Grays- Simple one can paints, and one very neutral... - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 602 Old 12-08-2006, 05:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 1Time View Post

"Site White" appears to be a neutral light gray. It can be seen HERE, #7070 near the bottom of the page and right above "gray screen" #7071. I first found it at the Sherwin Williams site. Could it be this is a close relative of "gray screen" and a good option for a lighter neutral gray than "gray screen"?

It's 221 223 220. I know it's not much, but even that little bit of extra green could really wreak havok. Its a shame because it looks like if it wasn't it could have been a nice step gray between N9 and N8.

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post #182 of 602 Old 12-08-2006, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by wbassett View Post

It's 221 223 220. I know it's not much, but even that little bit of extra green could really wreak havok. Its a shame because it looks like if it wasn't it could have been a nice step gray between N9 and N8.

Okay. And I hope this isn't too off topic to ask. So how much UPW would you say could mixed with "site white" to even out the green? I'm guessing about 2 ounces of UPW per quart of "site white" should do it. BTW, do you happen to have the RGB numbers for Kilz2 or some other such white primer?
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post #183 of 602 Old 12-08-2006, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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That I don't know, Prof55 may though. I'm really not big on adding two non-neutrals to try to make a neutral, and for a couple of reasons:

1 I honestly feel that's a harder task than it sounds. Mixing two non-neutrals usually ends up with a third color that isn't neutral. Again I'm sure it can be done but not very easily and certainly not without a lot of calculating. (Example adding 50% Gray Screen with 50% UPW would create something like 226 223 228, which probably isn't a bad color at all, just not neutral like I am trying to keep this thread to-- we could start a new thread or resurrect the original color thread to toy with color combinations )

2 It introduces variables to things for others trying to mix it. If the ratio is off then it's not going to be neutral. It probably will be close, but depending on how much care the person takes in their measurements it could be way off.

I do like the idea of nailing down a formula for the step grays that people can take to their favorite paint shop and just give it to them, have them mix it, and they walk out with a quart in the color they want. I don't see much value in reinventing the wheel as far as the off the shelf paints that have been identified already, it's just the step grays that need nailed down. Bud and Tiddler brought up some very good points though. A common base should be used otherwise we're back to square one again not really knowing what the color composition is because all paint manufacturers have slightly different base.

I am looking for a 'neutral white' right now that is common and easy to find by anyone, but that is turning out to be harder than finding the neutral grays. The reason I want to locate a white is for a base to formulate the step grays.

This thread is almost done... just a few more items to tie up like step grays and some easy top coatings like Tiddler suggested (and is working out fantastic for all applications its been tried with-- check out the FG shots after it was added as well as Tiddlers screen and his SS tests... ) After that, I don't see much more to do with neutral gray and this thread.

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post #184 of 602 Old 12-08-2006, 10:07 AM
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When you guys figure out the mix ratios for the common white bases in this thread to make a series of neutral grays, anyone can walk into a paint store and come out with a can of paint. Come over to the other thread and post the results please.


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post #185 of 602 Old 12-10-2006, 06:17 PM
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Been working on an idea.

Based on some data from calibration I have been doing I figured that one could guessitmate values into the Munsell shades and from that you could estimate what shade you could go too for your own setup.

Here you have lumenance values ranging from what hits the screen surface and then the result of lumens lost due to absorbtion of the munsell shade.
Ok the important bit. The RED line is what I call noise, the light bleed at black is about 40 lumen or 25lux. Where Lumen=Lux*Area(screen size).
I am guessing how much light bleed is there above black, but one could assume it doesn't get worse but improve as a ratio towards white. I guess a linear slope as the LCD makes the whole saturated color.

What this graph shows is the loss of lumens power effect per munsell shade. This is the most important factor as the lower shade you go the higher the loss in contrast head room. ie your dynamic range. This shows the importance of recaputuring gain through other means on top of the basic grey. Another topic.



So what happens on the positive.
I zoomed into the important area. The dotted lines is the absorbtion factor on the munsell shades. Anything below zero would report nothing. Where the dotted lines cross the zero line would be the critical improved black performance and what range you would see the effect is denoted within the IRE values.




As a side issue wth my current screen of lampblack in white the question was asked if it was possible to calibrate the push out.
Well I think I have, mostly but there is a slight oversaturation I can't get rid of in balance in RGB. Well so far anyway.

So can you calibrate out a non neutral? Well to a certain degree yes, but it is far easier to start neutral.

Heres a before.


And an after further tunning.



Regards all.

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post #186 of 602 Old 12-10-2006, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by <^..^>Smokey Joe View Post

So can you calibrate out a non neutral? Well to a certain degree yes, but it is far easier to start neutral.

Smokey... That is what I have been trying to say. There are many grays out there that will work just fine. But starting with a neutral is much easier and as I have personally seen when it comes to neutral grays, they provide the best color reproduction other than a white screen. A true white of course will provide the best color reproduction of any screen, but there are trade offs, that being black levels and ambient performance.

