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post #1 of 60 Old 01-18-2007, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I was going to call this thread How to get 25% more lumens out of your projector (or make it seem like it) but the last thread I started the title got people a bit worked up so I'll stick to the facts a bit better here.

I know this topic has been explored many times before but as I like to do (rarely) I start a new thread when I make a major improvement in my viewing room and over the last weekend I went thru a gallon of flat black paint. For the paint mixers out there my flat black was white base with 14 oz of lampblack added. You really get your moneys worth when you buy a gallon of black. Its full to the brim.

I installed a trim strip made from back to back ¾ inch quarter rounds (making a half round) about 5 feet out from my screen. I masked and painted out an area 5'x14' of ceiling and the right side wall about 16' long. Click on thumbnail below.



Everyone should paint a ceiling flat black once in their life as it is a strange thing to experience. You start out being able to see what you are doing perfectly fine and as you go you think you are going blind. I kept adding more and more lights and I couldn't see what I was doing. The second coat was even worse and if it wasn't for the wet paint having some sheen you would be painting by feel. For some reason the walls didn't seem as bad. Maybe being field stones the texture helped keep my point of reference.

As an attempt at conveying the ambient light level in the room I took the following shots. The first looking at my screen with the setup screen displayed with all lights on there were (8) 60w ceiling can lights with flood pattern bulbs a 21CRT monitor and a few smaller desk and computer lamps on. Basically every light in the room and all dimmers are on full. The second and third thumbnails are looking back from the screen first with all lights on and second with just the back row on located 12' from the screen.



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post #2 of 60 Old 01-18-2007, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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The next set of thumbnails shows a screen image taken under each of the lighting modes. It's of a basketball game on SDTV. The pictures are in order, all lights on. mid and back rows only, back row only, and lights out. In these 4 photos I held a piece of paper at arms length in front of the cam to try and show about the light level in the seating area. I like to call task light / beer drinking pizza eating light.



The next (3) thumbnails are lights out shots from the movie The Hulk to show the reduction of ceiling reflection compared to a before example.


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post #3 of 60 Old 01-18-2007, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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(Page 3)
After


Before


In conclusion the purpose of this thread is to show (hopefully) that the good effects of a black ceiling can be had without turning the whole room into a bat cave. I'm really happy about the PQ improvements I'm seeing after doing this and didn't sacrifice any of the brightness I can have in the seating end of the room. The improvement works both with some lights on and also in total black out. What I'm finding when viewing movies alone I go for total light kill still or just the slightest task lighting. When viewing movies with others they seem to like just a little more rear row (maybe 1/3 power).
Sports with the guys back row 2/3 mid row 1/3. PQ is awesome and everyone can see really good still. As far as the front row I would never see a reason or want them on they are just there for when the room is used for non viewing activities.


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post #4 of 60 Old 01-19-2007, 07:16 AM
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Nice work Bud... what a difference!

I have three PJs and unfortuanately for me, not one of those areas in the house (all at least semi-formal) are not appropriate for black paint. One of these days I'll do a dedicated theater in the basement where anything goes. I do envy those of you who can get away with painting flat black!
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post #5 of 60 Old 01-29-2007, 05:15 AM
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I masked my ceiling & side walls in Black from about 24".... It looks great with the lights on but it's absolutely stunning with the lights out.

Great thread!
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post #6 of 60 Old 01-29-2007, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tattootearz View Post

I masked my ceiling & side walls in Black from about 24".... It looks great with the lights on but it's absolutely stunning with the lights out.

Great thread!

Depending on your ceiling height and projector, screen placement the distance out from the screen where you start seeing benefits of a black/dark ceiling will vary.

I went with 5' out because my screen nearly touches the ceiling. (not recommended but you have to do what you have to do) It was pretty easy to figure out how far I wanted to go by watching the plume dance around on my ceiling.

I'm glad it worked out well for you.


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post #7 of 60 Old 02-10-2007, 06:45 AM
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Hello

Came across your "Black" thread and had to leave a comment,

I recently added flat black around my screen and the ceiling, also added black curtains to the sides and top of the screen.

The result is simply amazing! My 92" screen hangs in a 4 foot recess with angled walls, in effect it has become a large completely black recess, sort of a shadow box,
(the basement foundation walls are in a bow window shape )

This recessed area fits the screen perfectly, anyway....blacking things out was the best improvement I have ever made!!

The picture pops off the screen, brights are bright and darks are dark wow!!!

My front, centre speakers & sub are all black and have "disappeared into the black hole....."

The interesting thing is that the screen now seems to float and acts like a window it's hard to explain.

People walk up to the screen and are not sure how far back it is they put there hand up and have to keep walking a few feet before they touch it.

As well ambient light has much less of an effect, my room is completely light controlled but now I can easily leave a couple of lamps on while we watch a movie or play Xbox 360.

