Black Flame vs. Neutral Gray Discussion - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 225 Old 02-28-2006, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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it appears that there are a few that don't think that this discussion should happen on the black flame thead so I wanted to start this one to see if the theories can be worked out. maybe the parties involved can even post some tests that will prove black flame. i just want to find out why there is a difference. i have reposted mississippiman's reply from the other thread with my comment and additional questions. hopefully i'll get some answers so i can understand the black flame mix better.

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Originally Posted by MississippiMan
You need to re-read Mission's post. He was pretty much "dead on" target. With a little correction for "windage", he could give Cheney a good go at any "Shoot Out".

i went back and re-read it as you suggested. i still don't understand how that would not introduce a viewing cone problem. by saying that the screen has gain doesn't that mean there is more light coming back to the viewer than is being scattered?

Taking too narrow a view of the effect of the metallics is what is tripping you up.

"Narrow" could be defined as suggesting via a "question" that there is a reduction in "viewing cone" which is decidely NOT the case. Your new, so you do have some reading to catch up on. Reading the posts of those who have actually made a Black Flame screen will offer you more to go on than participating in speculative Q& A sessions. But personaly like the way you pose your queries, without too much pre-determination of what you feel the answer will/would/should be. Many on here could take a lesson from such an approach.

i have read through a majority of this thread but didn't find any real technical discussion about how this works. that's why i am asking. i understand that those actually using black flame are pretty happy with it but i want to find out why this is different than a gray screen...from a technical point of view. it seems to me that it's just lest costly to buy a gray paint from home depot than it is to buy all the separate ingrediants for black flame.

There is no precise alignment of the metallic flakes that would result in a despairingly large majority of reflected light returning directly back toward the viewer. There is a "preponderance" of light coming back, but it's directionality is mitigated by the Pearl, which containing a far more diluted mixture (smaller Mica Flakes) of reflective material, helps to moderately redirect light over a broader area within the Mix, and hence, outward into the viewing area. A Purer Aluminum or Silver surface will always be more directional, and therefore look significantly brighter, but usually suffer from a much more directional viewing cone aspect.

so, if I understand this correctly, then what you are saying is that the combination of metalics and thier various orientations make a screen that scatters the light the same as a matte screen?

Recent mixes/applications using such brighter paints and/or surfaces are not new, but some of the approaches, and the "direct reflective"compensatory materials being used are, and the result is a mixture of older, well known virtues/vices with more recent revelations concerning refraction of light All in all, this bodes well for those who need must seek out the brightest possible application, for if the directionality issues of such mixes are conqured, they will have a very important place in the broader scheme of things than they currently do.

The higher lumen PJs avaliable today allow for the inclusion of a darker base mixture in Black Flame. The addition of compensatory pigments help balance out shifts (pushes) toward the extreme ranges of the color spectrum.

this makes sense to me. more light from the projector means you can have a less reflective surface (darker) as long as a comfortable amount of light still reaches the viewer.

No matter if the PJ is bright, and the BF base surface is dark, or the PJ of a lower lumen nature and the BF base surface lighter in hue, a mix based on the multi-pigment concept that is Black Flame in it's several varieties works to augment and enhance reflective light in a more balanced nature than many/most other applications that strive from brightness as the solution for battling ambient light, or "Grays" that seek to do likewise by sheer darkness and a excess of available lumens. Such "Bright" applications might be perfectly at home in higher ambient light situations, but just too intense and discomforting in controlled lighting situations, or "Grays" with PJs of higher lumens might result in intense colors and blacks, but at the expense of "color correctness" and a controllable level of dynamics.

what i still don't completely understand is how this can "augment and enhance reflective light". doesn't than kind of statement imply that there is some increase in efficiency? wouldn't that also introduce a viewing cone problem. i think we all agree that light can't be created.

This then is why Black Flame does in fact exist as a flexible mixture. It's just about able to be adjusted for any circumstance, and do a great job indeed in any circumstance if correctly applied to that existing situation.

There is no contradiction...; only a controlled combination of the effects presented by several different and varying "enhancements". This in itself is pretty alien thinking to many with plenty of experience in dealing with Front Projection Screens....DIY or otherwise. Screens have always been thought of as being "passive"..., even UHG Screens didn't alter the light (...beyond some "pushing"...) but rather redirected light more toward dead center. Black Flame does in fact take Light (color0 and make it work toward an end result it otherwise would never take advantage of or produce. It certainly cannot be considered "passive", but how far it goes toward being "active" (....actually altering light to an advantage...) is not within my ability to ascertain accurately enough to make and definitive statement.

i'll be honest and say that this black flame looks like a good solution for many people. i just don't understand how light can be altered. how is it being altered? i can see that it is being reflected but not altered.

But you know it will happen.

