Blackout Cloth VS. Photography Backdrop Paper - AVS Forum
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone tried using heavy duty photography backdrop paper for a screen?

It is available in multiple whites & greys, in 53" and 107" rolls of 12 yards.

I am trying to decide between this, and a Blackout Cloth screen.

This is for my HD70

Thanks!

Rory

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Old 12-28-2006, 10:06 AM
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I built a blackout cloth 8' wide 2.35:1 screen trimed in black painted chair rail or 40 bucks.

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Old 12-28-2006, 10:17 AM
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I have to admit, this does look interesting, especially for creating temporary screens. A roll of this could create quite a few makeshift screens that could simply be taped onto someones wall. You could get 4 106" diagonal disposable screens for $10 per. Match this with the hockey tape and you could put up (possibly) a nice looking temporary screen pretty cheap.

http://www.jtl-lighting.com/paper-backgrounds.html

Anybody have any idea if this would work well for a screen?

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Old 12-28-2006, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes that is the exact paper I was looking at.

Here is the link that got me interested in this heavy duty paper:

http://www.projectorcentral.com/diy_screen.htm

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Old 12-28-2006, 10:47 AM
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Might be fun to play with the greys, too. Hmm...

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Old 12-28-2006, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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What kind of grey should I look for, lighter, or darker?

Is the best way to determine screen size just to beam the blue projector image on the wall from the projecting point, and measure?

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Old 12-29-2006, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmerman911 View Post

What kind of grey should I look for, lighter, or darker?

Is the best way to determine screen size just to beam the blue projector image on the wall from the projecting point, and measure?

Usually something lighter grey works well for deepening blacks, although I've not tried it to any real extent, just some (too small) samples . Blue beam on a wall is the best way, yup.

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Old 12-29-2006, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I picked up a 107" x 12yard roll of super white. I am going to tape it up as a test tonight.

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Old 12-29-2006, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Gilvey View Post

Usually something lighter grey works well for deepening blacks, although I've not tried it to any real extent, just some (too small) samples . Blue beam on a wall is the best way, yup.

In the Q&A section of that projector central entry, they were pretty opposed to using light grays to deepen blacks. They claimed it would create a "ridiculously dull image".

By the way, anyone know how heavy this stuff it? Does it rip easily? I might be interested in trying to create a DIY retractable screen with this... Just worried about it ripping, creasing, folding, etc. Perhaps I'll swing by a photo supply store soon and get some samples. It's got to be pretty cheap if you can get 36 ft of the 53inch stuff for ~$42.

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Old 12-29-2006, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I haven't opened it up yet, tonight probably. I got 36ft of the 107" for $75 Canadian.

I will post again after I have opened it up.

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Old 12-29-2006, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Scherrer View Post

In the Q&A section of that projector central entry, they were pretty opposed to using light grays to deepen blacks. They claimed it would create a "ridiculously dull image".

I've been playing around with grays lately and I wonder if they said that because they actually tested it and saw that first hand or are just assuming... I have also seen the mods over there recommend bedsheets and that really blew my mind when I saw that post.

As far as being paper, I would imagine it's pretty flat with very little to no surface sheen, so I would say gain wise it will definitely be less than one and without any type of coating it could make for a duller looking image, but I would like to test it first. Now you guys have me adding something else to my list of things to buy!! Damn you all

If nothing else this would make a very nice and quick disposable test screen. My test screen was made with liner paper, which is used to cover rough plaster walls, cinderblocks, or paneling before painting or putting wall paper up. I don't know if this stuff is the same thickness, but I got the liner paper by the roll of 26" wide by approximately 30' for around $8. The liner paper curls pretty bad so I would check the photo paper out (or ask someone that bought some) if it lays flat or curls. The liner paper was fairly think but still curled like an SOB until it had adhesive brushed on, and then it layed flat.

This looks really interesting because of the width. The neutral gray may be a little too dark for most people. If it is the same as the Kodak neutral gray (it is 18% reflectance too) it is a middle gray in shade.

Here are a few things to note about photo backdrop paper:

"Many photographers have gray backdrop paper rolls or sheets in their studios and use them for gray references. In addition to backdrop papers, other available paper products include matboards, construction paper, art papers, mounting boards, etc. This can be a poor choice since many papers use dyes similar to fabric dyes and are, therefore, subject to the same problems as fabrics. Measurements of the spectral uniformity show a wide variance. Some gray paperss are almost flat spectrally, others extremely irregular. At this moment, use of gray papers can only be recommended on a case-by-case basis depending on spectral measurement of the paper."

The above was an excerpt from Robin Meyers Imaging about Gray Card Selection. This article is mainly about backdrop paper as used for a gray reference for photography. Since we are also concerned about the neutrality of screen colors, especially grays (particularly the middle to darker grays) I think the article applies to us too as far as color balance.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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My store didn't have it, but maybe there is a slightly glossy white paper in 53", that would be a higher gain?

My room is completely dark, do I need a gain higher than 1?

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Old 12-29-2006, 01:08 PM
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Quote:


In the Q&A section of that projector central entry, they were pretty opposed to using light grays to deepen blacks. They claimed it would create a "ridiculously dull image".

Maybe, but it seems cheap enough to find out just how "ridiculous" for yourself.

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Old 12-29-2006, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Gilvey View Post

Maybe, but it seems cheap enough to find out just how "ridiculous" for yourself.

I am definitely getting a roll. If nothing else it's a real cheap and easy test screen surface.