While this may not be an option for some it worked out great, I didn't have to paint the whole room, and the WA factor wasn't hard to deal with after she saw the picture....

Pretty cool

Just my 2 cents








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post #8 of 60 Old 02-10-2007, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Sloan1

The pictures look great and you said it all much better than I could have.

For the cost involved and the PQ improvements, it's defiantly the best bang for the buck I have done.

My speakers are also flat black and they just vanish into the Blackness.


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post #9 of 60 Old 02-10-2007, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloan1 View Post

Hello

Came across your "Black" thread and had to leave a comment,

I recently added flat black around my screen and the ceiling, also added black curtains to the sides and top of the screen.

The result is simply amazing! My 92" screen hangs in a 4 foot recess with angled walls, in effect it has become a large completely black recess, sort of a shadow box,
(the basement foundation walls are in a bow window shape )

This recessed area fits the screen perfectly, anyway....blacking things out was the best improvement I have ever made!!

The picture pops off the screen, brights are bright and darks are dark wow!!!

My front, centre speakers & sub are all black and have "disappeared into the black hole....."

The interesting thing is that the screen now seems to float and acts like a window it's hard to explain.

People walk up to the screen and are not sure how far back it is they put there hand up and have to keep walking a few feet before they touch it.

As well ambient light has much less of an effect, my room is completely light controlled but now I can easily leave a couple of lamps on while we watch a movie or play Xbox 360.

While this may not be an option for some it worked out great, I didn't have to paint the whole room, and the WA factor wasn't hard to deal with after she saw the picture....

Pretty cool

Just my 2 cents

I'm a noob to front projectors, but I noticed in your last pic that the black bars on the top and bottom look almost as black as the curtains around the screen. Are you not using a digital projector, or is something else at play here to make the black this good?
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post #10 of 60 Old 02-10-2007, 10:03 PM
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Hello

Well yes I am using a digital projector, it is an Optoma HD6800 (HD72) from Costco. I am projecting onto a Panoview Greywolf ll screen.

The image is fed from my HTPC via DVI, video card is Asus 7600 GT, running Nvidia Pure Video Drivers, at 1280 X 720 resoloution.

The blacks are very deep, I am thrilled with the results I am achieving, it took a little while to get things right.
I have only calibrated with the THX test disc, and the Test patterns within MCE. I havent tweaked the video card much at all, but to match the test patterns my brightness settings on the projector are cranked down, I had it much to high for a while.

The black bars are slightly noticeable, but with everything blacked out including the white screen frame the black bars really do fade away.....

Oh and something else, the brights / whites seem brighter because of the deep blacks contrast?

I was a little skeptical of paint, but I can't emphasize enough how much it enhanced the picture.



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post #11 of 60 Old 02-12-2007, 05:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WebEffect View Post

I'm a noob to front projectors, but I noticed in your last pic that the black bars on the top and bottom look almost as black as the curtains around the screen. Are you not using a digital projector, or is something else at play here to make the black this good?

WebEffect

I think Sloan1 like myself has found that with the darkchip2 DLP do a great job of masking when set to the other formats than native.

In my case I use a DIY neutral gray screen that further helps with darkening the self-masking. Some of the photos I have posted show almost no contrast with the self-masking and the true flat black surface and that could be slightly affected by the digital cam taking the photo. The below photo though is about as close to what I see in contrast during the worst case under lights out viewing. Now with some ambient lights on the degree you see that dark black self-masking in comparison to a true masking of black paint or material will vary. Most of the time when viewing under ambient lights turned up it's a more casual setting watching bright images such as sports and the masking isn't as important IMO. That's shown in second thumbnail below its hard to see the self masked area because I'm filling the 4:3 screen but there is a small edge you can see. Keep in mind the second photo was taken with (8) 60 w flood lights on the closest two being 3 feet from the screen.





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post #12 of 60 Old 02-12-2007, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post

Keep in mind these photos were taken with (8) 60 w flood lights on the closest two being 3 feet from the screen.

]

Well Bud, not in the first shot of the Girl there. Those Cans directly above the screen (3ft away) are clearly off.

I must say painting your ceiling Black was an absolute necessity because I cannot remember anywhere seeing a screen that crowded the ceiling like that biggun'

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"

http://www.invisiblestereo.com
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post #13 of 60 Old 02-12-2007, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Well Bud, not in the first shot of the Girl there. Those Cans directly above the screen (3ft away) are clearly off.

I must say painting your ceiling Black was an absolute necessity because I cannot remember anywhere seeing a screen that crowded the ceiling like that biggun'

The typo has been corrected.

In 4:3 mode it both crowds the ceiling and the floor. It's 72x96 and the ceiling is 76. That gave several other challenges such as finding a projector that fit my bill and had a negative drop height offset. It's doing it's job with keystone set to zero.

