Grays- Simple one can paints, and one very neutral... - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 602 Old 01-16-2007, 02:13 AM
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Thanks alot for all of your research, it is still a little overwhelming for me, but i think i am starting to get the hang of this stuff
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post #272 of 602 Old 01-16-2007, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Bob

Yeah there is a lot to digest in here and on the other threads too. Good thing you didn't stumble onto the RGB thread as your first read There is a lot of interesting information in there, but it's way more technical than any other thread.

The basic gist of all the information in here is data and testing specifically for neutral grays. For a long long time many were looking for a true neutral and theorized the benefits of them. Before we had data to really see what was going on, it was hard to tell if a gray really was neutral or not and there was a lot of debate and speculation.

What I think we found was that neutrals do work well as a nice even palate and they reflect colors the most accurately. Whites remain very white even with darker shades of gray, and by going darker it allows better performance with some room lighting on as well as helping black levels look their best. Even the color experts on Munsell at RTI agreed with the theory and idea of using neutrals.

Each step is a piece of the puzzle. Another thing found was although we knew commercial screens and the best performing DIY screens all had similar color characteristics that I call the 'V' curve, we are pretty confident we know why... but there is one interesting thing I observed and reported on that didn't get much attention, at least not yet-- that is as the screen shade goes darker, the green deficiency starts to get smaller and pull back toward neutral. To me this goes along with what I have seen first hand, and that is neutrals allow us to go darker without taking as much of a performance hit when it comes to color shifting and muddy looking whites.

If we continue making the same progress in 2007 that was made in 2006, I predict that by the end of the year there will be a whole line of screens from very dark to white that are on par with the upper echelon of the commercial screens. We already have several methods, both simple substrates and more advanced paints that hit this level of performance, but I think we are going to see even more this year.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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post #273 of 602 Old 01-16-2007, 10:11 PM
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I just finished testing SW matte Gray Screen side by side next to Behr UPW flat latex #1050 with the color 060 Lamp Black, 030 Yellow Oxide. Neither has a poly coating (thats next). I will upload some pics if i can figure out how. Keep in mind that i did NOT calibrate for each one. I just wanted to see some immediate results. The SW Gray Screen is quite a bit darker gray than the Behr mix. So i was expecting dramatic differences. Also, I am far from an expert...so im not going give you any "rgb" values or true color representation.....nor could I even if i wanted to. The bottom line is this; With very little ambiant light and lights out, the Behr combo crushed the SW Matte Gray Screen IMO. The colors popped better, the whites were very very white,(Gray Screen whites looked gray) and the blacks were extremly close.....some dark scenes i couldnt even tell. The Behr mix just was a heck of alot more pleasing to the eye. That being said, with lights on...the SW Gray screen was easier to see, but it still looks like crap and i wouldnt watch it like that anyway...so for me...It's a non-factor. I am very excited to see what the Behr mix will look like with the poly coating as fneasy suggests. Im sure i will go with that!

*****CORRECTION!! THIS TEST IS INVALID DUE TO THE WRONG BEHR PAINT SPECS....and the idiot who did it!************


** Subtrate is Drywall, 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of paint.
** Infocus IN72, 17ft back projecting 120" Screen, HDMI
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post #274 of 602 Old 01-16-2007, 11:24 PM
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You can see the black is a bit better with SW Grayscreen on this on. Although..maybe i could have adjusted the brightness and contrast. I suppose i could have adjusted it to make the whites whiter on the SW Grayscreen as well?? I also think i took this picture to close to the screen...i would have changed it but my camera died...lol.
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post #275 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 04:46 AM
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Good info Steve. I look forward to looking at your pics on a 'normal' monitor (my monitor at work is crap). From what I can see, I'm kind of surprised at how much lighter Tiddler's mix is compared to the SW GS... I thought they would be much closer. While I agree calibrating would improve each, it's good to see how they compare side by side with your basic calibration... you're not stacking the deck one way other the other.

