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post #511 of 527 Old 02-13-2010, 08:46 AM
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I totally agree with you Rich about the flexibility offered by a big screen with a 4-way masking system. My DIY system is very similar, but I keep a fixed bottom mask with two remote powered side masks and a remote powered top mask. With this set up I find that I can literally have any screen size I want (up to the max permitted) and I can accomodate any format of film from 1.33 up to 3.0. I can operate CIH if I want to or CIA if I prefer. I have no desire to use an A-lens for 2.35 films, as zooming looks incredibly good to me, and I think an A-lens addition would definately restrict the flexibility that I presently enjoy. So for me 4-way masking + zooming is the only way to go.
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post #512 of 527 Old 02-13-2010, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taffman View Post

I can operate CIH if I want to or CIA if I prefer.

That's an important point that I've brought up before. And it's what I sort of mean (in a cheeky way perhaps) of 4 way masking/zooming being "beyond" CIH in certain aspects. Because you can operate as CIH if you want, but for those times a larger 16:9 image would be preferred, it's there. A variable size/4 way masking system can operate in CIW, or CIH or CIA or anything in between - a flexibility denied in the the other approaches.

CIW is nice. CIH is awesome. But it's nice for people to know there are other options as well.
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post #513 of 527 Old 02-16-2010, 04:30 PM
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Interesting idea about using a Black Diamond or similar screen in lieu of a masking system. I'd be interested to try that, actually. Have they come out with an acoustically-transparent version yet?

Mike Kobb
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post #514 of 527 Old 03-24-2010, 05:08 PM
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Update:

My masking system and RTI universal remote control are fully programmed.

I've been able to program as many different AR shapes and image sizes as I desire. Right now I've stopped at 16 pre-sets because I can't find the need for more. So there is a dedicated button (with the image size on it) on my touchscreen remote for each AR/image size.

I have a SCREEN SIZE page on my remote with the available image sizes to operate masking (one button press) and the lens controls for my RS20 projector mapped the hard buttons. I press the image size I want and the masking starts changing the screen shape. As that is happening I press the lens control button and the lens pattern goes up on the screen. Fortunately the RS20 Zoom/Lens shift pattern has all the relevant ARs outlined. So I just zoom out the image to the new image width, shift the image up or down and done.

I've timed the process switching from various AR/image sizes and it takes a mere 15 seconds or so (sometimes only 12 seconds) to entirely switch the screen size and fit the projected image. And it gets a "wow, cool" from guests.

It's an incredibly easy, fast process. My 11 year old son had no problem learning how to do it in minutes. (This is where a good universal remote really pays off).

So...CIA - or as I like to call mine Variable Image Size (VIS) (or should that be Variable Image Area? (VIA)? - can be achieved without spending the price of a new car on the masking. The expense for my masking/remote is around what I might have spent for a Panamorph lens set up if I did CIH.
(And if I did the A-lens set up, I'd still feel compelled to spend more money on masking anyway).

And like I mentioned in the Avatar thread, this set up allows me to be entirely unperturbed or unconcerned about the AR of any film as all films can be given "wow" impact. I have a 118" to 120" wide scope image at the moment from a 10 to 11 ft viewing distance (screen is actually bigger so if I ever want to add an A-lens I can increase that size...but I have no desire at this point). Of course I can run the system as a CIH system whenever I want. But this gives me more flexibility in how I present the films. If I stuck with CIH I'd have a mere 104" diagonal 16:9 image to display Avatar in it's released AR (the AR intended by Cameron). But in this set up I can choose a 126" diagonal 16:9 image - a subjectively huge step up in image size and immersion. So I'm happy as a clam viewing whatever AR Cameron intended.

Another plus is not really getting "used" to any particular screen size, as can happen in fixed screen size scenarios. The size is always changing (as I desire) for SD, or 16:9 sports, for comedies (not so huge) and Blu Ray Epics (blow that image up big!), different ARs etc. It just feels continually fresh, almost like I'm always getting a bit of the "wow" of installing a new screen, at the press of a button.

For anyone interested in going this route, I can give thumbs way up. Living with this flexibility has spoiled me and given the chance I wouldn't do it any other way.