Glimmerman911 gloss is going to introduce a whole new set of issues. This is an interesting topic and area to explore.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:12 PM
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I have the photo paper in my room now. It's the 53" white.

Looks great, I can find no apparent weakness and this is after 6 weeks of using it.

Here's a few shots.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Good looking screen. Eggs, can you describe the materials and construction of your screen for me? I am going to use my paper to build a screen this weekend.

Thanks!

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Old 12-29-2006, 07:08 PM
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The screen frame is essentially the same as the one suggested by PJC. It is 100" diag (49x87) and it is lined with black velvet. The borders are 3.5" wide.

I can honestly tell you that I wasn't expecting much when I bought it, and it was supposed to be a temporary solution until the final screen came in. But I have thrown everything at it and still can't find anything to complain about. It's definately going to stay up for awhile.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:11 PM
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I have a bit of time, so I'd like to give everyone some specifics about the paper.

I bought mine from a camera supply store and they had the white and super-white in both widths. I chose to not go for the super-white because it looked like it had a 'cool' look to it, almost icy is the best way I can describe it. This seemed to be exactly what PJC described because, from what I recall, their sample was unable to reflect blue light very efficiently and so they had compensated by dialing up the blue on their test pj. But, samples will no doubt vary.

I brought it home and took off the outer plastic covering. At this point I had already made my screen, so it was a simple process to carefully roll out the paper and lay it across the back of my frame which was now lying flat on my floor. When I reached the end I used an exacto knife and trimmed it so that I had roughly two inches around the ends.

THe next step was to fasten the paper to the frame. According to the PJC article, they stapled the paper all around (roughly 9" apart) while trying to maintian even tension on the paper. I actually found this step to be a bit of a struggle, and not because of the stapling. The hard part was trying to keep consistent tension around the borders so that the final look was free of waves. THe first attempt didn't give me the results that I wanted and I started over. For my second try, I used ordinary thumbtacks instead of my staple gun. THe reason is that I felt that if I used something with a larger or wider surface to grip the paper in place that it would be easier to tension the paper without taking a chance on ripping the weak support that the staples provided.

About 20 minutes later the screen went up again. THis time around it gave more satisfying results, but still not what you would want to view on a consistent basis. There were still subtle waves across the surface. In addition, the edging around the inside part of the frame was more noticeable. The areas where the tacks had been placed were right up against the frame, while the areas without ever so slightly lifted away from the frame. Again, to me this was not a permanent solution so down it came again.

My third, and final, try worked out the best and it is what is on my wall now.

I knew that the answer had to be a way to tension the paper enough to not show waves, while being careful not to rip it (after all, it is still paper). WHat I came up with was to roll it out as I had done previously, but this time I cut it a few inches longer so that it would overshoot the outer edge of the frame by about an inch. I then cut a 53" piece of doorstop (or any long thin piece of wood that is about 1/4' by 1") and placed it along the first vertical frame end on top of the paper. Trying to staying even, I folded the paper over the piece of wood and wrapped it around once. When it was done I nailed it in place with small finishing nails. It was now tight and secure.

ON the other end, I did the same thing, but before I nailed it in place I made sure to give it a very good pull evenly along the wood piece. You will probably need someone to maintain this tension while you finish nailing the wood in place. The final step is to lay the doorstop across the length of the frame, about as close to the inside frame as possible.

When you are done, you should have very even tension with no waves and consistency around the edges. All together, the frame construction from start to finish should take about a couple hours. But, in the end you'll have a very satisfying image for a fraction of the cost. Very highly recommended.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:33 PM
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I had put in a few hours earlier this week trying to see how large the viewing cone was. For my current setup, this is not an issue; more of a curiosity.

THe first picture was shot straight on; the second at an extreme angle. This wouldn't be a practical viewing angle by any means, but it shows you just how wide the cone is. In my light-controlled room, I saw hardly any drop-off whatsoever; it was marginal at best.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:42 PM
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Another two screenshots to illustrate the same point.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Pics look good. Thanks for the tensioning idea, that is what I will do then.

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Old 12-29-2006, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Hopefully my superwhite works well too.

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Old 12-29-2006, 10:10 PM
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Rory, you should be fine with the super-white. Probably will give you better gain than the white while maintaining all the benefits of its color neutrality (what it's really designed for).

Let us know how it works out. Good luck.
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I will get some pics up. Might be a little while, a few things have come up that will delay the HT for a bit.

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Old 12-31-2006, 07:22 AM
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Here's a few more screenshots to show how well this screen accurately reflects colors. No adjustments were made to both my pj or the pictures.
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:28 AM
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A few more from film source. Notice the neutral bright white areas against the depth of the blacks.
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:50 AM
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eggsovereasy can you see the back of the screen and tell if there is any light making it through the paper?

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:22 AM
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I'll check for you.....good point.
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:30 AM
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Yes. The paper is illuminated to the point that you can make out the image from behind. I do have a wall painted flat black behind the screen, and this seems to absorb most of the stray light from the screen.
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Old 12-31-2006, 10:14 PM
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Does this stuff come in a grey color? I have ambient light issues and was looking at the FG wilsonart laminate, but if the white looks that good for that cheap I would think a grey color would have somewhat similar properties (yes I know they can be totally different as proven by a lot of threads already). Maybe someone could convince a local store to let them have a small sample to try out?

Quote:
eggsovereasy can you see the back of the screen and tell if there is any light making it through the paper?

Would this be a bad thing, or might it actually be a good thing because of the "good" ambient light (like those TVs with ambient light on the sides)?
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