The Torus story - more Background hindsight from behind the lines. - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 51 Old 01-01-2001, 05:34 PM
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Wow. Things are a bit slow. The graphics are slowing down the ole' computer a bit here.

I may try out the new toys soon....

As I said, I just thought I would be a bit rude just to push the discussion a bit.

As originally surmised, I suspect. The curve must be singular in nature.

Now.... Where lies the reason for $5000 of ray tracing? Just in case you where not paying attention, at the risk of appearing stupid, I still insist that $5000 dollars worth of math is not required, just a bit of common sense....

I still reserve the right to be completely wrong, but I will stay the course here.I am trying to wrap my head around the need for such complex mathematical 'averaging' but for some reason, cannot find the reason for buying into it.

I am certianly not afraid of spending the money if I had it, to get to some sort of screen nirvana, it just does not seem to be nessesary here.

No matter what the answer is, and the quality realized, or the exent of the finality of the answer, there is ALWAYS a better way. Until you find that, then you cannot continue, by ANY sense of the thought, on any path to perfection.


I just thought I would go back and add in that: If you were designing a commercial movie theatre,yes, then spend the money and have the tracing done. Spare no expense here, and $5k for piece of mind is absolutely nessesary in such a situation, but for home theatre? Seems quite unlikely, unless the audience was larger than, say 10 seats or so.


And I might add that I have never been facinated by the idea of having a movie theatre in my home. I like a comfortable enviroment, not a rigorously regimented space. Seems like a lack of fun to me. Movie theatres have about as much appeal as a doctor's office.
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<FONT COLOR="#ffff00" SIZE="1" FACE="Verdana, Arial">This message has been edited by KBK on 01-01-2001 at 09:18 PM</font>

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post #32 of 51 Old 01-01-2001, 06:35 PM
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Dear KBK,
I apoligize to you for quoting all of Kam's
post. My intention was just to compliment
his knowlege of what a commercial Torus screen is. I went back to the thread and made the proper edit to reflect my original intentions.
I am still learning how to use this computor.
Again, please except my apologies.
Sincerely,
Don
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post #33 of 51 Old 01-02-2001, 04:45 AM
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For a small home theater you really may not need complicated math at all. In mine, there is one main row of seating directly under the projector. The projector is centered 1 ft. above screen center, the eyeballs 1 ft. below.

Under these circumstances, the ideal vertical screen radius is equal to the distance from projector to screen.

The ideal horizontal radius is then slightly larger than vertical (viewing is more spread out in the horizontal). But in reality, the maximum horizontal curve possible is limited by the geometry adjustments of the projector. I just set the horizontal curve to this maximum. A $5000.00 equation that tells me this curve should be a little deeper would be irrelevant.

In general, you might first choose the total depth of curvature (usually limited by lens and geometry adjustments), then just estimate the horizontal and vertical components of this depth according to the seating arrangement. Usually a little more curve in the vertical compared to horizontal.

If anyone has a chance to see some of the "commercial" torus screens in a theater setting, it would be interesting to learn what the typical ratio of vertical to horizontal radii actually is.

Mike
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post #34 of 51 Old 01-02-2001, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Don Stewart:

Right again Kam...What do you do for a living?

Regards,
Don

</font>
Would you believe that I'm actually a University (or College for Americans) student, studying Industrial Design? My Mass Production Techniques class is where I obtained my knowledge of fiberglass/polyester fabrication and a year in Engineering gave me enough math skills to puzzle out the workings of the Torus screen from the information they sent me.

Regards,

Kam Fung
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post #35 of 51 Old 01-02-2001, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by KBK:
I am certianly not afraid of spending the money if I had it, to get to some sort of screen nirvana, it just does not seem to be nessesary here.

