I'm interested in creating a combination home theater and photo studio. The space available is a basement 13' 6 wide by 31' long by 7' high. The walls are cement block, the ceiling is tiled, and the floor is carpeted.
The plan is to place drywall on the walls and ceiling with new recessed lighting fixtures and electrical outlets. The home theater projection screen would be attached to the 13' 6 wall which would be painted black. The remaining walls and ceiling would be painted neutral flat white (except for a 30 wide black strip on the ceiling across the top of the black wall). There would be a U shaped double ceiling curtain track with the projection screen in the middle of the U shape. The track closest to the walls would have a 12' by 7' green screen fabric normally on one side of the U and a 12' by 7' white projection screen fabric normally on the other side of the U. The track further from the walls would have 12' by 7' black velvet fabric curtains on either side of the U which normally cover the green and white screens. The fabrics would be mounted by snaps to carriers in the tracks such that they could be fan folded and pushed out of the way when needed or pulled over the projection screen when needed as backgrounds for photography. The black velvet curtains can be used as masks when needed to change the aspect ratio of the projection screen or to mask the green or white backgrounds.
Home Theater Considerations
I have been taking 3D photographs for over 45 years and make my own 3D videos and 3D lenticular prints which can be viewed without special glasses. I have used my two Panasonic PT-AE700U LCD projectors with StereoBright 90% efficient polarizers (advisol.co.il) and old 70 square Da-Lite lenticular silver screen for showing 3D videos to audiences up to 200 people. I've recently purchased a new 84 square Da-Lite Silver Lite 2.5 screen for the same purpose. The new screen doesn't have the moiré effect experienced by digital projection on a lenticular screen, but does seem to have such high gain that it is difficult to obtain uniform illumination. I'm hoping that a DIY silver screen in the controlled environment of a darkened room with ceiling mounted projectors (upside down and side-by-side) would provide much better results.
Since I make my own 3D videos, I can control the amount of disparity between views (I have seven 3D HD video rigs in which I can set the spacing between cameras). I normally set this disparity to 1/30th of the image width. Since the normal spacing between eyes is about 2.5, this means a screen width of 75 would be about optimum without having the difference between infinity points becoming greater than the eye spacing. However, I could shoot with less disparity or push the image forward in space if desired to prevent this condition. Nevertheless, I'd really like to see my videos on a much larger screen.
So, my first request is for advice on the type and size of screen as well as the corresponding distance between projectors and screen for my particular projectors. Keep in mind that my polarizers are highly efficient and I doubt a really high gain silver screen is necessary. I'd especially like to end up with even illumination for passive polarized projection.
Photo Studio Considerations
I do a lot of green screen photography; especially for 3D lenticular portraits (my lenticular camera array consists of 13 cameras with a total stereo base of about 8). I also do a lot of 2D portrait photography. Rather than use various canvas backdrops, which I normally do, I'd like to develop a new technique. In this method I'd use the 12' by 7' white projection fabric as the backdrop. I'd project background images onto this screen using speedlights or studio strobes and the appropriate optics with slides. The images could be a single color (green for example) or any image desired. The projection device could be quite small and located behind the subject. Or, a larger and more complex device could be constructed and mounted to the ceiling much like video projectors. In any event, the method would have to work in combination with studio lighting and not result in having the projected image washed out by the other lighting. For example, I often use a ring light for fill and this light might wipe out the projected image if the screen gain or retro-reflectivity is too high. I'd appreciate some comments on how this technique might be made to work.