PB_Maxx's work toward finding effective balance points between reflectivity and enhancement is what has led our charge toward achieving ambient light performance without suffering too much compromise in other departments. I personally do feel that there are specific elements in Black Flame that do in fact help to "reject" ambient light to enough of a degree to make a noticible difference, but it has never been claimed that pure rejection of such was it's strongest suit. It has, is, will always be a combination of several aspects specifically unique to Black Flame's make-up that working together, on or off a reflective substrate, that will result in a excellent blending of the most widest selection of desirable attributes.

so, maybe black flame does reject ambient light...and you feel that it makes a noticible difference. if true that would mean that the black flame certainly is different than a regular gray screen. isn't there some way to measure the spectrum that the screen reflects? wouldn't that be the final proof?

That Black Flame is compared to/against the "Industry's" Ambient Light offerings is testomony that something decidely new can often cross bounderies that have been left unexplored, and can wind up doing more than any single-purpose application has done prior, across a broader front as well.

where can if find these direct comparisons? i'm sorry but i haven't found these yet. can you direct me to them?
well, that was a bit of info to go through but i think it is important for myself and others to understand how black flame works. i believe that it's important before jumping into a more costly solution.
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post #2 of 225 Old 02-28-2006, 08:44 PM
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So what's the main difference in terms of performance between a plain gray painted screen and one painted with gray mix with a metallic paint?

Is it not better performance in ambient light?
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post #3 of 225 Old 02-28-2006, 09:33 PM
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No, I dont think that is true. A gain screen does not necessarily help with ambient light. A retro-reflective gain screen appears to help somewhat, since ambient light hitting the screen reflects back towards the source (and away from the viewer).

I doubt metallic paint is retro-reflective.

Regardless, the real question is: Does black flame reject more ambient light than a grey mix with metallic paint?
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post #4 of 225 Old 02-28-2006, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kromkamp
Regardless, the real question is: Does black flame reject more ambient light than a grey mix with metallic paint?
also, does black flame reject more ambient light than a gray mix WITHOUT metalics? it looks like a quite a few have used behr silverscreen and like that too. that doesn't have any metalics.
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post #5 of 225 Old 02-28-2006, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kromkamp
No, I dont think that is true. A gain screen does not necessarily help with ambient light. A retro-reflective gain screen appears to help somewhat, since ambient light hitting the screen reflects back towards the source (and away from the viewer).

I doubt metallic paint is retro-reflective.

Regardless, the real question is: Does black flame reject more ambient light than a grey mix with metallic paint?
Oh, I can appreciate the interest some have in the "how does it work" aspect of the gray vs gray with metallic question.

However, I fall in the "which works best however it works" group. And the answer to that question seems to be as simple as painting up a couple of test panels and comparing them.

And although I have not compared a gray paint like SilverScreen to a gray mix with a metallic paint, I'm fairly certain the metallic mix would perform better with ambient light.

Of course if the main difference between the two is something other than their performance with ambient light, I'd like to know what it is.
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post #6 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 04:08 AM
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The way I see it from my testing is that the metallics help the whites, and the flat finishes and colors help the blacks.
Paint a sample using only Folk Art metallic sterling silver, and you will have better whites than a plain white screen, they litterally glow thanks to the metallics. All other parts of the image suffer however because of the same reasons.
Leave out all the metallics in these mixes and just paint the screen a flat grey and the blacks look outstanding, ambient light veiwing becomes much better because the screen absorbs light like crazy, but the whites suffer a great deal.

BFLF is simply a grey screen that met the 2 problems in the middle, nothing more nothing less.

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post #7 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 05:00 AM
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Screens can't "reject" ambient light. They are reflectors and absorbers of light.

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post #8 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 07:20 AM
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im thinking about doing the behr paint, but when you go to HD or whatever is the paint called Behr SilverScreen or is there a paint formula that makes silverscreen. if so does anyone know the fomula.
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post #9 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMB2010
im thinking about doing the behr paint, but when you go to HD or whatever is the paint called Behr SilverScreen or is there a paint formula that makes silverscreen. if so does anyone know the fomula.
The color is Behr Silver Screen 770E-2. This should be all HD needs to mix it.
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post #10 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biglyle
The way I see it from my testing is that the metallics help the whites, and the flat finishes and colors help the blacks.
Paint a sample using only Folk Art metallic sterling silver, and you will have better whites than a plain white screen, they litterally glow thanks to the metallics. All other parts of the image suffer however because of the same reasons.
Leave out all the metallics in these mixes and just paint the screen a flat grey and the blacks look outstanding, ambient light veiwing becomes much better because the screen absorbs light like crazy, but the whites suffer a great deal.