80% of my movie viewing is done in 16:9 mode and the 10X gives me 18 of vertical digital image shift in that mode. I don't normally view with the image tight against the ceiling like that. I ran it all the way up to show the results of the black ceiling in its worst possible light. Most times viewing in a small group the image is centered around eye level or slightly higher. It is a nice feature to have if you want to watch reclined though.


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post #14 of 60 Old 02-28-2007, 06:39 AM
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see pics of my "BLACK" room in my sig. Actually the ceiling is a flat black. PAINTED ceiling tiles(and they said it can't be done) The walls are more of a grey than I like but my wife wanted the sandstone texture. So because of that I used Rustoleum American accents "stone creations" spraypaint in a tan color to give some contrast in the trim and sconces and poster frames.
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post #15 of 60 Old 01-09-2008, 01:13 PM
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..and this is the reason why I keep a loaded gun in the armrest remote control cubby hole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloan1 View Post

People walk up to the screen and are not sure how far back it is they put there hand up and have to keep walking a few feet before they touch it.


The Moderno Theatre! Slideshow (here, and here!)
Pixar screenplay slideshows here!
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post #16 of 60 Old 01-10-2008, 04:09 AM
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Bud, what took you so long? FWIW, blacking a ceiling's biggest benefit is eye fatigue relief from bright reflections, especially in bright scenes. The higher your ceiling (distance from the top of the screen) the less blackening needed...just like 'reel' theaters.
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post #17 of 60 Old 01-10-2008, 04:39 AM
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I have a flat black painted ceiling as well, but I still get some reflection... its diffused, but it is there as my screen is only 4" from the ceiling.

My plan of action is to cover 5 ft of ceiling with black velvet, towards the screen. Still trying to understand what the best way to achieve this is, since I want it to look nice and even (pro finish).

The Moderno Theatre! Slideshow (here, and here!)
Pixar screenplay slideshows here!
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post #18 of 60 Old 01-10-2008, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnolivos View Post

I have a flat black painted ceiling as well, but I still get some reflection... its diffused, but it is there as my scree is only 4" from the ceiling.

My plan of action is to cover 5 ft of ceiling with black velvet, towards the screen. Still trying to understand what the best way to achieve this is, since I want it to look nice and even (pro finish).

Have you considered making a half circle of plywood and then covering it with the felt. You could suspend it an inch bellow the ceiling. You might even consider putting some rope lights above it to create a nice soft lighting effect.
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post #19 of 60 Old 01-10-2008, 05:44 AM
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Hah, I like the idea! I have no electricity runs up there though. Not even can lights! May have to do without the rope lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler View Post

Have you considered making a half circle of plywood and then covering it with the felt. You could suspend it an inch bellow the ceiling. You might even consider putting some rope lights above it to create a nice soft lighting effect.


The Moderno Theatre! Slideshow (here, and here!)
Pixar screenplay slideshows here!
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post #20 of 60 Old 01-10-2008, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnolivos View Post

Hah, I like the idea! I have no electricity runs up there though. Not even can lights! May have to do without the rope lights

When you get it done be sure to post some pictures.
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post #21 of 60 Old 01-21-2008, 11:05 AM
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This is something I've been putting off for awhile, but I think the time has come to do this as well.

I want MY Cigarettes, MINE Nurse Ratched!!
Screen Pics
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muzz View Post

This is something I've been putting off for awhile, but I think the time has come to do this as well.

muzz,

You need to fix your signature! Your new screen is much better than the old isn't it?

mech
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post #23 of 60 Old 01-22-2008, 08:32 AM
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hhmm I wish there was a way to black out my room... without destroying the paint...
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post #24 of 60 Old 01-22-2008, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illnastyimpreza View Post

hhmm I wish there was a way to black out my room... without destroying the paint...

Black drapes. Just cuz there is no window does not mean you can't have drapes.
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post #25 of 60 Old 03-07-2008, 08:15 PM
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Guys just wondering, would dark earth tones/reds give 80-90% of the benefit (vs the white ceiling/walls I have presently)? The WAF on that color scheme vs black would be significantly higher, but how much am I losing?

This is for our next house (6 months) with a designated room.
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post #26 of 60 Old 03-08-2008, 03:00 AM
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Extreme depth (darkness) is not as important as the wall's/ceilings surface ability to suppress low level reflection of light.

Dark Greens, and Blues....even up to "Mid-Tone" levels, will gobble up light from indirect sources. The key is to have absolutely NO sheen whatsoever.

Many attractive colors will light up when illuminated past as certain point, yet absorb and attenuate light drastically once it drops below a certain level.