I will say it again that with a truly neutral gray you don't lose the whites like some people are and have seen with other grays. SS was one screen I have had personal experience with and it destroyed whites and made them muddy and gray as well as skewed my colors, but we now know it also is no where near a neutral gray. Yes a lot of the color skew can be compensated for, but at the cost of true color reproduction for all colors. Unless someone really sees the difference they may not know what they are missing. We have several neutral grays identified now and do not need to mix them or try to create new ones. There are nine neutral Munsell grays, if you include step grays we can go to eighteen. Most projectors will not need a step gray in my opinion, but certainly some that are borderline could benefit from an intermediate color... but again I really don't think that will be the majority of projectors.

I will say this, and most people will probably disagree, but what people perceive as gray really isn't gray. Unless it has been tested and analyzed with a spectro, it's just an eyeball guess at being a gray, and we know we have all been conditioned just about since birth to see colors differently than they really are. To eyeball a gray is the worse way to determine its neutral-ness. The manufacturer could have added an extra green push to it so to those looking for that 'greenish' look could mistake a color as a true neutral. Only after it is spetro'd can it be determined as neutral.

Yes there are colors that are 'nice' and 'close' and those that match the classic 'V' curve and they will work as a screen, but a true neutral will work even better.

Now, with that said, Gray Screen isn't completely neutral seeing it's specto value of 199 203 203, but the slight red deficiency to me is actually a benefit seeing that incandescent lighting adds a slight red hue to things. The red deficiency helps compensate for viewing with some room lighting on (I would like to think I demonstrated in my screen shots it can handle quite a bit of incandescent room lighting). But it also isn't too much of a deficiency that creates a problem with a lights out viewing setting. It also takes a projector with a decent amount of brightness, at least 1500 lumens before calibration and video settings. If those parameters are met, then Gray Screen is a more than viable option in my opinion. With a poly coating it is an even better option.

With less lumens I would say an N9 color like Soothing White (which is actually a gray) to be on the safe side, but that is also a projector by projector variable. If anyone can handle Behr Silver Screen or any of the Behr colors in that range they most certainly can handle Gray Screen.

Of course as the bulb gets older the image will get dimmer, but you really can't blame the screen for that... the same goes for a commercial screen. Bulbs die and performance fades no matter if it is a commercial screen or a DIY screen. That is something we all have to accept unless you have one of the new LED projectors or get a laser projector in the next few years. Until then we all have to deal with and accept bulb life/performance.

As far as grays, many will work, but some will work better. There are many easy methods out there, but Sherwin William Gray screen in either the matte ( more expensive because it only comes by the gallon-- but in my opinion worth the $40) or you can have them mix it in a quart with the flat base, or the True Value Winter Mountain color are both excellent medium gray screen colors that will provided outstanding black levels, exceptional whites... and very good performance with incandescent lighting as well as moderate ambient sun light. I cannot say anything about any of the other off the shelf colors because right now we just don't know what their color break down is. Again as I said earlier they may work fine and projectors may be able to be adjusted and compensate for their color, but they may not be optimal. Going with a neutral gray pretty much ensures that no matter what projector you have the projected image and color will be accurately reproduced.

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post #187 of 602 Old 12-10-2006, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by wbassett View Post

Going with a neutral gray pretty much ensures that no matter what projector you have the projected image and color will be accurately reproduced.

Of course this is only true if one takes the time to properly calibrate their projector. I think it's fair to say most new projectors out of the box are not perfectly calibrated to a perfectly neutral or color correct screen.

And then of course nearly all screens are not perfectly color correct. And although I agree it is a worthy endeavor to share findings of neutral or color correct DIY solutions (however that's defined), I've yet to understand how such a screen could make all that much difference when compared to one that's not as color correct. The manufactured screens aren't perfectly neutral or color correct, yet folks calibrate their projectors and are satisfied with their results.

What concerns me more than the absolute neutrality or color correctness of a screen is how evenly the screen represents the whole spectrum of colors. I mean, if equal RGB values equates to this, then fine. However, I highly suspect it does not. Know what I mean?
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post #188 of 602 Old 12-11-2006, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
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That is a very true statement 1Time, and was one of the reasons given as to the classic 'V' curve we see in so many commercial screens. Out of the box performance is sadly what most people go with, and a slight 'V' curve in the screen color will give the best overall performance across the widest range of projectors, and what most novice or entry level users go with. Can it be better, of course, and that is what I was trying to show with the neutrals and this thread.

If people feel there is no value in neutral grays, we can kill this thread now, but this seems to have been the holy grail of gray screen topics for years now. We have neutrals readily available and very easy to get as this thread has shown. I agree most commercial screens are NOT neutral, but it has also been stated why they are not, and to me the explanation makes sense.

I think you'll find that the RGB and spectro values are typically within a range that is known to produce acceptable performance, otherwise the commercial screens would have a much different color curve. I have seen a non-neutral gray and how it affects colors and whites, as well as experienced what a very neutral gray looks like and how it reproduces colors and whites... and after seeing it first hand I will definitely go with a neutral over a non-neutral colored screen, especially when the color starts getting darker than an N9 shade. But that may just be my opinion... although I think the data does back it up....

