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post #1 of 185 Old 08-26-2009, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Just threw together a DIY screen using 1x2s, a staple gun, duct tape, deck screws and grey spandex material from Joanne Fabrics. Total cost: $20.

And you don't have to use grey, as they have white spandex as well. The grey is actually comparable, in hue, to my previous digital grey goo paint screen I painted on Parkland Plastics. Perhaps it is a touch too dark - this was the material I happened to grab from Joann's. I am happy with it. If you look online, you can probably find a lighter shade.

Anyway - what is very interesting about this material is that it is so thin, I bet it would be fantastic to use as an acoustically transparent material. I toyed with the idea of hiding my speakers behind the screen.

Anyway - check it out:






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post #2 of 185 Old 08-26-2009, 11:39 AM
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No backing at all? What do you think the gain is? Which Goo are you comparing it to and how does it look with less ambient light? Sharp?

Thanks

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post #3 of 185 Old 08-26-2009, 11:40 AM
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Since the material is thin, I bet some light is being passed through it as well. This leads me to wonder how the "white" spandex would work if everything behind it was flat black. It might act more like a light gray opaque screen surface.

A simple experiment would be to make a small frame, 2'x4' sort of size. Stretch the white spandex over it. Put a backing panel on the back of the frame. Paint the background panel half flat black and half white. Put this test rig in front of the projector and see if there is a difference.

The inverse of that experiment would be to make the same test rig but use your gray spandex. I suspect the basic idea of gray spandex with a white background would not be a good idea, because the light that gets through the gray spandex will hit the white background surfaces and get diffused all over the back of the screen material. This would washout the entire image.

The white over flat black might work better. I suspect white light hitting the white spandex would be very bright. Any light passing through the white spandex would get absorbed by the flat black background surfaces.

I have used spandex for speaker grills. I made a frame and used a groove and spline on the back side of the frame to hold the material. Like a screen window only wrapping the material around behind the frame. I noticed that the spandex I used was like bathing suite material. It was a soft matte black on one side and shinny on the other.

Steve, is the material you used shinny on one side?

Did you try both sides of the material?
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post #4 of 185 Old 08-26-2009, 12:17 PM
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Looks good. The material looks like something someone used here on the forum to make an AT screen as you suggest. They wern't sure what exactly the product was as they couldn't find it again and didn't have the sku. Can you list the sku of the product for reference sake later on.
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post #5 of 185 Old 08-27-2009, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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The material is simply grey spandex that I got from Joann's fabrics. I will try to track down exactly what it is. My ONLY issues is that it appears a shade too dark. But as you can see, it does quite well in full daylight (albeit, the windows are behind the screen and to the side so light isn't directly on it), but the point is that it is serviceable in the daytime in my basement - especially if the kiddies want to go down and watch a movie during the daytime (if, for some ungodly reason we do not make them go outside and play if it is sunny...)

The material was matte on both sides. I would fully expect there to be light leakage - I actually think the material would make a great rear projection screen as well. I toyed with adding a black interior material under the screen because I was worried about ghosting/double images, but I do not detect any.

How does one go about measuring gain?

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post #6 of 185 Old 08-29-2009, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

This leads me to wonder how the "white" spandex would work if everything behind it was flat black.

A white spandex should work well with a black, light absorbing substrate like flat black paint or a black material. But a gray screen would be better if viewing in a lighted room. The existing darker gray better deals with the ambient light than a lighter screen. To brighten up the gray spandex, stretch it over a white or reflective substrate.
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post #7 of 185 Old 08-29-2009, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I am now working on incorporating this stretch material into a roll-down screen for my upstairs viewing. Right now, I use a painted vinyl material, but I have issues with curls around the edges, and roll-up memory of the material.

Basically, I am going to keep that screen as a "backing" to this stretch material. I am using vinyl rope on the sides as a tensioner on the sides that roll up, and a heavy metal bar on the bottom to pull the material downwards, and will attach across the top of my existing roll-up screen. I am hoping that this will provide sufficient tension across the screen to give a stretch across the entirety of the screen to keep perfectly flat. By stretching, I will have no issues with waves, memory, etc. And my existing screen can be a lighter colored backing. Hopefully, I have no double-image issues.

