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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been told the Silver Fire folks have been busy again... changed the formula... again...

Word is that the testing done for it includes photos with a printed out Munsell strip and that it should look like used motor oil. :coocoo:

I'll be testing it out in the very near future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Silver Fire

Thanks for keeping everyone honest :)
Do you still have your SF screen up? To be honest, I see a lot of these changes to the formulas because of the testing going on here. Well that and the lack of availability for a lot of their ingredients. But I also wonder if they keep changing it to try and wear us down.

Here's what I got for the latest formulation:

Silver Fire v2

(Reflective Base Components)

28 oz. Delta Ceramcoat Pearl #02601
16 oz. Liquitex Basics - Silver Metallic
10 oz. Behr Interior UPW Flat #1850 (or Exterior #4050)
3 oz. Liquitex Basics - Gold Metallic


(Viscosity Components)

24 oz. Minwax Polycrylic - Satin Finish
18 - 24 oz. Distilled or Filtered water**


(Color Components)

60ml - filtered/distilled water for rinsing color components from utensils
30ml - Liquitex Basics - Napthol Crimson Red
15ml - Liquitex Basics - Phthalocyanine Green
10ml - Liquitex Basics - UltraMarine Blue
5ml - Liquitex Basics - Cadmium Yellow - Deep Hue

I have to admit that I haven't kept track of all the changes. When I get time I'll go look for the changes.
 

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Re: Silver Fire

Do you still have your SF screen up? To be honest, I see a lot of these changes to the formulas because of the testing going on here. Well that and the lack of availability for a lot of their ingredients. But I also wonder if they keep changing it to try and wear us down.
I painted over with the BW since there wasn't the blue push that my SF mix had.
 

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Re: Silver Fire

Mech when you do this next test make sure you take a screen shot of the post with current mix that also has the date. If you recall the last time you tested SF they changed the mix as soon as they found out you were testing and taking readings. It was the standard game back then... constantly change things so it's a moving target and never the same. That way if someone complained, it was said either the person messed up or they used an 'old' forumula. Thing is the 'formula' was changing on almost a weekly basis.

So make sure we take an actual screen shot that shows the date they posted the new mix. Better hurry though, it's sure to change again.

Even if they managed to finally get it neutral after all these years of trial and error (error at the expense of everyone that used one of the previous mixes) they still don't get it. Making something like this complex does not make it better. Let me say that again... it is a scientific fact of color science, and I have said this over and over and some people still want to argue about something that is fact, and that is that it simply doesn't matter how a neutral gray is made. If it is tested with a spectrophotometer and it meets D65 neutral specs, then it is neutral no matter how it is made. With that said, the problem with having as many components as this mix has is that there are so many areas where just a minor mistake or a few drops too much of one color and the entire mix is thrown off.

When you look at it from that perspective, all that work of measuring and mixing with tubes, and syringes and all the crazy things needed, and in the end if everything goes perfect and it comes in as a D65 neutral gray... it really isn't any better than a D65 neutral gray made any other way.

So that brings up the other items... all that mica and poly... satin poly to boot... It's a gimmick screen and that's pretty much it. It looks great to someone new or a person that has never seen another screen or done a baseline calibration against a white reference screen. Can it be used as a screen? Sure, but it's not the best option out there, it's just one of the most complicated DIY screens out there; and as mentioned just because something is complex and complicated doesn't mean it's better... it's just more complex and complicated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Silver Fire

Mech when you do this next test make sure you take a screen shot of the post with current mix that also has the date. If you recall the last time you tested SF they changed the mix as soon as they found out you were testing and taking readings. It was the standard game back then... constantly change things so it's a moving target and never the same. That way if someone complained, it was said either the person messed up or they used an 'old' forumula. Thing is the 'formula' was changing on almost a weekly basis!

So make sure we take an actual screen shot that shows the date they posted the new mix. Better hurry though, it's sure to change again.
I can't. :gulp: I'll leave that one to you or someone else who is allowed there. :bigsmile:

Even if they managed to finally get it neutral after all these years of trial and error (error at the expense of everyone that used one of the previous mixes) they still don't get it. Making something like this complex does not make it better. Let me say that again... it is a scientific fact of color science, and I have said this over and over and some people still want to argue about something that is fact, and that is that it simply doesn't matter how a neutral gray is made. If it is tested with a spectrophotometer and it meets D65 neutral specs, then it is neutral no matter how it is made. With that said, the problem with having as many components as this mix has is that there are so many areas where just a minor mistake or a few drops too much of one color and the entire mix is thrown off.

