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For some time now we have been searching for a replacement for Craft Smart Metallic Silver paint so that people outside of the U.S. could make our Cream&Sugar™ screen mix. It turns out that CSMS is a more singular paint than we had first thought and a direct replacement still hasn't been found (maybe it has, see the HTS-X4 mix below). Another means to achieving the same goal was to create another N9 reflective mix whose ingredients could be found in most of the countries in the world.

Due to a number of reasons, our testing of these mixes has slowed to a crawl of late, but enough interest has been shown by fellow DIY hobbyists so they are being released here in the Developers forum with the strict warning that they are STILL IN DEVELOPMENT and not meant for general use or distribution yet. This is more akin to Alpha testing than Beta testing.

HTS-X3 N8.7
The first mix under trial and discussion will be called HTS-X3 and is very simple to make. It consists of only two paints that can be purchased at most artist supply stores worldwide. The only real problem is that this makes them fairly expensive unless one can find a discount source for them, but the mix is still less expensive than commercial DIY paints.

HTS-X3 is an equal mix of Liquitex BASICS MATT 'Titanium White' and BASICS MATT 'Silver'.
This equates to a ratio of 1:1 or as a percentage of each paint being 50%; of the total mix (minus the added water which we don't count anyway since it evaporates).

It is VERY important that only the BASICS MATT paints be used and not the regular BASICS line from Liquitex. The regular BASICS paints are too glossy and are slightly different colors.

In the U.S. these paints are only available in 200 ml and 75 ml tubes. I've noticed that other amounts are available in the U.K.. Generally speaking, the larger the container you buy the less expensive the paint is.

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Mixing instructions:

While these paints are considered "Soft Body" acrylic paints, they are still thicker than most house paints people are used to working with. I have found that to get the paint out of the plastic tube and to thin it for application to the screen via roller or sprayer the paints need to be thinned 50% with distilled water.

To make 40 fl. oz. (1200 ml) of screen mix:

Two 200 ml tubes of Liquitex BASICS MATT 'Titanium White'
Two 200 ml tubes of Liquitex BASICS MATT 'Silver'
400 ml of distilled water

Remove the cap from a tube of paint. Empty the tube of paint into your mixing container and then carefully inject 100 ml of water into the almost empty paint tube (I have found that using a 60 ml catheter tip syringe works well for this, if you don't have one of these - be creative :)). Replace the closed cap on the paint tube that is now half full of water. Shake the paint tube hard. I have found it works well to actually smack the tube against the bottom of the palm of your hand. The idea of course is to get as much of the paint sticking to the inside of the tube into solution. Empty the water into the mixing container. Repeat for each tube.

Mix the paints and water throughly and you're done.

If you are rolling the mix you might want to let the mix set a few minutes for the air bubbles from mixing to escape.

If spraying, thin as needed with distilled water for your sprayer.


HTS-X4 N9
All instruction for HTS-X3 above apply to this mix as well. The only change is in the ratio of the paints.

HTS-X4 is a 2:1 mix of Liquitex BASICS MATT 'Titanium White' and BASICS MATT 'Silver'.

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Mixing instructions:

While these paints are considered "Soft Body" acrylic paints, they are still thicker than most house paints people are used to working with. I have found that to get the paint out of the plastic tube and to thin it for application to the screen via roller or sprayer the paints need to be thinned 50% with distilled water.

To make 30 fl. oz. (900 ml) of screen mix:

Two 200 ml tubes of Liquitex BASICS MATT 'Titanium White'
One 200 ml tubes of Liquitex BASICS MATT 'Silver'
300 ml of distilled water

While this mix is seemingly the equivalent of Cream&Sugar™, it has not been fully tested yet and may not perform as C&S™ does.
 

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Re: HTS-X3 - an experimental N9 reflective screen mix.

I will try to get these tomorrow!

Initially I will start small but have you any idea how much would be required to paint say a 100" screen?

I looked at this on the Liquitex website. The pigments listed are just TiO2 and TiO2 coated mica. So to increase to N9 by adding more white a ratio of perhaps 2:1 might be a good place to start (if the Titanium White is 9.4 to begin with). Might be easier to add the paints by weight if this ends up an unfriendly ratio. Would going from 8.7 to 9 be noticeable (aside from the reduction in mica)?