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post #8 of 185 Old 08-29-2009, 08:17 PM
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how about some no light pics ?

i am researching my first projector. and i am researching a "cheap" test screen solution. this looks like it and very well could turn into my permanent diy screen.

i am thinkin that this spandex with a flat white paint behind it would be a good start. i am thinkin a piece of drywall under it.

chasing rattles ......

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post #9 of 185 Old 08-30-2009, 06:58 PM
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Steve Scherrer,

Temporarily hold a mirror of any kind directly behind your spandex screen. Project an image on your screen. View how the part of the screen with the mirror behind it compares to the rest of the screen. And let us know what you see. Post a pic if you like.
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post #10 of 185 Old 08-31-2009, 07:17 AM
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Steve,

In "Direct" Rear Projection, the same "balance" requirements as in Front Projection does not exist. The surface being projected through must NOT be too reflective, but rather should absorb and pass light through it (...that makes the projected-on surface duller than the "watched" surface...)

When that light does pass through and loses a degree of energy, it "collects' the remaining light energy on the other side by virtue of that attenuated light losing it's forward momentum and saturating the material. If a material allows too much light directly through, it may have considerable gain, but a viewing cone of less than 40 degrees.

That also applies with direct reflective surfaces as well. Simply backing a porous material with something opaque will only work if that "rear' material is completely flush against the forward material.

Any surface that purports to be ideal for Direct Projection absolutely must have a higher degree of reflectance on the surface than the percentage of light that is allowed to pass through. Acoustically Transparent Screens are a prime example of this...and one reason why really effective examples of AT screens are so costly.

Mirrored Light Fusion works because there is a very small "Gap" between a thinly painted surface and a highly reflective one. Unless the material your using as the correct balance of translucency (...which is doubtful...) placing a mirror behind it might result in a noticeable hot-spot...or worse, a obvious representation of the projector bulb.

First Surface Light Fusion has no gap between Mirror and a painted surface. It does stand to reason that a effectively translucent (...but still almost opaque AND reflective...) cloth placed directly against a "Second Surface" Mirror of 1/8" thickness could benefit from the same known desirable effect that a painted surface on such a Mirror provides. It however would then be so initially reflective on the surface as to make the need for a "backing" almost entirely redundant. Anything less than a precise and effective "Cloth or Solid material" example that follows exactly those "virtually opaque and reflective" criteria would be in my mind a complete waste of time.

I can relate as much because I have a teenie-weenie bit of experience along those lines....I'm not speaking simply from conjecture.

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post #11 of 185 Old 08-31-2009, 08:22 AM
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Let's all take a "what if" look at stretched fabric over mylar. Use a board as a substrate. Affix mylar over the board. Stretch the fabric over the mylar. And does it work? Well, apparently no one has tried it, and so no one knows. Should it work? Yes, I think it should.
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post #12 of 185 Old 08-31-2009, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post

Let's all take a "what if" look at stretched fabric over mylar. Use a board as a substrate. Affix mylar over the board. Stretch the fabric over the mylar. And does it work? Well, apparently no one has tried it, and so no one knows. Should it work? Yes, I think it should.

It might....but only if the material itself is almost totally opaque. Anything with too loose a weave will allow the mirror to shine right back through.

This has been tried before...about 3-4 years ago. It did not work...but mostly because the material was nowhere near ideal.

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #13 of 185 Old 08-31-2009, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting thoughts. What could it hurt to put a mirror behind it? I will try to do it tonight and tell you what I see - pictures and all.

I will also post some photos in darkness and compared to my original Goo screen, which is digital gray "light", which is lighter than this gray. I wonder if the gray of this spandex is more akin to the Goo digital gray (the "non-light" version), which is darker than digital gray light.

But the color is simply the one that they had at the store at the time. Many outlets offer many different shades of gray - and I would get that there is one that is a great shade, if this one turns out to be too dark.

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post #14 of 185 Old 08-31-2009, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Scherrer View Post

Interesting thoughts. What could it hurt to put a mirror behind it? I will try to do it tonight and tell you what I see - pictures and all.

MMan, has a good point. The mylar definitely won't work if it is shining through the stretched fabric. It may take a very particular fabric for a mylar substrate to work, or perhaps a particular combination of two stretched layers of fabric over the mylar.
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post #15 of 185 Old 09-01-2009, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Haven't had a chance to do anything but take some photos in total darkness. Now remember, this is an uncalibrated projector at relatively low resolution (600x800). The first photo is comparing the gray stretch screen with a parkland plastics sheet painted with Goo digital gray light. The rest are shots in total darkness - but handheld, without a tripod, so take it for what it is worth, I guess. I can see where having a lighter (white?) substrate under the stretch would brighten the image a bit. Not sure about a mirror, though.