When you look at it from that perspective, all that work of measuring and mixing with tubes, and syringes and all the crazy things needed, and in the end if everything goes perfect and it comes in as a D65 neutral gray... it really isn't any better than a D65 neutral gray made any other way.

So that brings up the other items... all that mica and poly... satin poly to boot... It's a gimmick screen and that's pretty much it. It looks great to someone new or a person that has never seen another screen or done a baseline calibration against a white reference screen. Can it be used as a screen? Sure, but it's not the best option out there, it's just one of the most complicated DIY screens out there; and as mentioned just because something is complex and complicated doesn't mean it's better... it's just more complex and complicated.
Exactly! These points seem to get by folks lost on a fairly consistent basis. I did receive a couple of comparison photos that were interesting to say the least. ;) From what I gather they were considered a valid comparison over there and the silver fire mix showed an incredible amount of hot spotting. :yikes: But I'm sure it's called gain or maybe an 'attenuation' of the screen+projector. lol
 

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Re: Silver Fire

mech... just yesterday, on 'that other site', I referenced your comparison photos from 2009 of SF and here is the response I got:

"..............those comparisons were invalid from the start... as the panels and application (not properly sprayed) was incorrectly done. the person admitted using panels that they knew had a decidedly blue/green push without ever attempting correcting the mix. they continued to use panels they knew were incorrect, even after they were informed of such, for all their comparisons......"

did you really admit that?

This is the test I referenced: http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/diy-screens/20933-silver-fire.html

The hotspotting I see in your test worries me....
 

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Re: Silver Fire

I just answered with this:

"I'm more concerned with the hot spotting I see in his test vs. the color push to be honest... and where did he admit using 'incorrect' panels? I'd like to check it out. Thanks!"
 

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Re: Silver Fire

ohcello it's exactly what I stated above...

Mech went out and got everything for the current SF mix back then and went exactly by their instructions on how to make it and apply it. When it got out that the mix was being tested with actual spectrophotometers with a current factory calibration- the mix was changed. That's when they said he made the wrong mix. The only thing admitted to from what I recall is that the mix had changed, but... like I said it changed when it was announced it was being tested.

It might have been a coincidence because it literally was changing on a monthly basis back then (and it still changes regularly). A point I made a long time ago is that if it was D65 then there would be no need to change it unless like now, certain components are no longer available.

If you are really curious about SF, also check the archives and read through some of the claims being made by the developers. Also check out the complaints- everytime someone had a complaint they ended up attacked and they were blamed for not following directions or not knowing what they were doing. It was always anything but the mix's fault. Always though there were wild claims and whenever anyone, not just me, asked for just a shred of proof to back up what was being said... well... bad things happened and the threads usually ended up locked or deleted or edited after the fact. It's all still there though, just do a search and get some popcorn and read through some of the craziness!

Again can SF be used for a screen? Sure. Eggshell and Satin can be used too. In some situations Satin may even work for a particular person and projector, but they certainly are not what I would call ideal. You have a professional installer/screen paint vendor over there and the moderator also owns a screen paint business. DIY isn't exactly something that would be in their bests interests, it's a conflict of interest if you really think about it. So of course it is going to be said that SF is better than everything, it's a captive audience over there now that all the other main DIY developers have been run off.

I've been accused by them of 'ruining DIY', or 'the spirit of DIY'. Actually I wanted to do the opposite and help make DIY more legitimate and respected. And I don't make a dime off any of this, none of us here do. So there is no conflict of interest going on. In fact, none of us have any qualms recommending DIY or a commercial screen. It all comes down to what will work the best and what fits a person's budget and setup the best.
 

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Re: Silver Fire

Oh btw...