Also, is this mix spectroed as neutral?

In order to assess potential hot-spotting, what would be the minimum size for a test panel that you would recommend?
 

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Re: HTS-X3 - an experimental N9 reflective screen mix.

I will try to get these tomorrow!

Initially I will start small but have you any idea how much would be required to paint say a 100" screen?
A 100" diagonal 16:9 screen has 29.6 square feet of surface. I find that I usually end up applying about 1 fl. oz. of total paint per square foot so I would recommend having about 30 fl. oz. of mix to paint that size screen.

I looked at this on the Liquitex website. The pigments listed are just TiO2 and TiO2 coated mica. So to increase to N9 by adding more white a ratio of perhaps 2:1 might be a good place to start (if the Titanium White is 9.4 to begin with). Might be easier to add the paints by weight if this ends up an unfriendly ratio. Would going from 8.7 to 9 be noticeable (aside from the reduction in mica)?

Also, is this mix spectroed as neutral?
To answer the last question first; yes, this mix is VERY neutral. Much more neutral than the mix made with the regular BASICS paints of the same color (which are too glossy anyway).

The Ti-White is actually a N9.7 I believe, but I'll have to look it up. Changing the ratio of the mix to 2:1 Ti-White/Silver would definitely lighten the mix. I don't see where I tested that ratio with the MATT paints (I thought I had) so I will do so today.

There is, of course, a visible reduction of reflective properties when the silver paint is reduced to 1/3 of the mix, and such a mix is visibly brighter than a mix where it is 1/2 of the mix. I'll have more data after I make the samples.

I really don't like the idea of weighing out paints; unless large amounts are done at a time I would think it would be quite a bit less accurate than measuring by volume, but to be fair I never tried it.

In order to assess potential hot-spotting, what would be the minimum size for a test panel that you would recommend?
There are differing opinions of this. Some say you need to make a full screen to tell if a screen hot spots or not (which I don't agree with). Some say a 2x4 foot panel will do. Personally, I have found that a 1x4 foot panel is enough, and you can get a good idea if a mix will hot spot or not just from a 1 square inch sample after you develop an eye for it.
 

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Re: HTS-X3 - an experimental N9 reflective screen mix.

The Ti-White is actually a N9.7 I believe, but I'll have to look it up. Changing the ratio of the mix to 2:1 Ti-White/Silver would definitely lighten the mix. I don't see where I tested that ratio with the MATT paints (I thought I had) so I will do so today.
The brochure lists hue, value and chroma numbers so I assumed this was the Munsell system. If so 9.39 is the value for Titanium White. Does seem a bit low though.

There is, of course, a visible reduction of reflective properties when the silver paint is reduced to 1/3 of the mix, and such a mix is visibly brighter than a mix where it is 1/2 of the mix. I'll have more data after I make the samples.
A 2:1 mix would have 66% of the reflective particles of a 1:1 mix. I wonder if this reduction would have a huge effect. On the other hand going from 8.7 to 9.0ish would probably be barely noticeable?

There is also a Neutral Grey listed (4.7). Mixing the 3 paints could give a wide range of adjustable N values. I wonder how neutral their blacks are?
I really don't like the idea of weighing out paints; unless large amounts are done at a time I would think it would be quite a bit less accurate than measuring by volume, but to be fair I never tried it.
I'm luckier than most as I have access to forensic lab equipment that can weigh or measure very accurately. Handy for testing but I know the desire is for simple solutions. Given that the mix is so neutral the accuracy of measurement would not be critical.
 

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Re: HTS-X3 - an experimental N9 reflective screen mix.

The brochure lists hue, value and chroma numbers so I assumed this was the Munsell system. If so 9.39 is the value for Titanium White. Does seem a bit low though.
You are correct that they use Munsell color data, but it is given for D50 not D65. While that shouldn't make much difference with a white or neutral paint... :dontknow:

A 2:1 mix would have 66% of the reflective particles of a 1:1 mix. I wonder if this reduction would have a huge effect. On the other hand going from 8.7 to 9.0ish would probably be barely noticeable?
The only way to tell what difference a change of formula really has is to make a test panel and look at it under PJ illumination. PJ light is very directional and that does make a difference. The best way I have found to mimic this is by using a bright L.E.D. flashlight on the small sample I make for spectro tests.

