Originally Posted by MississippiMan
Now don't take any offense or think I'm making anything other than an obvious observation. Well, so it seems to me. You can call it a "IMO" if you like.
Everything done to ascertain if a particular hue is 'apparently' fit for consideration is necessary to separate the potential good from the "not so good'. That's certainly needed. But I was pointing out that getting to a particular point by changing up how one gets there can affect the end result. Thinking that a hue arrived at by a different mixing procedure will perform similarly as a identical looking hue obtained via a another route is most definitely suppositional reasoning. Most of you doing all the testing nowadays do not seem like those who would indulge in such, or at least not for very long.
The point is well made that some of the Gray Hues found here do what needs to be done quite well, and those are not what I'm referring to. I'm venturing a personal take on what I've seen before when trying different routes to the same destination, and sharing the end results; results that do not always pan out, even though conjective reasoning would seem to point to a better potential than what was achieved.
I really have no problem with subjective and the tried and true method... if it works it doesn't matter as much about how it got there as much as how it performs-- but it is nice to have an idea as to why things were done the way they were and get a feel for any science or thought put into things. Now if claims are made, I do like to see some proof to back them up and not just an 'it is because I say it is' conjectural type of post. I'm not wanting or trying to slam ProjectorCentral by no means, but there are still some that recommend using bedsheets... we have come a long way since those days. Testing and measuring color values is an excellent tool that should go hand in hand with subjective methods. If a material, paint, mix, substrate or anything is found that really seems to perform well, it should get some further testing done on it. It only validates it more and may even show it is quite exceptional.
Going with things solely by a name is something I cringe at too. Now true, Gray Screen has a name that falls inline with what we like to hear, but I'll be right up front and say Winter Mountain is a better neutral, but GS is right up there with it. The reason I went with GS over WM was because I was really curious about the matte finish. There is a True Value in my home town less than five minutes away and WM would have been easier.
This thread was also more about neutrals and if they really work or not and if so how much better, if at all-- and yes they do show some definite advantages, especially with darker grays. Advanced mixes have their place and pro's and con's just like the single simple substrates, and these OTS methods. This is where the science behind things gives way to personal preference, and it is nice to see and know that people can go simple or advanced and get very good performing screens. People now have a choice that is also dependant on their skill level and patience.
Where I like the data and science approach is it does help to weed out methods and applications that will work, but not as well as others. We now have the tools to do this and it should not be a 'competition' or anything like that. Do not take offense at this, but even your mixes could go up a performance notch or two by using the data method, and that certainly is not a bad thing or a slam. If it is good now, with some tweaking that really can only come through getting down and dirty and looking at the whys and hows along with what has been proven to work could really tweak up things a lot... and I will say that is IMO
The archives are full of threads talking about neutral grays. Some people say they are hooey, others say they are the Holy Grail. I think they were deemed the Holy Grail of gray screens because nobody really could make one, or... even if they did there was no way to prove they had one. Now we can prove if a gray is neutral or not... and we do have them readily available.
So are they better? I would say go back and read my post
on what I think about neutrals and balanced grays. There is no denying they both work, but leaving neutral there must be a lot of care taken in balancing the colors.
Neutrals allow us to go darker, but darker isn't always the answer and people need to keep that in mind too. There is a cut off and that is projector/lumen ability. There will come a day when digital projectors do not need grays. CRT's do not play in this sandbox with us because they don't need the contrast or black level help. Digital projectors do reign when it comes to brightness though, and with that comes the desire to turn on some lights or even open the blinds. The grays in here perform remarkably well with ambient light, but I still would not call them ambient light screens. It is a characteristic and benefit of using gray over white and I call them ambient friendly-- Bud actually coined that phrase and I really like it.
Here is an excellent chart
to get an idea of how many lumens you need for screen size and lighting. There of course are other variables as well, but this is a good general guideline. They base it on a plain jane unity gain white screen so there is a little play and variables that come into play as compared to the chart.
There still is a question about mixes and even store paint formulas and how they perform. If a spectrophotometer or colorimeter sees it as a neutral or a well balanced color, then we can feel safe and comfortable that the projector will also see it as the same. I think talk about pigment binding, sub atomic molecular fusion time warping properties are interesting, but if the spectro sees it as a color value, so will the projector... I could be wrong on that but it will take some science to debate that and yes I am open to that
. If though, anyone really wants an ISO standard and QA tested and assured neutral the only paint I found that meets this criteria is GTI's
N8 and N9. They may not list it on their web site, but if you call them you can order either N8 or N9 ISO standard Munsell grays. Aside from spending $80 on the GTI paint, there are some excellent options in AVS and I would like to think that there are some in here that are also as neutral as we have been able to get...