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post

Of course this is only true if one takes the time to properly calibrate their projector. I think it's fair to say most new projectors out of the box are not perfectly calibrated to a perfectly neutral or color correct screen

Wouldn't you agree though, that starting with a neutral surface or palate in the first place would be the best baseline? After all tweaking and the fine tuning adjustments should be done from the projector end and not from the screen. That would be like changing a room to compensate for speaker performance before trying to move the speaker position or adjust the settings in the receiver, does that make sense?

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post #189 of 602 Old 12-11-2006, 08:22 AM
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Interesting thread.

The only downside (IMO) to using these greys is the loss in brightness of the projected image. Any idea what a topcoat of poly, pearl, and / or silver would do over the neutral grey? What about if the poly, pearl, and silver metallic were mixed in with the neutral grey??? I would think the results would bring back much of the lost image brightness. My only concerns would be loss of black levels and the additives shifting the color slightly in a way that it is no longer neutral...

Any thoughts or trials?
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post #190 of 602 Old 12-11-2006, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wet1 View Post

Interesting thread.

The only downside (IMO) to using these greys is the loss in brightness of the projected image. Any idea what a topcoat of poly, pearl, and / or silver would do over the neutral grey? What about if the poly, pearl, and silver metallic were mixed in with the neutral grey??? I would think the results would bring back much of the lost image brightness. My only concerns would be loss of black levels and the additives shifting the color slightly in a way that it is no longer neutral...

Any thoughts or trials?

Wet1 you're going to have a dimmer image with any medium to darker gray, that's one of the inherent properties of them. That isn't always a bad thing though. Sometimes depending on the room conditions a white screen can be too bright even though it doesn't hot spot and has an excellent picture. My room was literally lit up from the white screen and it was a light source I could not control or just 'turn off' to make the room nice and dark the way I enjoy watching movies. So that is an example where soaking up some of the lumens can be a positive thing.

As far as the pearl and silver, I would have to say that is going off topic and there are plenty of threads dedicated to mixes. I really don't feel a formula people can take to the paint shop to have them mix up one of these colors is off topic or a real DIY 'mix'. That isn't really much different than taking a paint sample or color card in and having it color matched-- although some companies don't do a true color match and they only match to existing colors that are 'close'. To me an advanced paint mix is when multiple colors and components are bought and mixed at home. I would still call taking a sheet into a paint shop and having them mix a quart as the same thing as an off the shelf. Of course if there is a True Value or Sherwin Williams close to where someone lives I say just go get the color from them. That way there is no guessing about the base tint a different paint shop may use. Tiddler and Bud made a very good observation that the same formula mixed by a different paint company will probably be close but it won't necessarily be the exact same values. If that's the only option a person has though, then they have to go with what's available.

I also don't feel simple poly coats and testing is off topic because they are clear and don't change the base color. It's when other components start getting added is where I feel it's off topic and probably should be discussed in one of the many threads devoted to mixes. I'm not saying mixes are bad, it's just that this thread is dedicated to OTS (Off The Shelf) neutrals and simple application solutions. I also don't feel a need to mix a neutral gray, but the advanced mixes are doing more than just creating a base paint. For the ones that are just trying to create a basic neutral gray I think it's more work than necessary, but that's my opinion. What isn't an opinion though is mixing is very hard to make a neutral, which is why I think so many components are added sometimes.

Screen brightness really isn't an issue at all, at least for my projector. I think the screen images show how bright the screen is. We all agree screenies are not the definitive way to show a screen's performance, but they at least give a general idea of how the screen looks. Besides, nothing but all data gets pretty boring and some people have made comments about that and said they skip the threads that are boring to them. (I'm sure there are some used car dealers that would love to meet some of these people lol)

If a projector looks too dim, and assuming it's a new projector with a new bulb, then that screen color is probably too dark for that particular projector and I would move to the next higher Munsell color. If an N9 shade is still to dark and dim then I really don't think any gray screen is going to work with that particular projector because after N9 is basically white.

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post #191 of 602 Old 12-11-2006, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbassett View Post

I really don't feel a formula people can take to the paint shop to have them mix up one of these colors is off topic or a real DIY 'mix'. That isn't really much different than taking a paint sample or color card in and having it color matched

I also don't feel simple poly coats and testing is off topic because they are clear and don't change the base color.

About a week ago I was attempting to do just this and we decided it was off topic as to this thread and I withdrew my posts and put them over in the thread I have been running for quite some time pertaining to just this topic. In fact I made reference to the off the shelf paints you were finding on this thread and suggested we try and dissect the working of these ready made neutrals in a way of gaining more understanding. A few people followed over there for a short time but soon the efforts stopped only to return here. Now I find that such paints formulas that you can walk into a paint store and the guy can make from just the tint machine are on topic here.