I plan to get pictures...and likely video...up within the next couple weeks, of my system in action.

Cheers,
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post #515 of 527 Old 03-24-2010, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Fantastic Rich, love it. If you can get video up of this in action, that would be freakinawesome.
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post #516 of 527 Old 03-25-2010, 12:01 PM
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It's coming.

BTW, yesterday I was treated to a CIH demo. It used the Black Diamond 1.4 gain screen 2:35:1 screen, and it's size looked very close to the size I often view scope at home. The projector was the Anthem version of my projector (same JVC projector as mine) and it used the popular Panamorph UH480 A-lens.

We looked at various demo HD material that I've seen on my home screen. What I noticed mostly is that I'm getting a better image at home. I don't see any pixels at home so there was no difference in that respect for using the A-lens. I tried to spot any additional character brought by using the lens - e.g. did it have any feeling of extra
"density" or dimensionality that I could spot due to using the projector's full panel res?
Not that I could see. Was it brighter? Well, that of course depends on projector settings etc. At home I never have my lens aperture full open anyway, so when I project a larger image I simply open up the lens aperture for more brightness if needed.

So, no advantage jumped out at me, and as I said I see a better image at home (even though I'm using the zoom method). I've seen a CIH set up at a forum member's house using the same projector I do, and I had the same impression: no advantage in image quality grabbed me with the A-lens employed.

Still, I've yet to do a really careful, deliberate A/B test with a lens. And I've left the option of employing an A-lens in my set up to get more image width if I desire (although I'd still use a variable image size approach overall). But if I get an A-lens I won't go into it with high hopes it will really improve the image - more a matter of getting extra image width in my case.

As for the Black Diamond screen: The 1.4 version is a dark gray, although not the almost-black like the lower gain version. "Black bars" on images (e.g. the sides of 16:9 images, and sometimes we shrunk the scope images to look at the black bars) were very dark, although not totally black. I'd still want masking, personally. Although a lot of people I'm sure could be happy.

When the image went dark - e.g. in between trailers or during source switching, the screen went almost-disappearing dark, which was really cool. But interestingly once movie images were playing, both bright and dark scenes, I didn't get a sense of better contrast than I'm getting at home. I think overall the image looks better, with more "pop" at my place with my Stewart ST-130 screen.

Something that stood out once again for me with the Black Diamond screen is the screen texture. Whatever gain coating they are using creates a really prominent mottled,speckled texture over the image which is especially visible during bright scenes, or when you have solid areas of a similar color (like the sky). It's like someone has thrown dirty water all over the screen and was so obvious I found it completely unacceptable. I could never live with it. Add to that the screen's tendency to hot-spot - if I sat in front of one side of the image the other side got visibly darker - and I have to say this is a product I couldn't live with.

Don't get me wrong: the screen is very cool and DOES deliver on some of it's promise to make an image more viewable with some ambient lighting.

But ye canna change the laws o' physics....and ye canna get something for nothing. There's always a compromise built in to products like these. (And there's issues with whatever we buy - a white screen is going to mean tougher decor choices to get good performance).
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post #517 of 527 Old 03-26-2010, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

My masking system and RTI universal remote control are fully programmed.

Rich, were you able to find a "complete" IR library for the RS20 for your RTI?

When I was programming mine a few months ago, the best I could find was for the RS2. The commands that are there work fine on an RS20, but it is missing some.

Which RTI are you using?

Thanks,
Jay
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post #518 of 527 Old 03-27-2010, 09:24 AM
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Jay,

I'm using the RTI T2-C remote with the RP-6 controller.

As far as I know my installer had the codes for the RS20. Although a couple seem to be missing in my case too. (E.g. gamma switching).
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post #519 of 527 Old 04-01-2010, 08:30 PM
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Rich, your automated set up sounds incredible. I totally agree with your whole philosophy on the benefits offered by 4 -way masking. Too bad that so much press on this forum is devoted to the A-lens, when masking can deliver so much more in terms of image impact and presentation flexibility, and at much less cost. Your actual observations on the A-lens Vs zooming pretty well confirm my feelings that A-lenses are way over-hyped. I am thankful everyday for my 3-way masking , because it seems that film formats are all over the map and you have to have the flexibility of masking films almost on an individual basis, although I suspect that the 16 presets that you already have pretty well covers almost everything out there. I would hate to be locked in with a fixed height system and a scope lens. But like you I can do exactly what I want, CIH, CIA, or anything in between, but in general I maximize height for 16:9 and 4:3, and maximize width for 2.35.
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post #520 of 527 Old 04-01-2010, 10:10 PM
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Yeah, it's very gratifying.