The difference between a N9 and a N8.7 is detectable, but very minor. I would be surprised if people could tell the difference without a literal side-by-side test.

There is also a Neutral Grey listed (4.7). Mixing the 3 paints could give a wide range of adjustable N values. I wonder how neutral their blacks are?
Yep, I noticed. ;) When we get this current formula finished the next step will be to mix it with the N5 to make a mix series similar to Elektra™.

You seem to have been bitten by the Screen Developers bug. Come on in, the waters fine! :T :bigsmile:

I'm luckier than most as I have access to forensic lab equipment that can weigh or measure very accurately. Handy for testing but I know the desire is for simple solutions. Given that the mix is so neutral the accuracy of measurement would not be critical.
Now I'm envious. :D

Our goal is to make screen formulae that work well, are easy to mix and have a certain amount of "fudge factor" thrown in so that small errors can be made by the end-user or paint store and still get a neutral screen.
 

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Re: HTS-X3 - an experimental N9 reflective screen mix.

I managed to get a few tubes at a local hardware store today (white, silver and grey). 75ml is all they stock and quite expensive so I will get some more online. One website has 946 ml of white for NZ$28 but the silver is 118ml/$5.60. I'll keep looking.

At least I can get unlimited amounts of distilled water!

I have a couple of offcuts from my screen panel that are only 8" wide but ~3' long. I'll use these for my initial tests.

You seem to have been bitten by the Screen Developers bug. Come on in, the waters fine! :T :bigsmile:
I've told "her indoors" that I'm only doing this until I have the new screen for my Panny 4000. She says I have too many hobbies already (coaching and playing football will take up a lot of my time real soon).

Its a glorious summers day here today - too hot to paint methinks!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just measured samples of Liquitex BASICS MATT Titanium White, HTS-X3 (1:1) and HTS-X4 (2:1).

Matt Ti-White = N9.7
HTS-X3 = N8.7
HTS-X4 = N9

While there are still visible reflective flakes in the HTS-X4 they are not as evident as in HTS-X3.

First post edited and HTS-X4 data added.
 

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Just sprayed my first test panel with HTS-X3

Used 75ml of each paint + 75ml Distilled water. Added another 25ml water for spraying, possibly thinner than it needs to be. First go with the Wagner seemed to go pretty well although I probably put too much on for the first coat. Its drying flat to avoid runs. I'll get the hang of it eventually but already a convert from rolling!

I am making a matt N8.7 from Dulux Vivid White Flat and tiny amounts of a neutral black for comparison. Doing this by eye but should be good enough to assess reflective properties and any hotspotting issues.
 

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Just sprayed my first test panel with HTS-X3

Used 75ml of each paint + 75ml Distilled water. Added another 25ml water for spraying, possibly thinner than it needs to be. First go with the Wagner seemed to go pretty well although I probably put too much on for the first coat. Its drying flat to avoid runs. I'll get the hang of it eventually but already a convert from rolling!
Better the mix is a bit to thin than too thick when spraying. Yeah, it takes a bit of practice before you get the hang of spraying, but then "it's all gravy".

If I remember right I think both Mech and I determined it takes about 3 coats by spraying to equal one coat by rolling. I think almost everyone starts out spraying on too thick a coat and get runs, but after you learn how thin to make the mix and how fast to move the gun it's easy as pie.

I am making a matt N8.7 from Dulux Vivid White Flat and tiny amounts of a neutral black for comparison. Doing this by eye but should be good enough to assess reflective properties and any hotspotting issues.
I have yet to find a neutral black paint. About the closest I have found is Liquitex BASICS MATT 'Ivory Black'. It turns out that most blacks are really very dark blue.

Feel free to send me any samples you want tested for spectral reflectance. I'm quite sure Mech would be happy to test them too. I only need about a square inch of paint to actually test, but an index sized sample is better in case an area gets damaged in the mail. Just PM me for my address if you're interested.
 

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The black I'm using is this one. RGB is 54 53 53.

I don't ever intend to use this in a real screen paint. I just want to make a non-reflective matt paint to compare with HTS-X mixes and assess the effectiveness of the mica.

I will send samples to both you and Mech soon!
 

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The black I'm using is this one. RGB is 54 53 53.