My whole thrust from day one in the thread linked below have been to prefect a neutral gray solution. And if anyone has read thru it I had a plethora of well meaning suggestions that neutral gray was not the answer and without the addition of metallic all would be lost.

That thread was and will be dedicated to A. Finding a range of neutral grays. B. Finding a range of poly/paint mixes that work. C. Finding a method of A and B for any given projector, room and screen size.

Anyone that wants to participate in those endeavors and believe their leading into off topic waters here feel free to come and join in. keep in mind the title of that thread is (A simple screen paint solution.) it deals with plain paint store pigmentation based around white base, lamp black as the graying agent and color pigment as a last resort to correct for color push caused by the base pigment.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=662348

Wbassett not trying to hijack anyone away from here just redirect efforts to where they are more appropriate to the topic.


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post #192 of 602 Old 12-11-2006, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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If I said that was off topic before then I must have been confused and apologize. I know earlier on things started going in the direction of mixing talk and how and what to use to make a neutral gray from other components, and I did feel that was off topic. You were not the only one saying that, several were starting to go in that direction. What I mean by a formula is if someone like Prof or one of the other guys with paint equipment and the proper hardware can come up with a formula match.

Again Bud I apologize if I misunderstood... I do though feel that if people have a local Sherwin Williams or True Value they don't need a paint formula, only those that don't have either of these stores in their area would need one, and then like you and Tiddler pointed out the base needs to be verified as well.

And no I don't think you are hijacking anyone or anything... we're both basically looking at the same things but from slightly different angles, I am primarily looking at OTS paints. Soon we'll meet up mid way I think.

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post #193 of 602 Old 12-11-2006, 03:59 PM
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Smokey:

In your last pic, I notice the Yxy primaries are VERY close to perfect. A couple questions:

Are these reflectance readings from the screen, or direct light from the projector?

What gray screen are you using?

In the precalibration pic, the primaries are expressed in a format I'm not familiar with. Would it be possible to see these in Yxy?

Thanks!

Garry
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post #194 of 602 Old 12-11-2006, 07:20 PM
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Prof, the grey screen is my current white with lampblack which has the traditional slightly blue/grey appearance. The measurements are off the screen reflection.

Think I answered your question about , was it possible to use and tune it in. Although I don't actually know the RGB figures for the screen I have, I think as long as it is within the 10point margin ie, 200,210,200 or 200,195,205 you can do a nice calibration, but beyond that you start to push the limits of any projectors adjustments. They are limited. off topic, the next time I upgrade my PJ I will be looking more closely at adjustments avaliable.

On topic, sorta, I am planning on doing some layered approach greys to try and combat the issue I was trying to show in the first 2 graphs. I don't think the issue has hit home or I didnt discribe the issue clear enough.

The issue is the light bleed at low grey scales, at 30IRE,20IRE,10IRE and BLACK point. The IRE points are references of balanced RGB to make grey from 00IRE which is 16 black up to 235 white and 10% increments.

The idea of the grey screen is to absorb this light bleed, not to combat ambient light as many believe. Since this is the direct light it has the most impact of the image quality at the low IRE values, then lesser the ambient light effect. Remember ambient light although overwhelming is kinda constant, whereas the light from the PJ is directional and part and parcel of the grey scale and color addition. When doing the grey scale calibration you really see this light bleed as a glow from the surface.

The 2nd part issue is how much contrast is lost when using too dark a grey to combat the light bleed. Too far and you lose so much head room of contrast. This will have the visual effect of compressing the dynamic range. Think about this for a second, How many thousands do you pay for more contrast ratio, then ask yourself, what am I doing?

Think about these 2 issues for a moment, then think why some love manufactured high contrast screens. Simple. They are raising the whole CR up high so the effect of the light bleed is lower ratio, but at the same time not losing any of the PJ's CR. A grey screen cuts the bleed, but effects the top end.

Sorta leads us back to a mix or layers to regain CR. Another topic or thread.

The different infomation in that software, Grab the free software in the calibration thread. I posted some of my calibrations through that thread aswell and you can check out what the different values mean. Out of all of them the xyY is argually the most important.

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post #195 of 602 Old 12-11-2006, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by wbassett View Post


Wouldn't you agree though, that starting with a neutral surface or palate in the first place would be the best baseline? After all tweaking and the fine tuning adjustments should be done from the projector end and not from the screen. That would be like changing a room to compensate for speaker performance before trying to move the speaker position or adjust the settings in the receiver, does that make sense?

So long as a screen is within some normal range of color correctness, I would say your point is moot. I have yet to understand how a perfectly neutral screen could make all that much difference when compared to one that's not as color correct.

For example, if the neutrality of a screen is rated as a (0) = perfect, and a projector's neutrality is rated as a (-1), and the projector is tweaked back to a (0), the sum is (0). Second example, if the neutrality of a screen is rated as a (1) and a projector is rated as a (1), and the projector is tweaked to a (-1), the sum is still (0). Again, screens are not perfectly neutral and neither are projectors. Hence, folks calibrate.