</font>
It almost certainly isn't! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif $5000 for just the CONSULTING fee! Don't forget the screen is an expensive custom job! Gerald Nash of Sigma Design Group told me as much when I asked him how practical it was for a home installation. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

No matter what the answer is, and the quality realized, or the exent of the finality of the answer, there is ALWAYS a better way. Until you find that, then you cannot continue, by ANY sense of the thought, on any path to perfection.


I just thought I would go back and add in that: If you were designing a commercial movie theatre,yes, then spend the money and have the tracing done. Spare no expense here, and $5k for piece of mind is absolutely nessesary in such a situation, but for home theatre? Seems quite unlikely, unless the audience was larger than, say 10 seats or so.
</font>
Yes, definitely. A movie theater would be much more worthwile than a home installation, there are often difficult short throws and a large number of seats. In this case their fee is quite warranted (and probably substantially more).

To be fair, I think their consulting fee includes a bit more than just ray-tracing the screen, they would also optimize seating placement, sight-lines, and a myriad of other factors. They would also generate dimensioned technical drawings for the screen...

Most of their business caters to large installations and companies that can afford their high per-hour consulting fee. They're not really set up to handle work for individuals and their time is better spent larger projects that make their fee economical. After all, if you were given the chance to work at $100+/hour (for example) on a large theater or substantially less on a small home theater, which would you have to choose? I also got the impression that they were also busy enough that they didn't have much time for small projects.


Oh, before I reply to your post Mike I should make clear something that hasn't been mentioned much in this thread. The gain of the screen is also a big factor. The "viewable angle" (or half-gain angle) that manufacturers give you play a factor in how much curvature you need. If you have a large viewable angle, you don't need as much of a curve to properly distribute light to the audience. However, a smaller viewable angle means you have to be more careful. The viewable angle is related to the gain of the screen, the larger the gain, the smaller the viewable angle.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Mike2:
For a small home theater you really may not need complicated math at all. In mine, there is one main row of seating directly under the projector. The projector is centered 1 ft. above screen center, the eyeballs 1 ft. below.

Under these circumstances, the ideal vertical screen radius is equal to the distance from projector to screen.

</font>
That makes sense to me, but don't forget to take into account differences in the height of your viewers!
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

The ideal horizontal radius is then slightly larger than vertical (viewing is more spread out in the horizontal). But in reality, the maximum horizontal curve possible is limited by the geometry adjustments of the projector. I just set the horizontal curve to this maximum. A $5000.00 equation that tells me this curve should be a little deeper would be irrelevant.

</font>
Actually the ideal horizontal radius would be SMALLER than the distance from projector to screen (or smaller than the vertical radius in this case). This would give you a greater curve on the scree. The reason being that you would want to have enough curvature to direct more light from a corner of the screen to the seat on the other side! This way people in the corner wouldn't see a dim spot on the far side of the screen. It sounds a little counter-intuitive, but it works out. Also, you would have to make sure you didn't curve to screen too much or else you would lose brightness in the close corner.
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

In general, you might first choose the total depth of curvature (usually limited by lens and geometry adjustments), then just estimate the horizontal and vertical components of this depth according to the seating arrangement. Usually a little more curve in the vertical compared to horizontal.

</font>
I would say that geometry is not such a big issue, I don't imagine most people would find it too objectionable. If you've ever seen the new multiplexes with the curved screens (in one direction), you probably don't find it bothers you too much (in fact, the theaters use it as a selling point!). However, your comment on focus is bang on, but it would be different for every projector because of their different lenses. How much curvature can you have before you lose focus in the corners? Here is where gain also becomes a factor, you can get a uniform image with a less extreme curve if you settle for a little less gain (which gives you a larger viewable angle). This would allow your curve to stay within the focal range of the projector.
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

If anyone has a chance to see some of the "commercial" torus screens in a theater setting, it would be interesting to learn what the typical ratio of vertical to horizontal radii actually is.