Another thing worth noting is the GS might come alive after a poly TC is added.
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post #276 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 06:20 AM
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Steve,

Try this simple tweak.

Brightness -2
Contrast +2
Gamma +2

If that does not improve the SW's white reproduction, then either the PJ is too dim for that color, or the color is just too dark..

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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post #277 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I am surprised at the difference in shade too. The Behr mix looks closer to an N9 than N8 in shade. With two shades differing like that side by side comparisons this way are going to be hard because the projector is typically calibrated for one color and not the other.

Since you say the Gray Screen whites looked gray you're definitely not calibrated for a darker screen. My whites are very white, and the colors are dead on. Also keep in mind that it will look even better after a week, and that goes for all painted screens not just GS.

There were other threads with side by side comparisons done like this and the darker screen (FG in this case) initially did not look as good as the white screen (Parkland) it was being compared to. After the projector was calibrated for the darker screen, that scenario reversed and FG looked better than the white screen.

When comparing side by side like this it is difficult to compare two screens that differ this much in shade. You said you didn't calibrate for either, what were you using for a screen before this test? If it was a lighter screen then it makes sense the lighter shade is going to look better.

I wonder how many materials, paints, and methods have been discarded by testing this way? If both test screens are similar in shade then it would be a good test and you could see the differences between two materials, but these are definitely contrasting shades, so you will either be calibrated for one and not the other, and the screen that the projector is calibrated for will naturally look better.

Some are going to say that sounds like an excuse, and it isn't. Based on the comments and observations I know GS performs better than stated and I just wanted to point out how much calibration comes into play.

Totally unrelated material and shade, but someone bought a sheet of Designer White on my recommendation. At first they were disgusted with it and said it looked the same as their beige wall they were using. After talking to them, they recalibrated and tried different light settings and the picture dramatically increased in color, brightness and vividness. They were originally going to discard it and buy a commercial screen. Now they seem very happy with it. That is how much of a difference calibration, gamma, and your light settings can make.

Steve for this test I think a better comparison would have been with Soothing White and the Behr mix, that way both screens would be relatively equal in just about all ways and a side by side would really show a good comparison.

I am not knocking Behr, but Sherwin Williams is really a better quality paint than Behr, which is the same company as Glidden. There are no magic components in either of these samples, no special ingredients, no pinch or this or that... they are both pretty much regular paints. Both have a good color balance, Tiddler's has the green deficiency seen in the 'V' curve, and Gray Screen is almost completely neutral. If they were both the same shade, I'm pretty confident that the matte finish is going to look better than the flat finish. After a poly coating that is going to change seeing the flat is being given a matte coating that slightly diffuses the image, I am not sure how much 'depth' one coat adds though. Side by side after a poly coating I would expect two screens the same shade to look almost identical between the flat with a matte poly coating and the regular matte finish paint.

The last thing it comes down to is personal preference. Even after fully calibrating to Gray Screen you just may not like a screen that dark, so go with the lighter option. I don't think GS got a good representation though in this initial test, and I wouldn't count it out because of this. I'll even say if you were calibrated for GS it would 'crush' the Behr test panel... but I will also say that wouldn't be a fair comparison test for the Behr panel then...

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post #278 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Steve,

Try this simple tweak.

Brightness -2
Contrast +2
Gamma +2

If that does not improve the SW's white reproduction, then either the PJ is too dim for that color, or the color is just too dark..

If the projector is too dim then of course the color is too dark, unless you are saying the color is too dark in general for any use, and I will have to disagree with that.

I'm in the minority here, but I never liked multiple test panel comparisons unless all the sample panels were similar in shade. I think it's impossible to compare light to dark whether it is comparing commercial screens or DIY. Sure each have their pros and cons, darker doing better with lighting conditions, white more accurate in color reproduction, and so on... but as I just stated in the previous post the projector is going to be calibrated for one and not the other. IF there was a way to calibrate somewhere in the middle, then nether screen would look its best, so I don't know what good a test like that would do.

