on. :whistling:
 

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Discussion Starter #54
If you could refresh my memory....What exactly does the AAA-F do? If I were to combine small amounts of AAA-F to the SW Gray Screen paint what would I look for besides a paint color change? Will the AAA-F lessen the color degradation on-screen due to the screen being grey? After seeing what 8 fl oz of the new AAA-F does to a Beige color I doubt there would be hardly any paint color change, at least to the naked eye. So I would be adding it in my SW Gray Screen paint for what purpose?

Thanks
 

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If you could refresh my memory....What exactly does the AAA-F do? If I were to combine small amounts of AAA-F to the SW Gray Screen paint what would I look for besides a paint color change? Will the AAA-F lessen the color degradation on-screen due to the screen being grey? After seeing what 8 fl oz of the new AAA-F does to a Beige color I doubt there would be hardly any paint color change, at least to the naked eye. So I would be adding it in my SW Gray Screen paint for what purpose?

Thanks
The reason for having the AAA-F in the mix is to increase the reflectance without the hot spotting that would occur by simply going to a glossier finish. When BW™ was first being developed it was found that simply adding AAA-F to a white paint resulted in a mix that was way too blueish in color. We are sticklers when it comes to having a neutral gray screen so Mech did some testing to neutralize the color of the mix. The added tints required to make the mix color-neutral also darkened it so the final result was ~N7.5. The result was BW™ as it has been for years.

Adding the AAA-F to 'Gray Screen' would boost the reflectivity (increase the gain) of the mix. If you decide to try that and the added AAA-F makes the 'Gray Screen' too bluish you could compensate for that by adding a little of your "off color" BW™ to it.
 

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The Menards PPG Grand Distinction Flat Enamel Bermuda Beige mixed with my old AAA resulted in what I would say, a normal gray mix. I'll get a spectro reading today. I'm hoping to get my new AAA by the end of the week.
 

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According to the shipping schedule I got when I ordered mine from Amazon it won't get here until next week. :hissyfit:
 

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That is the only bad thing about AAA-F. Anywhere you order it takes forever to get to your house.
The Createx Auto Air colors actually have a fairly extensive distribution network, but yeah, if you can't find it locally one must suffer the wait.

While we are waiting this might be a good time to expound on why AAA-F is such a good paint. Firstly, it is one of the few water-based metallic paints that actually uses metallic aluminum and not mica (which can introduce refraction effects unless the mix is designed to counter them). Secondly, while no one would say that AAA is inexpensive when compared to craft or house paints it is available in small bottles so it really is cheaper than using the other water-based aluminum paint I found which must be special ordered from Sherwin-Williams (so you still have to wait) and costs about $100 a gallon and only comes in gallon cans or larger. The other thing that AAA-F has going for it is the size of the aluminum particles are small enough that no "glitter" effect is seen at normal viewing distances for home theaters. This is why we stipulate that the FINE version of AAA be used, the Medium and Coarse flavors have reflective particles that are too large. The sparkle effect may look cool on a car or motorcycle, but not on a projection screen.
 
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