Mike</font>
Send Sigma Design Group an e-mail asking for their information package, they have case studies of actual installations (like a screening room for Fox) and they list screen gains and radii. Of course, those radii are of little use to us except as references. They also have some excellent pictures and plans that are a great help in visualizing what is going on (much better than me just writing about it!). I'd scan and post mine, but I don't have a scanner. Maybe when I get back to school...

Regards,

Kam Fung
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post #36 of 51 Old 01-03-2001, 02:05 AM - Thread Starter
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To jeffs post:

"Ah Peter,
Think not that it is a cause for sadness but a cause for rejoicing that those of us with limited means may take-up this holy quest!

Into garages and workshops across the land the task shall be taken, for it is said, "Oh, seeker of video perfection thy name is nerd"....

Have been LOL'ing thru the new year.

The wine bottles are of course kept in centrifuge.

KUNG FU: I'll email you my cellular let's show Don Stewart at CES that the TORUS superiority is viable for Home Use en Masse.


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post #37 of 51 Old 01-03-2001, 05:58 PM
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Ok. Don, rest assured I took no offence. I can see that it could be construed that way. Ok. I admit it. Some of my response was reactionary in nature.

I do wish to have you participation in this subject. That is a definite.

For instance. Sigma could reap absolutely HUGE residuals on some 'standard' design considerations if they were to get into some ISF'd designs of 'home' oriented TORUS designs. Not just one shot of cash, but a continuous trickle. THAT'S WHERE THE REAL MONEY IS. Ok. I hope that got their attention.


SO, Sigma group guys&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt; remember RAY DOLBY??? How did he handle it? He gave it away, to a large extent, compared to all who came before him. Everyone ended up paying him, bit by bit. Give it away, and end up owning it all. So, put some effort into it, please. Sorta like tax, high enough to become a huge sum (through volume), but not enough to make the individual cry.

Ken Hotte

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post #38 of 51 Old 01-04-2001, 05:54 PM
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There's an idea, maybe someone could get someone from Sigma Design Group in as a special guest. It would certainly raise the profile of the TORUS screen with the people of this forum.

Regards,

Kam Fung
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post #39 of 51 Old 01-04-2001, 06:33 PM
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I talked with Gerold Nash of Sigma Design
today. I gave him the web address so he could make comments if he so desired.

I will be off line for the next few days at CES. I hope to see some you guys there.
Regards,
Don
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post #40 of 51 Old 01-09-2001, 04:06 AM
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I finally got around to reading this thread. One of the posts about the sandbox got me thinking... OK, imagine this:

You build a big sandbox in your garage and hang a weighted "scoop" from the rafters in the center of the box at a distance you'd like your radius to be. Swing it manually for awhile to clear out most of the wet sand from the middle, but then let the sucker go for a few days while the earth's motion moves it around. This contraption is not unlike a pendulum clock. What you end up with is not a toroidal section, but rather a spherical section...oh well. I have an idea on how to approximate a torus with this setup: make a ring (possibly an ellipse?) that the rope your weight hangs on passes through, giving a smaller radius at the corners.

Fixate the sand somehow (I'm not a mold person), pour your substrate (fiberglass, whatever), cure it, sand it, and then mount your material.

Worth a try for some adventurous person (not me).

-Mike

[This message has been edited by wireburn (edited 01-09-2001).]

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post #41 of 51 Old 01-09-2001, 11:38 AM
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I like the pendulum idea. It would insure an even curve, and if we are talking about a single lens projector I would think this radius would be accurate even to the corners.

Of course on a long throw (ie Seleco) the whole thing may have to be done outside (or in a 20+ foot tall room) with a temporary enclosure as is done with working on boats...gets complex doesnt it!

Also, it would only take 30 min or so to actually do the shaping...you would move the "tool" by hand. Since its suspended a a constant distance, it would be fairly easy to do.

The hard part, as I see it, is getting the first layer of material laid and hardened enough while the sand is still in the proper curve.