No C&S and Scorpion were not developed because Black Widow didn't perform well. They were developed to cover the ground from a darker gray screen aimed at ambient light setups, to N8, N8.5, N9 and white screens. What was said is not true, but it is funny that SF also has several different 'ranges'. If what was said about BW was true, then ironically it would also apply to SF since they came up with a variety of shades. Also if you think about it, even commercial screen companies have a variety of screens that range from gray to white, so the comment was totally unfounded.
 

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Re: Silver Fire

mech... just yesterday, on 'that other site', I referenced your comparison photos from 2009 of SF and here is the response I got:

"..............those comparisons were invalid from the start... as the panels and application (not properly sprayed) was incorrectly done. the person admitted using panels that they knew had a decidedly blue/green push without ever attempting correcting the mix. they continued to use panels they knew were incorrect, even after they were informed of such, for all their comparisons......"

did you really admit that?

This is the test I referenced: http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/diy-screens/20933-silver-fire.html
First off, the comparisons shown here ARE VERY valid. Claims otherwise are wishful thinking on the part of people with a vested interest in making SF as popular a mix as possible - after all, the main proponent (and 'barker') of the mix makes his living building such screens.

All mech did was to make his SF mix to the then-current formula. Was it off-color? Yes, but that was not mech's fault any more than it is any one else's fault that makes up that mix with the stated amounts of paints. The SF developers knew the mix was off-color toward blue-green, but they did nothing to correct the formula, instead when anyone complained of SF being too blue they just suggested that people add this or that color one drop at a time and keep doing so until the mix looked like it was a neutral gray to them. As far as I know they are still doing that. :doh:As the saying goes "that ain't no way to run a railroad".
It is incredibly difficult (near impossible) to color-correct a mix to a decent neutrality "by eye" even if you have a true neutral gray card to match it to. You are looking at the color and shade of the paint when wet, which is quite different than what it is when dry. It's just not the way to get a neutral color.

I had to literally laugh when I read that part about mech's SF being "not properly sprayed". :rofl: The real problem was that it WAS PROPERLY sprayed! You see one of the problems with SF is that the mix was too glossy (don't know what it is now) because of all the satin polyurethane and craft paints in it. When enough people started complaining about it the official answer was to apply "duster coats" as the final one or two coats of paint. What this did is allow the paint to partially dry before it hit the screen so it wouldn't flow into a solid smooth film but rather leave a surface like fine sandpaper. That technique will work, but it is VERY hard to control and I will all but guarantee that no two SF screens will have the same gloss level if that technique is used. It's far better to develop a mix that has the correct gloss level in the first place.

We here at HTS are all about the science of things and finding out how and why things work. It turns out that the physics of reflection are well known and good info abounds on the internet, the same thing applies to color science. While the tools to properly investigate color are a bit pricey, a decent colorimeter can be had for under $200, which is all you need to design neutral color mixes. The developers of SF won't even go to that expense or bother to make DOCUMENTABLE proof of what they say - I guess their opinion should be enough. And don't even get me started about how they throw out gain figures "over there". If it's still business as usual there they just pull those numbers out of their.... hat. :rofl: Nothing is documented there and I seriously doubt it ever will be, they simply have too much to lose if people find out the truth.

The hotspotting I see in your test worries me....
As well it should! I'm not sure which test photos you are referring to, but here are some that tested a panel that was sprayed with another member's SF mix. It is STILL blue and hot spots. http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/diy-screens/20933-silver-fire-7.html#post234059

I said something earlier in this thread which I will repeat now.
"Something SF does have is a certain mystique that one could almost write a doctoral thesis on. There is so much pseudo-science and near-mystical abilities associated with it it is amazing.

As has been mentioned before in this thread, there is a feeling of accomplishment one gets from concocting a batch of SF that no other mix can give you due to it's many ingredients and it's special "colorant" that one must make themselves from even more paints. Something that complicated and esoteric must be better right? Actually no; when one closes the cover of their Alchemy 101 tome and examines the results in a scientific light the mysteries of SF disappear in an allegorical puff of smoke leaving behind a screen that is not neutral and contains too much mica."

It all comes down to this: all you get with a complicated mix is complications.
 

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Re: Silver Fire

I want to step back for a second...

We definitely show the science, the real science behind all this. There is color science and then screen science, and both need to be understood.