This is just me, but paint is inexpensive so I put up a full size screen and let it sit and use it for a week or two and see how I like it once it is fully dry. Some didn't fair well and that was that, others performed very well. I am sure if I did side by side test panels there would be some methods and shades I probably would have tossed without ever trying it full screen and with a calibrated projector... and like I said I am wondering how many things got discarded this exact same way...

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post #279 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Isn't it hard to calibrate for a panel vice a whole screen?

I've talked to guys that do professional calibration and they have said if someone walks in the room with a white shirt it is enough to change the calibration (when it's being done I should say... that didn't mean anytime someone walks in your room you have to recalibrate!) Two panels of different shades side by side would be very difficult to get a true calibration done... more so because of the human factor than anything.

Our eye would naturally key on the lighter material and being brighter it would give us a 'white reference' so when we start calibrating for the darker panel it's going to be in reference to the lighter one sitting right next to it, and it's doubtful that a full and accurate calibration could be done this way for either color. It probably would be close, but I am sure anyone on this forum would prefer their methods be tested in optimal conditions and not just ball park ones, unless of course the goal is to make one look better than the other-- which I do not think was the case or intent here.

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post #280 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

Stevem911,

The Behr UPW + 6LB + 3YO is that mixed in a quart or gallon?

It might be a gallon... I was thinking the two pannels should be almost identical given the reported RGB numbers. Something other than the flat/matte difference is not adding up.
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post #281 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tiddler View Post

I don't know! I've never tried it. Your probably right it might be difficult.

I guess my point is tha given two really good screens but one is darker, the lighter one usually looks better for flesh.

I still think that's relative to the environment too... side by side yes, but for a full size screen with a calibrated projector I don't think people are going to notice unless the gray is shifting all colors like I experienced with SS. I never could get reds to look red, flesh tones were off, whites muddy... I haven't had any of those problems with a neutral.

I am still surprised at how light the Behr mix was, something doesn't seem right, like you asked maybe it was mixed for a gallon and not a quart... I really would like to see comparisons of the same shade, and whatever Steve has I would like to see compared to Soothing White in a matte finish.

Steve, you got a whole gallon of GS?

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post #282 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

Stevem911,

The Behr UPW + 6LB + 3YO is that mixed in a quart or gallon?

I must admit I'm surprised the Gray Screen looks so much darker then the UPW+6LB+3YO/qt.

For pete's sake....its a GALLON! So i take it i goofed? Sorry about that. If nothing else...I learned something.

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post #283 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbassett View Post

and whatever Steve has I would like to see compared to Soothing White in a matte finish.

LMAO.....Who the hell know's what concocsion I just brewed up!! To funny....heh.

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post #284 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 09:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by stevem911 View Post

LMAO.....Who the hell know's what concocsion I just brewed up!! To funny....heh.

So you used a one quart formula to make a gallon right? Doh!

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post #285 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't think anyone was upset with you Steve, just trying to figure out why the colors were so much different than expected.

As for my question, you got a gallon of SW Grey Screen too? I only ask because at $42 a gallon it was a bit much just for a test, but if you were fine with the price that's all that matters-- besides it won't go to waste if you go with a lighter screen, you can always paint the wall with GS which would be a nice darker contrast to the lighter screen...

If you got a quart of GS in flat, I really don't know how it would look 'pop' wise since I used the matte finish, but color wise it should kick butt in color reproduction for a dark gray the same as the matte finish.

Paint sheen's are as follows

Flat
Matte **
Eggshell
Satin
Semi-Gloss
Gloss
High Gloss

(** Not all paint manufacturers carry a matte finish)

I have used Eggshell before and although it was always recommended not to use it, I didn't have a problem with it at all, but it seems enough have had problems with the extra sheen eggshell has so it's not recommended. I went with matte because most commercial screens are in a matte finish.

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post #286 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stevem911 View Post

LMAO.....Who the hell know's what concocsion I just brewed up!! To funny....heh.

Well it looks good you brewed a nice N9!

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post #287 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by wbassett View Post

If the projector is too dim then of course the color is too dark, unless you are saying the color is too dark in general for any use, and I will have to disagree with that.