I remember when the Wizard Of Oz played at our local rep theater, which had a fairly large screen, a few years ago. I went to see it because like most people I'd never seen that movie in the theater so I wanted to experience as audiences got to see it when it was released. I'll never forget what an impression it made; how enhanced the experience was seeing the image so big, how all the facial expressions that I'd never seen so clearly became prominent at that size. The acting and atmosphere just took on another dimension.

Not long ago we were watching the Blu-Ray of Wizard Of Oz (4:3 AR, obviously). I tried it at various sizes, starting first with the size I would have had if I stayed CIH. In the end I had the image blown up to take full advantage of my full screen height. The image was so much bigger and gave so much more of an I'm At The Cinema effect, it was no contest. At the larger size it had that same vibe that I adored in the cinema.

And that is what I'm personally trying to re-produce: the involvement in whatever movie I put on. Wizard Of Oz at the larger size simply re-created better the feeling of seeing it in a cinema. Varying size (like moving to a closer seat in a cinema, or viewing a movie at a different cinema with a larger screen) immersing myself in a film image, no matter what particular AR it happens to be, brings me much closer to the cinematic experience I have of a movie theater than if I'd stuck to some by-the-numbers "the next film I view must be the same height as my scope image, no matter if it loses impact" approach.

(As I always say, I'd choose CIH over CIW...but I like this a lot better than either of those restrictions).
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post #521 of 527 Old 04-01-2010, 10:20 PM
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Just another note: When talking of "cinematic size" I think this is clearly a relative term. When I first saw my friend's set up, a 94" projected image, I was used to my 42" plasma and I felt about my friend's image "This is BIG...now THIS is cinematic."

But now when I go to his place to watch a movie it seems quite small compared to mine. He comes to my place and he's "Wow! This is a BIG image!"

And yet some forum members have screens much larger than mine, and my image would seem smallish to them, and hence less cinematic. So it's pretty relative these cinematic impressions.

But this is precisely the phenomena that I'm deliberately playing with in my set up.
I'm rarely using the full size of my set up, especially not the full height. Sometimes I'll have watched several movies in a row in an almost CIH approach. But then I'm watching something that I want to be more immersed in and opening up the screen size gets that "wow, more cinematic" feeling, because of the contrast. If I were used to the same screen size all the time it wouldn't have the same impact.

(And of course CIH folks use this same phenomena to get that WOW feeling when they widen their screen for scope images after seeing 1:85:1 or 16:9 content).
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post #522 of 527 Old 04-02-2010, 02:11 AM
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This size issue I find fascinating. With 20/20 vision the ideal sitting angle to resolve the 55 pixels per degree is 34.9* degrees. 1920/55 = 34.9degrees.

So if one is sitting at the angle* for optimum image quality, irrespective of the physical screen size, they will appear the same size to the eye.

If one is sitting at closer distances/larger angles, would indicate a less than resolved image to ones eyes.....but no doubt the immersion would be greater.

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post #523 of 527 Old 04-02-2010, 04:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Update:

My masking system and RTI universal remote control are fully programmed.

I've been able to program as many different AR shapes and image sizes as I desire. Right now I've stopped at 16 pre-sets because I can't find the need for more. So there is a dedicated button (with the image size on it) on my touchscreen remote for each AR/image size.

I have a SCREEN SIZE page on my remote with the available image sizes to operate masking (one button press) and the lens controls for my RS20 projector mapped the hard buttons. I press the image size I want and the masking starts changing the screen shape. As that is happening I press the lens control button and the lens pattern goes up on the screen. Fortunately the RS20 Zoom/Lens shift pattern has all the relevant ARs outlined. So I just zoom out the image to the new image width, shift the image up or down and done.