Anytime science comes up though our number one detractor then shifts from all his sudo science talk and says it's 'an art' to making screens and all that matters is the performance. This is when it is said or implied that all we do is take readings and that we don't know what a good screen looks like let alone a great screen. All this science and testing means nothing if the image looks bad. So yes we do test and do extensive performance tests too. Where all this started that we are only about data is total nonsense. In fact we even get people to beta test our mixes and then we take their feedback to tweak things before we make the official public unvieling. And we are not even a commercial company! In this case the vendor we are talking about doesn't even do anything other than throw things together and they hype it to death. Their beta testers are those first poor souls that buy into the hype.

As Harp mentioned, they don't even go the extra mile and expense of spending $200 on a colorimeter. Their reason why? They say one of the developers has an 'artists eye' and can do it by eye. Okay... let's just say the human eye is not a spectrophotometer, and quite frankly every single SF sample we've been sent pretty much proves that! But that's not even the total problem. The mix is so complicated that it's up to each and every user to determine when it 'looks right', and everyone's eyes are different. If a person thinks about this for a moment, it really is an excellent tactic. Without showing a shred of proof, and by making things so complex and complicated it is easy to blame the end user and not the product. And that is exactly what happens whenerver someone complains.

The last thing that needs to be addressed, and what they always seem to fall back on when everything else fails... that we are biased and/or we don't know what we are talking about. First... gentlemen should we start breaking out certs and diplomas to address the last comment first?! ;)

It really doesn't matter though because they've even gone after the ISF certification process, THX certification, even the NTSC standards were said to be all wrong. They want people to believe they somehow know more and have more experience than all those experts and people certified. And folks that's just the video side of things... there have been outright fights and name calling of people in the color science field too. Then it always goes back to 'real world' performance.

Well we cover real world performance too. The real reason they hate us so much and ran us and everyone like us off is because our screens are half the price or lower, a thousand times easier... they can be rolled or sprayed, they all are guarenteed to be D65 neutral, and most important of all is that they all work extremely well. The last thing someone that makes a living selling screen paint, or convincing people they need a paid installation, is people showing everyone that it can be done the military way- Better, Cheaper, Smarter! That's definitely not good for business!

The comment about how I ruined DIY, or how I make people feel like they can't 'play' too... more nonsense. See all the testing and science came about for two reasons: First was before anyone could move forward we had to know how all this worked and if we could do it on a budget. People literally spent years arguing over what neutral gray was, and everyone had their own idea. Unforutunately they were all guessing, and most didn't even know what constituted a neutral gray. Nobody ever sat down and researched color science for the answers. Everything is out there but it takes time to learn some of it, and some can be pretty complicated stuff with equations that would make you think you took the wrong turn and ended up in Einstein's lab. So we needed to know what exactly we were talking about before we could go to the next level.

The second reason was all the wild and crazy claims being made. And when I said wild, I mean wild! Claims like one person saying their screens could selectively enhance blacks, yet know when colors are being projected and it was said to actually increase whites... or the screens that increase the projector's CR to magical screens with claimed gains up to 2 that are said to still have a 180 degree viewing cone! Laws of light and phsyics were being thrown out the window and basically some people were literally making things up from one post to the next. So the second reason was to try and stop all the snake oil/use car salesman mentality and stigma that these people have heaped on DIY over the years with their 'ego science'.

So specs and hard data was the way to really seperate the hype from the truth. The real issue though wasn't with people that were having fun experimenting and trying out new things. It was certain people that also happen to make a living at selling screens and doing installations that were flat out making things up. They were making claims that their screens were better than everything else out there, but the problem was there was no way to prove it... or disprove it, that is without actual data and specs. The one way to stop that was to try and get some sort of accepted DIY standards and specs, and what better standards than what the actual industry uses and adheres to?! For instance if you were to take two screens that are both the same gray level, which one is better? Well in the end it's how it looks with an image on it, but if they are both close, then you go to the specs and color balance. This really only matters when someone is making really wild claims while at the same time trying to destroy every other method out there, and that is exactly what was happening.

The problem is it then became an issue of power and name recognition, and in the end it took two commercial vendors to take over DIY and that was the end of creativity at some places. We still encourage people to play and try new things, and we even have a developer's forum!