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Originally Posted by 1Time View Post


And then of course nearly all screens are not perfectly color correct. And although I agree it is a worthy endeavor to share findings of neutral or color correct DIY solutions (however that's defined), I've yet to understand how such a screen could make all that much difference when compared to one that's not as color correct. The manufactured screens aren't perfectly neutral or color correct, yet folks calibrate their projectors and are satisfied with their results.


And, like I posted before...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post

What concerns me more than the absolute neutrality or color correctness of a screen is how evenly the screen represents the whole spectrum of colors. I mean, if equal RGB values equates to this, then fine. However, I highly suspect it does not. Know what I mean?

Okay, I'm done editing now.
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post #196 of 602 Old 12-11-2006, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post

So long as a screen is within some normal range of color correctness, I would say your point is moot. I have yet to understand how a perfectly neutral screen could make all that much difference when compared to one that's not as color correct.

For example, if the neutrality of a screen is rated as a (0) = perfect, and a projector's neutrality is rated as a (-1), and the projector is tweaked back to a (0), the sum is (0). Second example, if the neutrality of a screen is rated as a (1) and a projector is rated as a (1), and the projector is tweaked to a (-1), the sum is still (0). Again, screens are not perfectly neutral and neither are projectors. Hence, folks calibrate.

And then of course nearly all screens are not perfectly color correct. And although I agree it is a worthy endeavor to share findings of neutral or color correct DIY solutions (however that's defined), I've yet to understand how such a screen could make all that much difference when compared to one that's not as color correct. The manufactured screens aren't perfectly neutral or color correct, yet folks calibrate their projectors and are satisfied with their results.

I agree that calibration is a must for best performance, but how many people actually do it? I could be wrong, but I suspect most don't - or if they do, it's done subjectively rather than using any instrumentation. It might be interesting to do a poll.

Smokey has done an excellent job of showing what can (and can't) be done with calibration. He has proven that it is possible to take a screen that is known to push blue, and calibrate a projector to compensate. But how did the picture look before he went to these lengths?

I also agree that a gray doesn't have to be perfect. But the closer it is, the better chance the average hobbyist will have of getting a great picture with minimum investment in time and money.

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Originally Posted by <^..^>Smokey Joe View Post

The issue is the light bleed at low grey scales, at 30IRE,20IRE,10IRE and BLACK point. The IRE points are references of balanced RGB to make grey from 00IRE which is 16 black up to 235 white and 10% increments.

The idea of the grey screen is to absorb this light bleed, not to combat ambient light as many believe. Since this is the direct light it has the most impact of the image quality at the low IRE values, then lesser the ambient light effect. Remember ambient light although overwhelming is kinda constant, whereas the light from the PJ is directional and part and parcel of the grey scale and color addition. When doing the grey scale calibration you really see this light bleed as a glow from the surface.

Remember I'm a CRT guy, so lead me by the hand for a bit. When you say "light bleed", are you referring to an LCD projector's inability to produce true black, i.e. no light output? If so, I'm with you. If not, I don't understand...

Garry
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post #197 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by prof55 View Post

I agree that calibration is a must for best performance, but how many people actually do it? I could be wrong, but I suspect most don't - or if they do, it's done subjectively rather than using any instrumentation. It might be interesting to do a poll.

That most don't calibrate (and I agree), simply means folks can't or don't care to tell the difference and are satisfied with their results. This further supports my point and that is, within a reasonable range of color correctness, a perfectly neutral screen offers no real and/or perceived benefits. Sure it's desirable, but by far this is theoretical. In practice, a perfectly neutral screen does not matter.

However, what should be of more concern is how well a screen evenly represents all colors / hues. Color shifting if done evenly throughout all colors / hues should not be a concern. However, color shifting that is not even throughout all colors / hues should be a concern, because it cannot be corrected with calibration in such a way as it cannot be noticed, at least when compared to a screen that does not color shift or does so more evenly. I found this particularly noticeable when I had compared skin tones between a few white DIY screens a couple years ago.
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post #198 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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1Time if you are talking about commercial screens then yeah I would agree, but those companies also put a lot of time and research into the colors and didn't just pick a color swatch by eye and run with it.

We are dealing with DIY and paints as well as other materials that were not originally intended as a screen. I would agree that with lighter colored screens it doesn't matter as much, but even then it still has to be a color within certain boundaries. If we use something with what I keep calling the 'V' curve and it's within the same specs as a commercial screen it is going to work fine.

It's when you go darker it gets more critical and even a push that is just a little more than 'slight' is harder to calibrate and compensate for. That's where a nice flat color line is a benefit. Some projectors just can't be adjusted for some screen colors, I know this first hand. I could not calibrate for Silver Screen but I had no problems at all with getting an outstanding picture with a neutral.

Some would say 'get a new projector' and I have actually had a couple of people tell me that. That's really an unacceptable response and nobody should be expected to ditch their projector because of a screen, a different screen should be tried.