BFLF is simply a grey screen that met the 2 problems in the middle, nothing more nothing less.
biglyle,
everything you said here makes sense to me. i just don't understand why black flame would not have a reduced viewing cone. it seems that mississippiman is adamant that there is no reduction. i don't see how it is possible. what i see a possible is that somehow black flame does direct light back to the viewer at the expense of less light at high viewing angles. i think ericglo mentioned measuring gain at different angles. that would work as a good test for this issue wouldn't it?
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post #11 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 09:09 AM
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I thought that screen shot provided was sufficient proof of no viewing cone. I know people say the camera adjusts for the reduced light, but so do our eyes. You could have positive gain with a good horizontal cone by having a reduced vertical cone. I think we would all take that compromise. I don't really care about positive gain myself, as long as it isn't too negative and rejects ambient light. Yes, Benven, I know it doesn't "reject" but that is the goal and easier to say.
A simple screen shot of BF compared to the same hue grey and BO cloth would solve all these issues of whether it works. How it works may never be solved. We just figured out how a bumblebee can fly last year. We still have no "proof" of how it flys. The mathmatical formula may never be found.
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post #12 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 11:06 AM
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BF and most of the newer metalic mixes are angular reflective. It is the same princaple as the Silverstar which has an extrodinarily wide viewing cone for a 6 gain screen. The particles do not necessarily reflect directly back at the viewer but all around. Now that said most of the light does get reflected back towards the source as you increase the amount of partlicles in the mix. The catch is that the thicker and less translucent the mix the more "glow" effect you get up to the point where the medium starts to mute the reflective particles. This is because the light is diffusing in the medium.

The more uniform the metalic particles the narrower the viewing cone is going to be.

THe thinner the mix and density of the metalics in the mix will also affect the viewing cone.


Does that make sense?

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post #13 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 11:40 AM
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There is no viewing cone because there is not enough metallics in the mix to create a noticable cone.
There are enough metallics in the mix to help the whites and colors stay somewhat bright, while still allowing the blacks to be black and not a shiny grey as too much metallic would cause.

The effect that BF creates is due to the combination of the right amount of metallics, and the right amount of a flat base, the colors IMO have no influence at all, other than to make it easier or more complicated to adjust the specific shade of grey.

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post #14 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wnielsenbb
I thought that screen shot provided was sufficient proof of no viewing cone. I know people say the camera adjusts for the reduced light, but so do our eyes. You could have positive gain with a good horizontal cone by having a reduced vertical cone. I think we would all take that compromise. I don't really care about positive gain myself, as long as it isn't too negative and rejects ambient light. Yes, Benven, I know it doesn't "reject" but that is the goal and easier to say.
A simple screen shot of BF compared to the same hue grey and BO cloth would solve all these issues of whether it works. How it works may never be solved. We just figured out how a bumblebee can fly last year. We still have no "proof" of how it flys. The mathmatical formula may never be found.
Warren.
so if the photos taken by pb_maxxx show there is no viewing cone problem, I don't understand how it is any different than how a matte surface works. do the metallics actually reflect more overall light than titanium pigment?
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post #15 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biglyle
There is no viewing cone because there is not enough metallics in the mix to create a noticable cone.
There are enough metallics in the mix to help the whites and colors stay somewhat bright, while still allowing the blacks to be black and not a shiny grey as too much metallic would cause.

The effect that BF creates is due to the combination of the right amount of metallics, and the right amount of a flat base, the colors IMO have no influence at all, other than to make it easier or more complicated to adjust the specific shade of grey.
I agree however if the metalics were RGB it would be a different story. I did some testing with some translucent airbrush metalics it was interesting.

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post #16 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 11:50 AM
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I can attest to BF not having any viewing cone issues what so ever. I've had my BFLF screen since October and have not experienced any viewing cone.
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post #17 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 11:54 AM
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"I agree however if the metalics were RGB it would be a different story. "

thats the thing, all these paint are just colors with metallics added to them. The metallic fleks dont have any actual color to them.

Also once mixed together, you only see the new color, and the only reason you see a new color is because the properties of the 3 colors have combined to create it. This couldnt happen if they kept their individual properties. Grey is grey no matter how you get there.

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post #18 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 12:03 PM
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Yes, but if you had RGB metalic particles from a distance it would look grey because of our perception. Up close you would see the RGB particles.

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post #19 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 12:57 PM
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Also I can attest metalic particles don't always do what you want either. I worked in a body shop many years, and sometimes if you didn't spray right the metalic wouldn't lay down right and the spot wouldn't match the rest of the car.
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post #20 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 01:43 PM
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" Yes, but if you had RGB metalic particles"

But where do you get these?
How do distribute them evenly accross the entire surface?
What do you suspend them in?

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post #21 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 01:44 PM
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Re: viewing cone
Anybody have a light meter (and know how to use it) and a BF?