All I ask of anyone is for them to never blindly listen to anyone, myself included. Take just a bit of time to check things out and then it's real easy to separate truth from fiction. The truth really is that SF is a vendor's product used to promote the vendor's business and line up future paid installations, and DIY cannot compete with someone that makes money doing this. It simply isn't in that person's vested interested to acknowledge that anything other than what they do is better. Of course they are going to say SF is the best. If you really want to see the truth, ask for their test data that shows what the gain and color balance is, or some actual science references that back up some of the theories and claims being said. We can provide all that as well as some of the best screenies seen anywhere on the web! :)

So is Silver Fire worth it and can it be used as a screen? Well it can be used as a screen, but a lot of things can. Is it worth it? I think it's best for people to do their own research on that and look at all the facts (and the hype) and then check the history of things and finally look at the cost and whether the difficulty level is worth the end results.
 

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Re: Silver Fire

anyone here have any samples of SF they could send me? I'd love to paint a small patch or board to compare vs. my existing Scorpion based wall ; )
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Silver Fire

mech... just yesterday, on 'that other site', I referenced your comparison photos from 2009 of SF and here is the response I got:

"..............those comparisons were invalid from the start... as the panels and application (not properly sprayed) was incorrectly done. the person admitted using panels that they knew had a decidedly blue/green push without ever attempting correcting the mix. they continued to use panels they knew were incorrect, even after they were informed of such, for all their comparisons......"

did you really admit that?

This is the test I referenced: http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/diy-screens/20933-silver-fire.html

The hotspotting I see in your test worries me....
Was that Roland or Pete who said that? Roland was a member here for a short time and I asked him to send me some of his his SF for testing many times. He said he would but he never did. I never admitted anything was wrong because nothing was wrong. :huh: Everything was done exactly to their specifications, including the spraying. :huh: Which I've been told has changed again as well. It used to be duster coats at the finish. I guess it's at the start now. I'm sure Harp could dedicate a whole new thread to 'duster' coats and why they shouldn't be used. :coocoo: But that is for another day. :T

anyone here have any samples of SF they could send me? I'd love to paint a small patch or board to compare vs. my existing Scorpion based wall ; )
I'll have some soon if you can wait a little bit. I have everything for the new concoction sitting in my garage right now. Where are you at? Another thing to think of is shipping. I've never tried to ship any paint in the dead of winter. It's -15 outside right now and I don't think it would make it. Maybe I'll just paint up a small panel - 8X10 - and ship it to you? :scratch:

What's wrong with your Scorpion mix?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: Silver Fire

Oh btw...

No C&S and Scorpion were not developed because Black Widow didn't perform well. They were developed to cover the ground from a darker gray screen aimed at ambient light setups, to N8, N8.5, N9 and white screens. What was said is not true, but it is funny that SF also has several different 'ranges'. If what was said about BW was true, then ironically it would also apply to SF since they came up with a variety of shades. Also if you think about it, even commercial screen companies have a variety of screens that range from gray to white, so the comment was totally unfounded.
Did Roland say that? He's getting worse than the Goo guy. What was his name?
 

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Re: Silver Fire

I'm in Long Island NY.... Nothing wrong with my Scorpion... but I'd like to do small test to settle this once and for all in my mind as to which I think would be better for me. If I noticed a huge improvement, I might try and repaint my wall. If not, I could then post my results on both sites and be done with it.

thanks!
 

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Re: Silver Fire

Yeah he was saying that the reason we had to come up with C&S and Scorpion is because Black Widow didn't perform well and we needed to come up with something new. He also made comments about how low BW's gain is and how SF is better because it has higher gain. And then there were some statements about how we have some sort of agenda against him and pete.

As far as I know they still have never had any official gain tests done to determine the real gain of their mixes. To be fair though, it's kinda hard to do gain tests when the mix is changing all the time. Anytime a change is made a new gain test would need to be done, and that's a lot of work!
 

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Re: Silver Fire

I hear you, but I'd be happy with a comparison like mech did in 09 against a black and white boxed test panel from multiple angles, positions, and light environments.

Thanks again!
 
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