I don't ever intend to use this in a real screen paint. I just want to make a non-reflective matt paint to compare with HTS-X mixes and assess the effectiveness of the mica.

I will send samples to both you and Mech soon!
:T
 

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I have not forgotten about this!

Been really busy with work and my first efforts were hampered with poor spraying technique.

Will get back into this this weekend. I have a few things I want to try so will delay sending any samples to you guys until I have a full set (including some BW and Dulux Half Ellen).
 

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I have not forgotten about this!

Been really busy with work and my first efforts were hampered with poor spraying technique.

Will get back into this this weekend. I have a few things I want to try so will delay sending any samples to you guys until I have a full set (including some BW and Dulux Half Ellen).
Not a problem Rob. I am still without my i1pro anyways. :huh:
 

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Hi Guys,

First of all, can I just say that this is an amazing resource for people everywhere in the world who are looking at doing their own screens... I don't think i've ever seen quite a dedicated bunch of people who are just doing something (ie this) for a hobby!! great stuff...

Ok, back to business... I have a new epson 705hd (2500lumen), in a room with reasonable ambient light (its a living room). hence I am looking for your Scorpion N8 mix... ie a 50:50 mix of your formidable BW and C&S receipes.

Trouble is..... I'm in Perth, Australia :rolleyesno: So sourcing everything is a problem.

I have prepped my wall with Dulux Ultrasmooth Acrylic Sealer Undercoat.

WRT Black Widow, I plan on using Dulux Wash N Wear 101 Advanced Flat tinted Half Ellen, and I can source the AAA from Bunbury or Adelaide.

The C&S is a bit more difficult though... so I am thinking of substituting C&S with another N9 mix, ie your HTS-X4. I haven't visited any stores to see whether the Liquitex products you have prescribed are available, but it seems like Altern8 may have had some luck. So... it looks like this might be the way to go, considering there is not an Aussie equivalent of the unique CSMS.

SO... my question is this - do you think there would be any issues with me doing a 50:50 mix of this experimental HTS-X4, with Black Widow?

I'm thinking not.. but then again, I am very new to this painted screen game, and you are all gods in this field :bigsmile: Thanks in advance... any words of wisdom are well appreciated!
 

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Hi B-rad, welcome to the forum! :wave:

Thank you for all of the compliments. We are serious about understanding how screens work and how to match, or exceed, commercial screen performance with relatively simple paint mixes that just about anyone can make (assuming they can get the components).

You should have no problems making BW™ Down Under. C&S™ is another matter, as you have found out. The Craft Smart Metallic Silver used to make it has turned out to be a rather singular paint, all of the paints we have found that might replace it (very few) also have the same limitation of being U.S.-only paints. The HTS-X4 mix is the closest we have come to an international version of C&S™.

I see no reason at all why HTS-X4 could not be substituted for C&S™ in making Scorpion™ N8.

While I would recommend the Liquitex BASICS MATT paints be use to make your HTS-X4 C&S™ substitute, since you are going to be mixing the HTS-X4 with flat paint (the BW™ mix), you might, just might, be able to get by making your HTS-X4 with the regular BASICS paints that have more gloss than their MATT siblings, if the MATT paints are hard to find.

After checking out your PJ, depending on how large a screen you want you might not even need to go with a reflective mix. That is one bright PJ! Even in Theater Mode it's still shooting 1620 lumens (1280 in Eco mode). What size screen are you making?
 

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Hi B-rad, welcome to the forum! :wave:
After checking out your PJ, depending on how large a screen you want you might not even need to go with a reflective mix. That is one bright PJ! Even in Theater Mode it's still shooting 1620 lumens (1280 in Eco mode). What size screen are you making?
Thanks very much for all your assistance. Hopefully other Australians can draw on this advice as well.

My screen size defies all expert logic, and is rather large... Unfortunately I am at work right now and cannot measure it, but it is approximately 3 metres wide by 2 metres high (WXGA). I know this isnt ideal, but everyone seems to prefer the larger size....I guess I'm still in the honeymoon phase of owning one :innocent:. Because the screen is located in a multi-purpose room, I am currently also going against recommendations, and will be painting the whole wall (5mx2.7m), with no black border planned right now.

Yes, the projector is rather bright :bigsmile:.... and I do use it primarily at night (which, when combined with my newly tinted windows, does provide a near-dark environment).