Ceilings are the sorest point of contention, but they need not be Black or Dark Brown. All that is required is a reversal of the normal color scheme on most rooms. Instead of a lighter ceiling and darker walls, the ceiling is the darkest shade. Many attractive Theater Rooms have ceilings that are 304 shades darker of the the same color on the walls.

Introduce Blues, Greens, or even Grays with sub tones of those colors, and the WAF will soar. Black or dark Browns are depression to the "Skirt Crowd" unless they grew up loving LL Bean.

Granted, little else can top Black for complete light suppression, but if it comes with the heavy price of sleeping on the Couch, your Movie Collection better be good enough to keep you satisfied.

Just take the Lady in hand, and armed with the knowledge of what your Furniture/Carpet color scheme is, go let "HER" choose a specific color match-up that compliments them both. Just stick to the premise that whatever deep color is chosen for the Walls, it's the ceiling color as well....only the ceiling should be 3-4 shades darker. Maintain ONLY a "Flat" hue throughout and watch how the light levels plummet once the illumination from other light sources are reduced beyond a certain point.

For a parallel, consider a dark Gray screen. If you hit it with even the direct light from a PJ's lamp, if that incoming light is below a certain level of lumens, your colors and whites are terribly suppressed. But use a Light Cannon and the effects of a Dark Gray is enhanced.

Same goes for a Room's color. The darker the room's surface....whatever the color...as long as it's a "Flat" hue... the less effect indirect lighting will have upon it. A projector's light never hits a wall directly....even the ceiling directly above the screen. It's all "Indirect Ambient Light"

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"

http://www.invisiblestereo.com
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post #27 of 60 Old 03-08-2008, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

The darker the room's surface....whatever the color...as long as it's a "Flat" hue...

I agree w/MM's post--we even did our walls in a Satin finish and reflectivity off walls & ceilings still is still highly acceptable to us. Take a look here.

I might've guessed our dark green walls & ceiling might result in a "green push" onscreen, but if there is one is not noticeable at all to *us*. My wife's the painter btw.
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post #28 of 60 Old 03-08-2008, 06:53 PM
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Hi Bud,
I put black, sorta velvet, curtains around the room a while ago, looks like I'll be giving the ceiling a bit of a treatment soon, definately more bang for your buck.
Cheers
Gary
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post #29 of 60 Old 03-10-2008, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I would be the first to admit black isn't for everyone. I wasn't keen on the idea myself and my room is much closer to a man cave and less to a home theater. In fact in the beginning of the build I was told, Do whatever you want no one is going to see it down there but you anyway. For a guy that's a great feeling but with time there has been a migration of others into the cave area. But by that point all the necessary blacking had taken place.

If you have followed any of my threads my goal from the beginning has been to do a room with high ambient light tolerance while maintaining PQ to and acceptable level. So the whole room not unlike in audio was made to have a live end and a dead end but in this case it was dealing with light not sound. Without seeing it in person the transition of the ceiling out from the screen wall from black to white really ended up looking pretty nice I thought. I wanted the white ceiling down in the seating end of the room to make better use of the lower level light at that end. Its amazing how just having the white ceiling gives that end a feeling of brightness while the 5 foot out ceiling of black gives the movie end a feeling of perceived darkness and or contrast. And I do know not many people would want to paint up a first floor living room like this but in a dedicated space like I have in a basement it works.

The issue of sheen is a different one and I wont disagree with anything MM posted above but there is also a case to be made for sheen. Sheen even on black causes any of the light not absorbed to skip off at the same angle it came in on, things like black velvet and carpet are such great light traps because they have fiber that has depth to it. The light gets down into the fiber and instead of skipping off it bounces around until it gets absorbed. If the only source of ambient light in your room is reflected light from the screen a matte sheen in black could do as much as a flat, by skipping the light along and not diffusing it back to the screen. but then you have a whole different PQ issue and that is the secondary reflected image on the walls and ceiling. My ceiling is only 2 inches from the top of my screen and this was quite an annoyance to me. I did my 5 foot of black in flat black and I stopped a lot of the reflection but could even use rougher black optical texture surface.

There is really little difference in how light bounces off a wall than a ceiling. Distance is the key factor, when you think about a commercial theater the light from the screen has to travel 100's of feet to reach its first wall. The walls are commonly covered in pleated material or are stepped with a pattern that traps light. And of course they are dark colors also. Anything darker is better.

Below are two photos that show this before and after the black. Look at the change in ceiling glare.

Before

Before

After

After


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post #30 of 60 Old 03-10-2008, 07:08 AM
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............and still you haven't replaced those "Floods" with "Eyeballs".

Absolutely "Black" is best......

....unless it happens to be the prevalent mood of your significant "other".

better to stick to a "Flat' something she will accept, than risk getting "flattened".

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"

http://www.invisiblestereo.com
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