This thread was created to demonstrate the effectiveness of darker neutral grays and show we have them readily available. Since they are out there and very easy to get, why mess around with picking unknown colors solely on a visual inspection of a color swatch? That color may look nice, but it's supposed to as a house paint. As far as the color breakdown and it's characteristics and push it's going to be a complete unknown. Yeah you can calibrate and adjust, but it also could be a huge waste of time if you can't get all the image colors to look right and at the same time.

If you don't agree that's fine, but I wouldn't say neutrals are 'moot' and unnecessary. The alternative to all this color analysing and testing is to go back to guessing. At least we are starting to understand colors and how they act. Besides, this is a very easy method, it's not like it's something that's either hard to get or complicated to make. Even in your own screen comparison link you evaluated a couple of grays that were just eyeball picked from a color card and there was no information on the color breakdown-- and you did not give them very good reviews. So I'm not sure where you are going with this since you pretty much proved it yourself that you can't just pick any color. Some may work, some may not, and to me that's guessing.

I guess I'm just trying to understand why you are saying there is little value when basically what you said below actually supports an nice neutral color that reflects colors evenly and accurately without skewing them.
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That most don't calibrate (and I agree), simply means folks can't or don't care to tell the difference and are satisfied with their results. This further supports my point and that is, within a reasonable range of color correctness, a perfectly neutral screen offers no real and/or perceived benefits. Sure it's desirable, but by far this is theoretical. In practice, a perfectly neutral screen does not matter.

However, what should be of more concern is how well a screen evenly represents all colors / hues. Color shifting if done evenly throughout all colors / hues should not be a concern. However, color shifting that is not even throughout all colors / hues should be a concern, because it cannot be corrected with calibration in such a way as it cannot be noticed, at least when compared to a screen that does not color shift or does so more evenly. I found this particularly noticeable when I had compared skin tones between a few white DIY screens a couple years ago.

1Time I'm not trying to argue with you, just understand where you are coming from... you're saying they aren't necessary, and then make a statement that very much supports the idea of a neutral color that accurately represents all colors... help me out here, you felt strongly enough to come on a thread and say there is very little merit and value to the topic of the thread, yet you seem to back up exactly why a neutral is better... What I highlighted in your quote is exactly the areas that a neutral excels, so I think we are agreeing, I just don't totally understand what you are saying.

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post #199 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 07:43 AM
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No, I see no argument here. However, although I agree you've not completely understood what I've been trying to explain (and perhaps others as well?), I've explained myself about as best I can. Gotta run now.
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post #200 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 07:50 AM
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Wbassett, Prof55, Tiddler and others:

For any of you that have the Munsell color correct books. I thought I read someone had them or color cards within a book.

Would it be possible to take the Munsell reference book or cards to a paint store and have them just scan the cards and give us the (mix) for it in several different bases?

Maybe two or three of the numbers close to the screen grays we use. I think most of the paint machines output different (mixes) based on what paint brand is being asked for.

Going with Wbassett's theory that mixing a neutral to a neutral will make a neutral if we had say three, we could then chart the pigments. (in my other thread) and I think I could predict the step scale I'm looking for.


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post #201 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post

That most don't calibrate (and I agree), simply means folks can't or don't care to tell the difference and are satisfied with their results. This further supports my point and that is, within a reasonable range of color correctness, a perfectly neutral screen offers no real and/or perceived benefits. Sure it's desirable, but by far this is theoretical. In practice, a perfectly neutral screen does not matter.

However, what should be of more concern is how well a screen evenly represents all colors / hues. Color shifting if done evenly throughout all colors / hues should not be a concern. However, color shifting that is not even throughout all colors / hues should be a concern, because it cannot be corrected with calibration in such a way as it cannot be noticed, at least when compared to a screen that does not color shift or does so more evenly. I found this particularly noticeable when I had compared skin tones between a few white DIY screens a couple years ago.

I guess the issue is in what constitutes a "reasonable range of color correctness". Having a screen that is as close to neutral as possible will certainly minimize any potential push for all users, calibrated or not.

That said, I still don't understand your second paragraph. "How well a screen evenly represents all colors/hues" is the definition of neutral. How could a screen "evenly shift" ALL colors?
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post #202 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah Bud there is a huge book Munsell wrote on colors that has a ton of color cards, if you have a good Library in your area they will probably have it. Usually a lot of the color cards are missing, but again the better the library the better the chance of finding a pristine copy of it.

Color matching can be tricky though. A lot of places don't really spectro the color and create a formula for that color, they select the closest match to the colors they sell. So their scan could be quite off. For the most part it doesn't matter to the majority of the people color matching paint because they aren't making a screen, they are usually painting a room or trim.

I would trust one of the guys on here to do an indepentant analysis and print up a formula from that.

I think you are on to something here too... I have yet to find a neutral white, but you're right, we probably don't need it and can work with N9.