Re: grey vs. multi-pigment
Any brave soul want to try this experiment?
1.Mix up a batch of BF without color components.
2. Divide into 2 equal parts.
3. In the first part add the proportional amount of color components (thus making a true BF mix)
4. In the second part add a gray with a similar intensity as the color component mix until this new mix looks like the BF mix.
5. Paint 'em up side by side
6. Post a screen shot and let people guess which is which.

I've realized that I don't really belong in a DIY forum because I'm so frickin' lazy. But I can't find a paint based HSEDI* forum.

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post #22 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 01:48 PM
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And if whoever has that light meter could also throw up some BOC as reference, we could also estimate gain. :)
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post #23 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 02:06 PM
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Marc

You would have to make sure that the grey you use has an equal amount of metallics as the colors it is being substituted for.

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I have the facility to measure comparative gain , both on & off axis. If anyone is interested in sending samples, let me know.
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post #25 of 225 Old 03-01-2006, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biglyle
Marc

You would have to make sure that the grey you use has an equal amount of metallics as the colors it is being substituted for.
True, but as just an educated starting point, if the parts to be replaced are:


4 oz. Delta Pale Metallic Gold #02624
2 oz. Plaid (Folk Art) Inca Gold #676
.95 oz. Delta Tompte Red #02107
.95 oz. Delta Red Metallic Copper #02605
0.5 oz. Windsor & Newtwon "Galleria" - Pthalo Green (PG7)
0.33 oz. Delta Pthalo Blue #02502

then, start with 7 oz. of a metallic silver and then gray 'til it's as dark as the BF mix.
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post #26 of 225 Old 03-02-2006, 04:35 AM
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Marc, I think that would be an excellent starting point. I have painted a BF on a piece of MDF and all I can sya is it looks no better than an RS Maxx, or whatever that mix is called. Took it down. Too dark, whites are dingy and does no better in ambient light than a gray paint with some metallics in it. This is my opinion. I don't want to sway any others. But I have tried it unlike some people who claim that BF is the best thing since sliced bread but without comparison to another screen. Needless to say, a plain white screen will blow it away in dark conditions.

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post #27 of 225 Old 03-02-2006, 04:58 AM
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Ben

Yep, I rolled up a sample my self and painted a half screen size sample with it. I noticed it does exactly what all the other grey mixes I have tried do.

It gives better blacks at the expense of whites.
It helps in ambient light, because it is grey. This will make colors appear faily bright as well, dark scenes still suffer dramatically, again this is typical of any grey screen I have tried.

Honestly if you took a batch of 1 part, SM, 1 part pearl, 1/2 matte poly, 1/2 UPW and had HD tint with SS formula, you would have the same thing.

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post #28 of 225 Old 03-02-2006, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biglyle
Yep, I rolled up a sample my self and painted a half screen size sample with it. I noticed it does exactly what all the other grey mixes I have tried do.

It gives better blacks at the expense of whites.
It helps in ambient light, because it is grey. This will make colors appear faily bright as well, dark scenes still suffer dramatically, again this is typical of any grey screen I have tried.

Honestly if you took a batch of 1 part, SM, 1 part pearl, 1/2 matte poly, 1/2 UPW and had HD tint with SS formula, you would have the same thing.
My trials suggest exactly the same thing - the BF formula seems to be a complication of the original pyro formula, not an improvement. My tests also indicate that though there are many roads to gray, it is still gray.
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post #29 of 225 Old 03-02-2006, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prof55
My trials suggest exactly the same thing - the BF formula seems to be a complication of the original pyro formula, not an improvement. My tests also indicate that though there are many roads to gray, it is still gray.

I agree for the most part, but when you take the metalics out of the mix and let them do their job it is a whole different story.

I think the real question is the BF a grey or silver screen....... Really that is what makes a difference. Is there enough metalics to overpower the other elements in the mix. For what I am reading here the answer is no?

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post #30 of 225 Old 03-02-2006, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biglyle
Ben

Yep, I rolled up a sample my self and painted a half screen size sample with it. I noticed it does exactly what all the other grey mixes I have tried do.

It gives better blacks at the expense of whites.
It helps in ambient light, because it is grey. This will make colors appear faily bright as well, dark scenes still suffer dramatically, again this is typical of any grey screen I have tried.

Honestly if you took a batch of 1 part, SM, 1 part pearl, 1/2 matte poly, 1/2 UPW and had HD tint with SS formula, you would have the same thing.
biglyle,
wouldn't you need to add a little more yellow and red pigment than the SilverScreen formula because of the blue tint from the silver metalic, pearl, and UPW? maybe we could find another off the shelf paint that has the right amounts of color balancing components to work with the blue tinted components.
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