Nope. I was stating that it just might not be a correct match for the Projector at hand. However, should/if the color in question exceeds a certain depth of Gray hue, and does not have any mitigating additional properties or is part of a layered application that compensate for that hue, then it just might not represent a color that is broadly acceptable for a wide range of PJs. All that is required to make such a judgement is to see/read how many find the white crush to be prevailent, or worse, be unable to compensate for it enough to satisfy. Some PJs can more easily compensate. Others cannot. Some PJs have little or no effective Gamma adjustment, ...(rare these days, but they are still lurking....) and in the search for a "simple" hue that delivers a CR boost without affecting other desirable image properties too drastically, if one cannot effect compensatory adjustment, then either one just has to "settle" for WYSIWYG, or move on to something that can/will do the job better. I prefer to get behind applications that show splendid "overall' results with PJs coming straight out of the Box, and @ "Factory Default'. If they can do that when presented with any particular application, then adjustments to taste are made all the more easier....often by "Eye" alone.

One could upgrade the PJ equation. But that is the most drastic course to take if one is already experiencing an image they find acceptable.

It is still a matter of taste of course, when the differences a subtle, but as of late, "taste" does not seem to be as scientific a criteria by which to go by as it was in yesteryear. Knowing via testing and comparing the RGB values of which colors are being considered "SHOULD" help people find something more appropriate than others, and that can be of course a huge advantage when choosing, but that does not always spell the difference between good & 'also ran'. But it will keep many from going too far out of bounds.

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post #288 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I really don't think any projector out of the box is going to look good on a white screen and a gray screen at the same time. It doesn't matter if it is DIY or commercial there will need to be adjustments and calibrations made.

I still maintain that to really evaluate a screen, whether it be Mudd, BF, SF, a Behr mix, these neutral grays... Laminates, Do-able, or Polywall the projector needs to be calibrated for that screen. If we went solely with out of the box settings there would be two screens, white and an N9 shade of gray. Even some of the white commercial screens lean red or blue which would have an impact on the out of the box settings.

This is a thread about neutrals and easily obtained ones at that. Those that want an advanced mix are not looking in here, so I don't go into mixes and layers. We did however get a prime example of the human factor when it comes to mixes and things being more complex... instead of a quart the formula was done for a gallon, although that problem didn't happen with GS, Steve just went in and asked for it and got it... if he had asked for a quart he would have gotten the same shade there too. The formula didn't work out the same way.

There is work being done on top coatings, which would fall into the intermediate level in my opinion.

Tastes and preferences... yes when it is all said and done it does boil down to that for everything in life. I think you may finally understand my approach with your statement
"It is still a matter of taste of course, when the differences a subtle, but as of late, "taste" does not seem to be as scientific a criteria by which to go by as it was in yesteryear. Knowing via testing and comparing the RGB values of which colors are being considered "SHOULD" help people find something more appropriate than others, and that can be of course a huge advantage when choosing, but that does not always spell the difference between good & 'also ran'. But it will keep many from going too far out of bounds."

It does help people make informed decisions, but it is also a good tool for those of us that are into making screens to understand the mechanics behind them and be able to see something and know why it will work or why it won't. From there everyone has their own take on how they want to approach their method.

Gray Screen, or any N8 shade is not too dark for most people. If it were then SS, FG, a GrayHawk, GrayWolf, HCCV would all be to dark as well. I wouldn't go darker than this shade unless a person has a very bright projector and some need for a screen that dark. The darker the screen the harder it is on color reproduction. I haven't heard of any complaints about crushed whites, but depending on my gamma setting I can say there is a major impact on shadow detail. This is a color for people with 1500 lumen or higher projectors in my opinion, possibly 1200 as the lower fringe, but when someone in that range asks for a suggestion I usually err on the safe side and recommend a lighter gray.

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post #289 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay that was an interesting round of posts...