For example if you mix 50/50 N8 202 202 202 and N9 229 229 229 we get 215 215 215 -- half way between both colors. Now, we would have to go with the colors we have available, or make things a little harder and go with the GTI paint which is dead on specs for Munsel N8 and N7...

Anyway, if we mixed Winter Mountain 200 201 201 and Soothing White 227 227 229 we get 213 214 215.

Gary, do you know who makes Colortrends paint and where it's sold? If that can be easily obtained they have an outstanding looking color, White Lilac which is 228 228 228. If we were to add that to Winter Mountain we'd get this, 214 214 214, or something very close to that.

I want to throw an edit in here--

When I say mix, I am only talking about the step grays. I haven't done a lot of searching through the database for step colors but I will take some time to do that. I still feel strongly that mixing adds variables to things. Some people are very meticulous with their measurements, others would guestimate 50/50... and then there are those that have no desire at all to mix anything. Some barely want to paint as is and want it to be as easy as possible, so Todd is right about one of the reasons I started this thread. The other and main reason was to show that we have readily available neutral grays that are very easy to get.

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post #203 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post

No, I see no argument here. However, although I agree you've not completely understood what I've been trying to explain (and perhaps others as well?), I've explained myself about as best I can. Gotta run now.

We'll let it drop at that.

I have done a lot of testing and research into BOTH of these areas so I think I understand the value of neutrals as well as the 'V" curve, I have even written numerous posts and shown data for both to back up my statements. All I can say is if you disagree with this or the topic of any thread nobody is saying you have to use that particular method.

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post #204 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 10:14 AM
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On the first page of this thread white is mentioned as a screen color with the caveat that gray is better. What if I have extremely good light control in my theater room? Would I still see any benefit from a gray screen vs. a white one?

Thanks,
Steve
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post #205 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 10:29 AM
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Only if you desire a perceived boost of Contrast. Any slightly neutral Grey surface will provide such without undue issues. otherwise, with no ambient light issues, most anybody will agree that white will serve one's purposes very well, especially with PJs with 3500:1+ CR ratios.

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #206 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

I beleive what 1Time is suggesting is that a reflective surface that measures neutral for RGB measurements may not produce a flat Spectral Reflectance Curve. This would be a concern if the projector's RGB were significantly different than the measured RGB wavelength. Otherwise it is not a relevant concern except in regards to reflecting ambient light and the effect that may have on the resulting screen performance.

As far as the notion of measured neutrality and visual neutrality, I have broached this subject before. Wbassett has alluded to it as has prof55 when pointing out the green defficiency in a lot of commercially available screens, laminates, and gray paints. It is not really on topic for a thread dedicated to the identification of RGB measured neutral gray paints but does deserve some consideration.

To me these are all pieces to the puzzle. They may not be pieces that are on topic for this particular thread but they are not necessarily in oposition to each other as far as the end goal of developing sound DIY screen paint knowledge.

IMHO, RGB neutral gray is the foundation and starting point. It "may" then be reasonable to consider tailoring the shape of the RGB curve to compensate for the human eye. But that is not the topic of this thread. I do beleive it is crucial to have a reasonable balance between the Red and Blue, but there may be more room to play with the green and still get a screen paint that works well with our projectors. I suspect some deficiency of green can be easily tolerated while an excess of green produces undesireable color cast in the image.

Todd I think it's fine to discuss the differences between the two as long as we (myself included) don't get too side tracked.

You and a few others know I am behind both methods and think that the right color curve does work extremely well as a screen, the laminate thread is all about matching the characteristics of commercial screens, and I think we have done some very good matching in there.

This thread was a little different because I wanted to explore neutrals since so many people were discussing them and trying to make one. I have also questioned why people were looking for neutrals if the commercial screen companies had a very different color curve. So I satisfied my curiosity. Both will work fine, but a neutral provides the most even palate and will reflect colors more evenly than a color that has different degrees of color components.

I went into both in this post so there is no need to repeat everything in here. I strongly believe both methods will work very well, but obviously since this thread is about simple OTS neutral grays that is the topic I tend to discuss the most in here, just as in the laminate thread I discuss the laminate color values as they relate to commercial screens.

If I am guilty of not listening or not understanding anything it would have to be I don't understand why we are mixing neutral grays when we have them. Step grays may need to be created, but again I think they really won't be used for many projectors. Most will be able to handle the full steps, but when it somes to personal tastes then I can see a huge benefit to at least identifying them.

I too think this is one piece of the puzzle, and to me I see neutral as the baseline. Green deficiency helps flesh tones, a slight red deficiency is good for some incandescent lighting situations, a slight blue push can help give the appearance of brighter whites (not my personal cup of tea though, I want my whites to be white) So yeah there are benefits to both methods, but going away from neutral starts getting tricky real quick because how much of a deficiency or push is the limit? That's where studying commercial screens is important, at least to me. Basically what we are trying to do is reverse engineer what the pros are doing. If that was the only goal then we all can just about stop now because we have the 'V' curve nailed, top coatings and textures are a totally different story though.