Since the first layer is the back of the screen, sand stuck to it wouldn't matter. As you get enough thickness,you start concerning yourself with the smooth front surface...which I would think would be best finished with KBK's paint optimized for your application.

It shoudnt be that hard to finish sand out any bubbles and bumps prior to painting.

Since the curve isnt that deep, runs shoudnt be too problematic.

Thanks,

Jeff

Finally went digital: RS20, ISCO IIIs, DIY 10.5' wide torus screen, Stewart StudioTek 1.3 G3 with 4 way masking and adjustable image size
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post #42 of 51 Old 01-09-2001, 03:51 PM
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As i stated way, way back when we first started looking at a torus screen (see the custom screen paint thread) I suggested the pendulum idea for creating the arc. the second arc can be created by having the pendulum anchored in a long curved slider, and the top-to-bottom curvature coming from the 'pendulum' effect on a shorter string. this way you get two perfectly realized curves, and thus a torus screen shape. You can also use this system for measurement.

If you wish to flatten the screen in the middle, you have to use a double anchored pendulum. Nothing but common sense required. The number and position of the wires on the end-sanding-block will dictate the final curve as well. Follow the logic with the visual...

So, you can use it for finding the points at which you would have to anchor a curved molding system, and then fill the mold. Use the system to sand the mold to the perfect shape, and spray the item into existence. Or even use it to make just the perfect surfaced mold (all those steps, just to get to the mold!)

Ken Hotte

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post #43 of 51 Old 01-09-2001, 09:21 PM
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While you guys are all playing in the sand, I will go back to solving problems like this the way God intended: with Mathematica, Maple, and Matlab. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
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post #44 of 51 Old 01-10-2001, 05:30 AM
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I am sure tat using a mathematical design program to start, and then modifying as nessesary will produce fantastic results. Except, I would not expect anyone doing this for commercial use, or professional use to use any company but the one who has been doing such for quite some time.... field tested results are what counts here, at that level.

Over time, I am sure, we would end up with some sort of shareware version of a mathematical-manipulative type program to provide numerical iterations for getting the most out of any molding system, but, a good healthy dose of common sense will allow one to reach (to a very, very, large extent) the same points without having to resort to much beyond the usage of string. (And a bit of accurate arc tracing)

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post #45 of 51 Old 01-10-2001, 04:11 PM
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Nope, I never suggested any sandbox. I don't in any way think that you are, but.. If you are looking for an argumentive stance - for agitated debate- you've come to the wrong place.

Sure, I understand your point exactly. On the other hand, there is not a structure in the existant world that rivals the accuracy to which the Great Pyramid was built. We cannot duplicate such today. Not bad for a bit of string and common sense.

Are you saying that the curve cannot be created by sliding two curves 'through' one another, mathematically? Or in this case, in the real sense? Not that I am challenging in the debating sense here, but just to consider as a geometric physical challenge....after all, if the curve varies, and if it varies with a strict matematical consideration, then would it not be possible to create a physical system of 'sliding' the two curves through one another, thus having a different curvature at any given 'moment' throughout the 'traced' surface? The only trick involved at that point, would be describing the two curves..... This would be for the one orientation, and one again for the other... may turn out to be impossilbe, but heck, it may be worth consideration.

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post #46 of 51 Old 01-10-2001, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by KBK:
I am sure tat using a mathematical design program to start, and then modifying as nessesary will produce fantastic results. Except, I would not expect anyone doing this for commercial use, or professional use to use any company but the one who has been doing such for quite some time)</font>
I would not expect any professional enterprise to commit capital to a design that had not been precisely mathematically determined to be optimal.

You say that your sandbox method would give you a "good-enough" result, but there is simply no evidence this is true. What would be required is the use of differential geometry to calculate (most likely using one of the industry standard mathematical packages I mentioned above) the Gaussian Curvature field for the optimal solution, and then compare it to your approximation. For example, your technique can generate only constant curvature surfaces, but the optimal solution may be a generic surface where the curvature varies as a function of surface location.