I've timed the process switching from various AR/image sizes and it takes a mere 15 seconds or so (sometimes only 12 seconds) to entirely switch the screen size and fit the projected image. And it gets a "wow, cool" from guests.

It's an incredibly easy, fast process. My 11 year old son had no problem learning how to do it in minutes. (This is where a good universal remote really pays off).

So...CIA - or as I like to call mine Variable Image Size (VIS) (or should that be Variable Image Area? (VIA)? - can be achieved without spending the price of a new car on the masking. The expense for my masking/remote is around what I might have spent for a Panamorph lens set up if I did CIH.
(And if I did the A-lens set up, I'd still feel compelled to spend more money on masking anyway).

And like I mentioned in the Avatar thread, this set up allows me to be entirely unperturbed or unconcerned about the AR of any film as all films can be given "wow" impact. I have a 118" to 120" wide scope image at the moment from a 10 to 11 ft viewing distance (screen is actually bigger so if I ever want to add an A-lens I can increase that size...but I have no desire at this point). Of course I can run the system as a CIH system whenever I want. But this gives me more flexibility in how I present the films. If I stuck with CIH I'd have a mere 104" diagonal 16:9 image to display Avatar in it's released AR (the AR intended by Cameron). But in this set up I can choose a 126" diagonal 16:9 image - a subjectively huge step up in image size and immersion. So I'm happy as a clam viewing whatever AR Cameron intended.

Another plus is not really getting "used" to any particular screen size, as can happen in fixed screen size scenarios. The size is always changing (as I desire) for SD, or 16:9 sports, for comedies (not so huge) and Blu Ray Epics (blow that image up big!), different ARs etc. It just feels continually fresh, almost like I'm always getting a bit of the "wow" of installing a new screen, at the press of a button.

For anyone interested in going this route, I can give thumbs way up. Living with this flexibility has spoiled me and given the chance I wouldn't do it any other way.

I plan to get pictures...and likely video...up within the next couple weeks, of my system in action.

Cheers,

Sounds fantastic ! Keep us posted on your experiences and perhaps a CIA for dummies would be great as well.

Art

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post #524 of 527 Old 04-02-2010, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highjinx View Post

This size issue I find fascinating. With 20/20 vision the ideal sitting angle to resolve the 55 pixels per degree is 34.9* degrees. 1920/55 = 34.9degrees.

So if one is sitting at the angle* for optimum image quality, irrespective of the physical screen size, they will appear the same size to the eye.

It's not so easy. Viewing angle doesn't seem to be the only way our brain judges size. For instance, I can put my face much closer to my 24" computer monitor to view a picture or a movie playing and it doesn't suddenly fool my brain into believing the images have become gigantic. My brain easily registers I'm closer to a small image, not that the image has become huge.

Similarly, moving closer to my image does increase immersion, but even if I were at the same viewing angle as, say, Art's screen it's not going to have the same authority as Art's.

I tried sitting really close to my plasma for years. It's not the same experience as seeing my larger projected image. Size does count.
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post #525 of 527 Old 04-02-2010, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post

Sounds fantastic ! Keep us posted on your experiences and perhaps a CIA for dummies would be great as well.

Art

It would be written by a dummy, unfortunately.

I'll do my best. Pix and (I think) video are coming.
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post #526 of 527 Old 04-03-2010, 05:23 PM
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Rich,

I feel your 4 way automated masking is the ultimate.

All bases are covered, no digital scaling is involved, perfect pixel mapping is maintained, no additional glass that may alter the image.

Within reason, whatever image size/area the viewer wishes, irrespective of the AR.

With a superb encode the ability to make the image bigger for greater immersion, than one can with an average encode.

Nice!

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post #527 of 527 Old 04-03-2010, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highjinx View Post

Rich,

I feel your 4 way automated masking is the ultimate.

All bases are covered, no digital scaling is involved, perfect pixel mapping is maintained, no additional glass that may alter the image.

Within reason, whatever image size/area the viewer wishes, irrespective of the AR.

With a superb encode the ability to make the image bigger for greater immersion, that one can with an average encode.

Nice!

I could not agree more. 4 -way masking solves all the aspect ratio issues without any compromise.
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