I don't think the goal in here is to just duplicate the commercial screen companies performance, but to try to exceed it, even someday have a DIY version of a DNP screen. All are interesting topics, and have many threads and many debates on them already. Just as this is just one thread about neutral grays. Personally I feel this thread has successfully shown there is merit and value to using neutrals, especially when it comes to darker colors.

In March I am getting a Panasonic PT-AX100U. For a 52x92" screen it will put out around 23fL of light at the screen. This is the brightness of a direct view TV. As I said in an earlier post to 1Time, I think the biggest benefit of the neutrals are when we go darker. It seems that shifts in the 'V' curve are more pronounced with darker colors and that does make sense. The pigments are darker and stronger which could skew colors and push harder, but right now that is just a theory. Neutrals though are pretty clean in reflecting an even color image and with this projector I know I can do down to an N6 shade, and I plan on testing all the way down to N5. Ideally I think N7 will be more optimal for day and night viewing, but I'm not here just to get a screen and run, I happen to like the testing process.

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post #207 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve68 View Post

On the first page of this thread white is mentioned as a screen color with the caveat that gray is better. What if I have extremely good light control in my theater room? Would I still see any benefit from a gray screen vs. a white one?

Thanks,
Steve

Steve I agree with MM. If you have light control, and are happy with your contrast and black levels a white screen will provide the truest color reproduction.

Also keep in mind I have said repeatedly throughout this thread that these grays are not what I would call a true ambient light screen. They and any well balanced gray will perform better than a white screen when there is some light in the room, so I like the term 'Ambient Friendly' (I think Bud used that term to describe grays)

If your projector is lacking in contrast like mine, even with lights out viewing I like gray over white. That's my personal tastes and preference though.

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post #208 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 11:27 AM
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I think that just walking into a paint store and buying a particular published neutral gray is appealing, but the first question many of us paint nuts ask is "What's in it?". It's an important question for several reasons:

>Factory grays may arrive at a similar color by using different pigments. We haven't really proven that this is a major issue (see dormant RGB thread!), but it could have an effect on performance.

>The commercial paint companies have a tendency to change their colors and formulas over time. Misty Evening is a good example - the original ME was probably closer to neutral than anyone imagined when it was first introduced here. But later changes in the factory formula produced a color not nearly as good.

>The mixing base and sheen affect performance nearly as much as the gray value. This has been shown well by Bill's research into the SW Matte base. This means that to be sure, individual testing would have to be done for each brand and perhaps even each color.

I think this is why we keep going "OT". Bill's initial posts quickly established that there are many potentially good "off the shelf" solutions, and these will serve very well for many. But like many others, I find it's hard to stop there...

Garry
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post #209 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Gary I sent you a PM as well...

I think these colors will serve many people very well, but more important to me at least, they showed me a good baseline and foundation to build on. Since this is a thread for simple OTS neutral gray solutions some of the ideas being kicked around will definitely be researched and presented in a more appropriate thread. They could possibly go here, but it will clutter things up really fast and make it hard to decypher what this thread is about. Plus some of the ideas are going to move off topic and cover different ground so they probably should have their own thread.

As far as the grays, I honestly think this thread was a good experiment and test and showed neutrals are very easy to get and do perform exceptionally well. So to me it was a success. There are always ways to improve things, one of the final things I plan on for in this thread is to test a poly coating and maybe something I am toying with that is a little more advanced... but still strictly staying with the Munsell neutrals. After that I really don't see much left to do. Data has been researched, compiled and presented. Real world testing has been done and presented too. After a few people that are trying some of the N8 and N9 shades report back I think it's pretty much a wrap in here. I just hope this thread doesn't get lost in the archives like the Screen Color Match thread did as well as some very good threads that others have devoted a lot of time to.

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post #210 of 602 Old 12-12-2006, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prof55 View Post

I think that just walking into a paint store and buying a particular published neutral gray is appealing, but the first question many of us paint nuts ask is "What's in it?". It's an important question for several reasons:

>Factory grays may arrive at a similar color by using different pigments. We haven't really proven that this is a major issue (see dormant RGB thread!), but it could have an effect on performance.

>The commercial paint companies have a tendency to change their colors and formulas over time. Misty Evening is a good example - the original ME was probably closer to neutral than anyone imagined when it was first introduced here. But later changes in the factory formula produced a color not nearly as good.

>The mixing base and sheen affect performance nearly as much as the gray value. This has been shown well by Bill's research into the SW Matte base. This means that to be sure, individual testing would have to be done for each brand and perhaps even each color.

I think this is why we keep going "OT". Bill's initial posts quickly established that there are many potentially good "off the shelf" solutions, and these will serve very well for many. But like many others, I find it's hard to stop there...

Garry

For those of us that are here for more than just finding a screen, that is very true... For most that come in, maybe post once or twice asking some questions, and for the hundreds or more that read and don't say a thing I think they kinda appreciate the KISS method (FnEasy too)... that's kinda catchy, "It's FnEasy, just KISS it."

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