The technology you describe was good enough to build the pyramids and other structures of the Ancient world, but it is simply not sufficient to describe the optimal curvature of generic non-zero Gaussian Cruvature surfaces. The designer who has the technical knowledge and tools to accomplish this is well worth a measely $5,000 commision.


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post #47 of 51 Old 01-10-2001, 09:52 PM
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I just solved the gravitational field equations using Mathematica and I find that a small back hole of suitable mass positioned just below the viewer gives just the correct curvature to the Torus for optimum viewing pleasure. (For reference on how to do this yourself, just study the section on Riemann curvature tensors in Kip Thorne's textbook on "Gravitation".)

The black hole also sucks up enough light to give the screen a gray appearance.

Unfortunately however, the event horizon emits methane and sulfur bearing gases which subtract from the home theater experience.

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[This message has been edited by kelliot (edited 01-11-2001).]

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post #48 of 51 Old 01-10-2001, 11:07 PM
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Ken, now we are finally getting somewhere. Your theory has the faint patina of the type of sales pitch used by high end cable salesman. We already have oxygen free cables, I`m just waiting for mass free cables using Kip Thorne`s idea of travelling through wormholes. Let`s see: we place one worm hole at the DVD source using a proprietary SDI to Gravitational Wave conversion board, and then place the other worm hole in the projector thus bypassing not only the internal scaler but also the standard confines of space-time. Think of it, if Kip Thorne is right we could use Wormhole cables to watch movies that haven`t even been made yet. We could see just how bad JarJar will be in Episode II and III. We can find out if James Cameron really will go insane and make a sequel to Titanic. The possibilities are endless.

Oh, by the way, your theory sounds like complete crap, but I guess if you developed it with Mathematica it must be correct. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
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post #49 of 51 Old 01-11-2001, 09:50 PM
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Lol Ken! You can take you tongue out of your cheek now. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

Mike, that sandbox and pendulum idea is pretty good, and definitely innovative. It certainly is appealing to use a scoop swinging in an arc to define your curves.

It would be very difficult to get good results though, using a scoop to hollow a smoothly curved surface makes if very difficult to get accurate results (I don't think its impossible). A scoop is generally roughly square shaped with a flat bottom, using this shape to create a two dimensional curve will not give accurate results unless great care is taken.

Also, because you would be molding into a cavity and the visible side of the screen would not contact the sand, you would have difficulty controlling the accuracy of the visible side. Issues like variations in wall thickness and a rough surface from spraying would seem to impact the projected image. Sanding down this surface (any fiberglass surface actually) would be time consuming...

Your best bet for a DIY is still the method developed by Mike2, albeit with a better mold. His mold had the visible side contacting the mold, however if you sand the mold down and use a gel coat you should get very good results. The upshot is that the mold will control your screen surface and give you a more accurate curve.

Regards,

Kam Fung

[This message has been edited by KFung (edited 01-12-2001).]
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post #50 of 51 Old 01-11-2001, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh yes Gentlemen:

Kam and I were able to pin down Don and take him outside. The meeting was very positive, meaning that the solid compound curved screen is a product with some merit for investigation, for Don.

He asked me to get with Gerald Nash, which I intended to do, but Gerald beat me to it. Today while in the meat section of the Supermarket I got a phone call from Gerald. He is game!! At least for discussing the development of solid Compound Curved screen, and it's business model.

He promised that as soon as he takes care of some pending business he will register and start educating the Forum on the virtues of compound curved screens. Don S. promised that he will too start posting his views on this thread, as long as we go gentle with him (OK KGB?). History in the making?

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post #51 of 51 Old 01-12-2001, 05:40 AM
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Oh. OK, I'll put a sock in it.

I'll even remove that last little bit...there.

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[This message has been edited by KBK (edited 01-13-2001).]

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