The problem with this projector, however (and my reason for going with a grey mix), is because the 705hd has horrible black levels. To be honest, I don't mind THAT much, because the projector will be used for movies only 30% of the time (equally shared with TV and xbox).

So are you thinking that the Scorpion with BW:HTS-X4 might not be the ideal mix? Or should I compromise and go with Prof's much more obtainable (in Australia's) Silver Pearl(tm)?

Apologies if this is now moving off-topic.... please feel free to relocate my thread if necessary.
 

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Thanks for understanding if this portion of the thread should be moved to it's own thread in the future, but for now I think it can stay here. :T

Yep, that's a big screen you got there! The good news is your PJ can handle it. Assuming a screen 322 cm wide and 200 cm tall (377 diagonal), you are still hitting it with between 16 and 18 fL. (depending on how far away your PJ is from the screen) according to PJC's calculator. I'm not really sure where they get those figures since doing the math manually gives the lowest brightness as being 18.5 fL. using Theater Mode and Eco Mode.

At these lumen levels I would think that you could simply use BW™ instead of Scorpion™ N8; while the N0.5 brightness difference between these mixes is visible, it isn't a "day and night" difference, and you wouldn't have to bother with making the HTS-X4 mix.

Since this is the Developer's forum I'll post several test photos I've taken for another experimental mix. Please forgive the rough nature of the photos, they really weren't meant to be displayed publically, but I think they are apropos to what we are talking about in terms of screen shade comparisons. The panels are just screwed to my "wall of many grays" where I paint panels.

The panels in the photos are a version of RS-MaxxMudd (a reflective N8.7 mix from another forum) and Aurora™ N6.6 (a mix that will be international in scope and also made with Liquitex paints). I had no specific reason in using the RSMM panel to compare to the Aurora™ panel, it just happened to be the "light" panel I had at hand.

Room light: There is a N2.1 difference between the panels!


100IRE White: Projector shooting full white image; the apparent shade difference between panels lessens due to the directional nature of the projector beam and the reflectiveness of the panels.


DVE Space shuttle: The PJ is set for using a darker screen so highlights in the top panel will suffer a bit.


DVE American flag: Notice how the top panel looks washed out even with all room lights off.


5th Element hold-up: The bottom panel is darker than what the PJ is set for so shadows will suffer a bit.


5th Element cat: It surprised me how well the highlights stayed visible in the white cat on the dark panel.



The point of this is to show that a N0.5 difference isn't all that great for comparable reflective screens. It's more an aspect of fine-tuning than a day-and-night difference (which the above photos were ;)).
 

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The point of this is to show that a N0.5 difference isn't all that great for comparable reflective screens. It's more an aspect of fine-tuning than a day-and-night difference (which the above photos were ;)).
Great point.

The effort factor in trying to find a comparable C&S mix probably is not worth the minor difference in output....so you have me sold. BW it is!!

Thanks again so much for your assistance!!! Hopefully i'll be able to post up some pics of the finished product in case anyone else is interested.
 

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Thanks again so much for your assistance!!! Hopefully i'll be able to post up some pics of the finished product in case anyone else is interested.
No worries! We do what we do for our own curiosities, but we post our results so that others may benefit as well.

Photos would be greatly appreciated!

Also, I got so wrapped up in posting those photos that I forgot to mention Prof's Silver Pearl mix. I wouldn't recommend that mix for you since not only is it a very light mix (not good for fighting ambient light), but it is also a layered screen solution, not a simple homogeneous mix, thus it takes more effort to apply.

Good Luck on your project! :T
 

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Hi all :wave:

Loooooooooooong time no see. But life goes on as they say. And it is fantastic to see you guys still in the frontline of objective screen material testing and development.

My family and I are still enjoying our Bat-Cave-black painted-HT-room with just a high quility white paint screen. Our SONY VPL-HS60 is going on it´s fourth year and I just ordered a new bulb (just in case).

Anyhow...as it seems we sometimes have guests playing Playstation3 games. In that situation we occationally open up curtains etc...hence..let in some light.

As a development-bug-bitten cinema devotee I am very happy to see you spotted paint available even in Sweden.

Question. Have you guys spectroed the X3 or X4? I cant find it in the spectro database of yours:huh:
 
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