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post #16 of 185 Old 09-03-2009, 06:01 AM
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Steve

Go get a 4' x 8' piece of Thrifty White ($11.00 @ HD) and stick that behind the cloth. With it's semi-gloss white surface, it's more akin to a MIRROR than a flat white, but not so nearly as over the top reflective as a mirror.

If the/your concept will work....and work well, I'll bet you that "White Fusion" is the answer.

And that's a sucker bet for me....because I've done it before with paint over such surfaces, and the difference is plainly obvious. When I employ a Mirror I make the coating a little heavier...or darker than when I do so over TWH. If you can see enough light pass through the cloth's weave that you can see someone plainly moving between a light and the opposite side of the cloth, then a Mirror will not work. A smooth, reflective white surface will...and I hope you move toward doing so....if only because the Screenies will improve drastically.

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post #17 of 185 Old 09-03-2009, 07:11 AM
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steve,

mm and i spent an entire weekend (4 days to be exact) learning and re-learning...what we thought we already knew about front and rear projection screens.

we were able to break down how light from in front and behind a screen breaks down an image...layer by layer (sprayed coat by sprayed coat).

and we were able to witness how the more light that passes through a screen without the screen being able to absorb the color, collect it, and return it back to the viewer... the more narrow the viewing cone became.

we saw some exellent applications with tremendous gain... but we also found the 30-40% (15%-20% off center) viewing cone inherent to them to be TOO limiting and really not acceptable.



so now with respect to your screen. if you take a took at the edge of your screen shots (especially the bottom edge)... where your screen material meets with the frame underneath... you'll see how much different backing your screen in white or even a slightly light grey will make.
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post #18 of 185 Old 09-03-2009, 10:32 AM
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I agree about adding something white behind the screen. I've played around with some samples lately behind black cloth, unpainted wall, white panel board, etc. The issue I'm having is that I want an AT screen so putting panel board behind it defeats the purpose.
I picked up a couple different samples of spandex from Joann's today as well as some SW type material from another shop. I'm going to try various things with them and will post screenshots in my build in the next day or two.
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post #19 of 185 Old 09-04-2009, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Great suggestions about adding something back there. Of course, ideally, you would want something completely opaque, and it does, a bit, defeat the purpose if you put a board back there (although on a fixed screen, it would be useful.) My thought is to actually include a dual layer - gray top layer of spandex, white bottom layer of spandex. You get the dual benefits of using the stretch of both to get a fatastically flat surface, but also, I would imagine, some great "brightening" of the image due to the white backing. I would imagine it would also still be AT?

PBMaxx - thanks for noticing that bottom part of the screen in my image - I had not noticed that, but it certainly makes sense.

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post #20 of 185 Old 09-05-2009, 03:05 PM
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Go to the link below, it is reviews of the XR-30x projector.
Look at the 3rd review down from the top "By: Zap Pantalo on Dec 12, 2008"

I can't post links yet so I had to chop-it-up but you can put it back together.

Here is a copy and past.

I also custom made my screen with a unique combination of thin medium grey net fabric and I placed a backlayer of StreetGlo reflective sheeting on the back side of the fabric. It made a sandwich of sorts that used the darker grey cloth as the ambient light reflector but through the cloth there was streetglo material that is way to reflective to use alone, but in this combination, I was lucky and came up with what might be the only pro-active movie screen. It has full rich and deep contrast thanks to the grey surface color but the projector does project through the thin cloth.. somewhat like tee-shirt material. and behind there is the streetglo reflective sheeting and it fires back a pretty bright reflection back through the cloth. In this case blacks look black and whites don't look like grey/whites but are actually quite brilliant. Like I said it was pure luck on my part but everyone that has visited me that has a projector can't belive the image Im getting. It looks deep and rich. Streetglo doesn't sell the sheeting normally but you can get it by contacting them


www. [REMOVE THIS] aboutprojectors.com [REMOVE THIS] /Sharp-XR-30X-projector-reviews.html
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post #21 of 185 Old 09-05-2009, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The big picture View Post


I also custom made my screen with a unique combination of thin medium grey net fabric and I placed a backlayer of StreetGlo reflective sheeting on the back side of the fabric. It made a sandwich of sorts that used the darker grey cloth as the ambient light reflector but through the cloth there was streetglo material that is way to reflective to use alone, but in this combination, I was lucky and came up with what might be the only pro-active movie screen.