I think I have 'nailed' neutral step grays... I still have to work a few things out and will know more probably by the end of the weekend. Keep in mind these will be neutral steps and not the 'V' curve... that has already been worked out so no sense reinventing the wheel. As far as neutrals go, and how long people have been looking for them I think we'll have them all nailed down soon.

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post #290 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 11:31 AM
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One quick question: if you have two screens, a lighter one and a darker one, when you calibrate your projector for the screen, what settings do you typically bump?
FWIW, fleshtones on my glidden evermore primer look ok to me, but I had to bump the color setting down to -10 or it would be too red, which I was a bit surprised at because the PT-AX100 is supposedly well calibrated out of the box...
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post #291 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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When I went from DW to GS my initial adjustments were only the brightness and contrast settings, I didn't have to change the color settings at all, and that is what really amazed me and sold me on neutrals.

I did go through all the settings but for the most part I did very little with the color. I have three gamma settings and a custom gamma setting and I tried those too until I had the best image.

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post #292 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 11:39 AM
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Knowing what i know....from one screen extreme to the other...(by mistake). I would have to say i like a white screen better. The blacks are very very close, and in most scenes...(james blunt screen shot) you cant even tell the difference between them. (which i thought was very interesting). The biggest difference to me was white scenes. Although, even in a "daylight" scene (as the pic portrays below), the GS does a good job with the whites and color.(unclalibrated) (GS IS ON THE RIGHT).

And because you can calibrate your pj for each screen setup, it might be just splitting hairs. And I would assume it depends what the majority of movies/tv you like to watch. If your a Underworld, Matrix, etc person...your screen and pj setup SHOULD be different then if you mainly watch sports/bright movies.
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post #293 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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So Steve this actually had a good result and you found a preference you like and along the way you created your own screen mix

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post #294 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

stevem911,

If you top coat the Behr tinted UPW it will also get brighter on axis but I bet the GS will be more pleasing to you.

The SW Gray Screen is a Matte. I am going to top coat it with the poly (already bought it) and see what it looks like. I am going to mess around with the calibration as well, and maybe it will be more pleasing. Thanks!

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post #295 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by wbassett View Post

When I went from DW to GS my initial adjustments were only the brightness and contrast settings

I presume GS needed more brightness and contrast than DW?
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post #296 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 12:59 PM
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Ha ha, I thought your UWP mix looked a lot too light.

Glad to see it worked out for you either way. I also look forward to seeing your TC results with the Poly over the GS.
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post #297 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wet1 View Post

Ha ha, I thought your UWP mix looked a lot too light.

Glad to see it worked out for you either way. I also look forward to seeing your TC results with the Poly over the GS.

LOL...I know...right? I just finished coating the "special formula" and the SW Gray Screen with 2 coats of Poly Top Coat. I split it into 4 sections so we will be able to see it with and without the top coat...should be interesting. I will have the pics up 2night. I am thinking i should have 2 sets...one calibrated to the GS and one calibrated to the "super special mix of whatever"...lol. .

btw...the poly top coat rolled super easy with 1/4" foam 9" roller...piece of cake!!

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post #298 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 01:25 PM
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Wet1, have you decided which paint to use?
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post #299 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenyee View Post

I presume GS needed more brightness and contrast than DW?

yes... actually I backed the brightness level down a little and upped the contrast.

Brightness, also called black level, actually adjusts how dark the black sections of the picture appear.

Contrast, also called picture or white level, controls the intensity of the white parts of the image and determines the overall light output of the display.

That's always a weird one that messes with people... brightness is actually black level and contrast does your brightness... strange they name them the way they do.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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post #300 of 602 Old 01-17-2007, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktaillon View Post

Wet1, have you decided which paint to use?

I believe so. I think I'm going to start with either Winter Mountain (N8) or Tiddlers UWP mix (also a N8)... it will depend on where I am when I decide to buy the paint. Either way they should be nearly identical. I think I might also add some metallic in the paint or in a poly TC, I'll decide after I see how the image looks with the just the N8.

I'm going to play with some more advanced mixes when the weather here gets warmer.
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