Do a AVS Search on "Light Fusion". The use of a painted mirrored backing has been around fer a spell, and actually enjoys some degree of official *recognition.

And the idea of using a reflective backing behind a fabric has roots in the use of Mylar, Mirrors, Gloss White, and Flat white backings since 2002.

On the opposite end of the scale, the use of a "light" surface with a darker backing is/has also been employed.

All of those can be loosely construed as being "pro-active" in that they do so much more with the light they receive that just passively reflect it from one surface.

But all in all it's all still "passive" because nothing new is created....just redirected or changed. And since that change always involves winding up with the same or a lessor amount of energy, it's is/has to be considered as being passive.

Ya half to be careful around here not to make the mistake of every saying your Screen is "Active". The Boogeymen are lying out there...waiting to spring!

Quote:


It has full rich and deep contrast thanks to the grey surface color but the projector does project through the thin cloth.. somewhat like tee-shirt material. and behind there is the streetglo reflective sheeting and it fires back a pretty bright reflection back through the cloth. In this case blacks look black and whites don't look like grey/whites but are actually quite brilliant. Like I said it was pure luck on my part but everyone that has visited me that has a projector can't believe the image Im getting. It looks deep and rich. Streetglo doesn't sell the sheeting normally but you can get it by contacting them

Pure luck, eh? What made you decide on trying that course? There's been a awful lot of discussion about "Light Fusion" on Forums all around the Planet since 2004. Could have been the result of some not too subtle subliminal messaging.

On very cardinal rule in respect to DIY Screens is that seldom is there anything really New under the Sun. AVS has been home to some very forward thinkers, some of which have been/were instrumental in creating the standards and the basis for ideas and concepts we now have accomplished....but they were/have been at it since the 1990s.

Those guys HAD to try to make screens that improved upon what was effectively horrible standards of Projector performance. Bless'em fer it.

What is for certain is that today...we all have the ability and drive to make everything about DIY Screen making all the more better than it ever was previously...and we have the advantage of having much better PJs to help us reach those lofty goals.

In any case, it's always glad to see/read how someone has managed to further the concept by doing. The use of a "Highly Reflective" backing behind a translucent cloth is certainly not well enough known that you cannot hold yourself up for a bit if credit....that's for sure.

Welcome!

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post #22 of 185 Old 09-05-2009, 04:56 PM
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Hi MississippiMan,

If that "Welcome" was for me, Thank You very much.

I hope I did not make it look/sound like that Screen idea I Linked to was my idea, because it was not. I was looking for reviews for the Sharp XR-30X projector one day and just came accross it by chance. I thought it would be helpful in this thread so I posted it.
Hope I didn't break any copy right laws...LOL

MississippiMan,
What do you feel is the best screen idea so far in this (reflective sandwich) screen catagory ? And would you use one yourself ?
Also, what is your favorite grey DIY Screen for a PJ in the 1100LUM range(500 Lum or so in movie mode) in a light controlled room ?
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post #23 of 185 Old 09-06-2009, 04:16 AM
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[quote=The big picture;17128327]Hi MississippiMan,

If that "Welcome" was for me, Thank You very much.

I hope I did not make it look/sound like that Screen idea I Linked to was my idea, because it was not. I was looking for reviews for the Sharp XR-30X projector one day and just came across it by chance. I thought it would be helpful in this thread so I posted it.
Hope I didn't break any copy right laws...LOL[quote]

Hardly so. But we'd all be interested to know exactly where you first found the idea for using the materials you did in the manner you did. Or what led you to come up with the combo? A reference can only help others all the more, and serves to validate an idea more than a singular effort.

Quote:


MississippiMan,
What do you feel is the best screen idea so far in this (reflective sandwich) screen catagory ? And would you use one yourself ?

As far as a "Fabric" I think the Dazian Trapeze Plus Titanium Gray shows the most promise as a FP material, with the Trapeze Plus Dove Gray close behind as both Front & Rear projection. I'd use a reflective "White" backing for the Titanium for Front Projection, and only consider a Mirror for the darker Gray fabrics...much the same as is done with Light Fusion where the mirror allows for such as far as using a darker shade of gray paint.

Quote:


Also, what is your favorite grey DIY Screen for a PJ in the 1100LUM range(500 Lum or so in movie mode) in a light controlled room ?

S-I-L-V-E-R if it's done right on a bright white substrate. RS-MaxxMudd on a Acrylic Mirror or White Board comes in a close second.

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #24 of 185 Old 09-06-2009, 12:45 PM
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Steve Scherrer,

A mirror or mylar does what a white substrate does, only better, IF the fabric is not so porous as to allow tiny spots of light to be seen reflecting back through the fabric.

Of course I understand it might be too much to ask to obtain an unframed mirror to hold flush to the back of your fabric screen, no problem.

I think you've got an amazing value in a DIY screen for only $20. And using this stretchy material for a pull down screen is another great idea. I'd be interested in seeing picks of that too when finished.

Thanks
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post #25 of 185 Old 09-06-2009, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Still working on my ideas - I did try a small front reflective mirror (about 1ft x 1ft) and wrapped the gray material around it and placed by the screen.

I did not notice much of a difference in the image, except it simply introduced the bulb reflecting back.

So I went back to the fabric store (this time to Hancock fabrics) and picked up 3 1/2 yards of white material that I picked up for $1.95/yd - it does not have the stretch like the gray material has, but I am hoping for the effect talked about above. It is not really reflective, but rather matte, and frankly was purchased because of the price. It was in the value fabric section, and besides that, had no real identifying marks. In other words, it was simply called "Value Fabric" (I believe).

I have yet to put the white backing up. But I spent the bulk of yesterday putting together a DIY anamorphic lens for this system that I have been meaning to do for a while - and I am getting a really good cinemascope image out of my old Benq PB1600 projector.

I have the "plans" for my retractable screen, and am continuing to work on that as well. The thought is to stretch the material between two parallel nylon ropes - with the screen stretched and glued to the nylon rope. So far, I am a little leary about the adhesive I picked - I don't think it will hold, and I am not sure how I am going to proceed at this point in time, but this has taken a back seat as I finish this fixed screen in the basement.

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post #26 of 185 Old 09-06-2009, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Scherrer View Post

I did not notice much of a difference in the image, except it simply introduced the bulb reflecting back.

Yep, that's hot-spotting, just what you were checking for that tells us a mirror or mylar won't work with that stretched material. You never know, the white material could end up being a better solution than a more reflective white substrate because your stretched material could be too porous. A more reflective white substrate "may" still produce similar hot-spotting. Carry on with the good work. Thanks!
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post #27 of 185 Old 09-07-2009, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Update:

I was able to experiment a little with that white material I picked up very cheap at Hancock Fabrics ($1.95/yd). Simply, I think it makes a huge difference, and the image projected on the screen is just great! The colors really pop (compared to without the white backing). Whites are brighter, but it did not seem to dull the blacks at all.

I am very pleased with it. Here are a few photos that I think will be self-explanatory, but let me know if you have any questions. I started by only putting the material behind half the screen to get a good comparison, and I picked a photo that I thought would show, most dramatically, the difference with the white backing - which is the green image posted - you can clearly see the brighter green on the left and the duller, darker green on the right. I also added a few shots at the end of the screen in total darkness as well as with lights on to see how it holds up with a direct bulb shining on it (I think 65 watt equivalent CFL bulb):










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post #28 of 185 Old 09-07-2009, 07:34 PM
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Steve,

Photo 2 sez a lot.....in conjunction with Photo 3, both plainly show that any fabric or solid material that allows too high a percentage of light to pass through without retaining and reusing the same, will suffer adverse attenuation and a loss of contrast assisted detail. Obviously the weave on that particular stretch gray is very sheer
We've just seen "White Taunt Fabric Fusion" light up before our eyes. And at room temperature too !

"WTF" Fusion" It doesn't get come any better than that.

Now what about a bright white stretch cloth backed with the Trapeze Plus Titainium?

That's a "Revisited via Cloth" example of the older, well proven MMud/Silver Metallic paint application, and with the latter being two surfaces directly in contact with each others, a very similar situation indeed.

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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post #29 of 185 Old 09-07-2009, 08:12 PM
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WTF Fusion... I love it.

Congrats! That's got to be the cheapest, best looking Fusion of them all.
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post #30 of 185 Old 09-08-2009, 02:50 AM
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Yah, that's a pretty good sense of humor there MMan.
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