New approaches to screen paints? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-22-2001, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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There have been a number of people trying to find the perfect paint for their screens, and therefore a number of people trying to adapt wall paint for this purpose. I see a great deal of excitement when someone finds a paint which scores a 95 reflectance when most people have been using an 86 (on whatever scale). This makes me wonder if they are using an artificial brightener to bump it up that high. I know that in the photographic industry they put a phosphorescent additive into black and white photographic paper so that in addition to the reflectance of the paper it also actually glows bumping the whites up that much more in 'output'. Fine for black and white photographic paper but this could really screw up black levels and skew color balance if they do this to paint and we project onto it. Just a thought.

On the subject of reflectance I remember from High School chemistry that the whitest substance on earth is Magnesium Oxide (Dioxide?). A couple of people have mentioned using Titanium White artists paint (I assume this is Titanium Oxide - another bright white) - I wonder how this would score. There has been at least one person talking about a custom mixed gesso with a higher percentage of pigment (chalk I believe) What about using Magnesium Oxide as a pigment in something? Does anyone know about how to get this stuff, or how expensive it is. I wonder if KBK has looked at all into this area.

Another thing which has been a definite theme is the idea that a screen should be perfectly matte. I've ordered some samples from both DaLite and Stewart, and while I haven't received the Stewart stuff yet I am struck by the shininess of the DaLite. Their Pearlescent 1.5 gain in particular is quite nice in comparison to my blackout material (vinyl side) screen. While the 1.5 shouldn't really be considered shiny (Pearlescent really IS the proper word) it definitely is brighter than my (blackout) screen which is quite close to the 1.3 gain Cinema Vision. The 1.3 does not have the Pearlescent top coat and this *seems* to be the only difference between the 1.3 and 1.5. Do we really have to stick with the matte. Please note that the little 8x8 pieces of screen fabric are not large enough to check for hotspotting.

I wonder if the big boys - Stewart in particular - would care to share their thoughts with us regarding our theories and our methods with the idea that encouraging us on the road to achieving perfection will eventually lead us to their products anyway. You always have to encourage the 'kids because someday their bank accounts will allow them to buy your products.

Thanks, Colin



[This message has been edited by Colin (edited 04-22-2001).]
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-22-2001, 11:26 AM
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The art of screen design is really that, an art. It also involves keeping routes to understanding and proprietary thinking 'directions' exactly that.. proprietary.

If this information where to be shared, then the aspect of having a market would be lost to a certain degree, and basically moves into the area of sharing information freely with competitors.

For instance, I can look at Don Stewart's screens and know exactly how he made them, and how to get to making exactly the same sort of screen. Doing such would be flatly rude, and unconscionable. So, in the realm of correct behavior in business, I will have to find my own way to a similar effect. I also, cannot sit around and share such information with you, that is not acceptable behavior in any sense at all. As for making screens exactly like Don's, I haven't gone through all the trials and tribulations it takes to getting to a viable consumer level -solidly reproducible, on an repeatable scale- that makes his product actually fly. That's where manufacturing expertise, gained through lots and lots of work.. comes in.

I have had MANY, MANY people privately, and publicly, ask me how these things are done. What kind of fool do I look like? I spent an inordinate amount of time and effort getting to the state of mind and skill level required to 'replicate' similar screen technology, and want to make a bit of fundage for my effort. So, I move forward with such efforts.

So, the question(s) you are asking are fair, and definitely have answers, but.. are they fit for a public forum? Where does one draw the line between proprietary and personal experience? It's a tough one. I myself, skate along the line way too often.

Have you stated anything new that has not been discussed on the forum before? No, not at all. Imagine if someone came along and asked exactly how Vidikron manufactured all of their proprietary additions to their line of projectors,and wanted them to be published and discussed in extreme detail, and then asked how these changes could be enacted on the base machines, a for as little cost as possible... this is the sort of area (with regards to screen technology) you are venturing into.

Answers will tend to be non-existent. Not because anyone is trying to be selfish, it is just that the considerations involved are rather broad in scope. Please do not take this post in any sort of negative way. This was not it's intention. Most people would have never even posted as much as I have, and just left you sitting there....

It's magnesium Dioxide, that has the highest ratio. nearly a PERFECT 1.0... after that, it's all research, and work, work, work.
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[This message has been edited by KBK (edited 04-23-2001).]

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post #3 of 9 Old 04-22-2001, 04:05 PM
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I can understand what KBK is saying. Although I have no business relationship or NDA with Stewart Filmscreens, I was given a tour of the facility and feel that disclosure of significant manufacturing details of how Greyhawks are made, for example, would be ethically improper.




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post #4 of 9 Old 04-22-2001, 08:50 PM
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Business does not need the protection of the informed individual. Business needs protection from the informed individual. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif

Trade secrets are not protected by the law other than from outright theft. If the secret can be discovered using less criminal means, then more power to ya!

If we think of the entire universe as being God's big trade secret, is it unethical to share with others the discoveries we have made? Science and business have different points of view on this matter.

If a company wants more substantial protections they can file a public patent.
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-22-2001, 09:14 PM
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Everyone has their own personal ethics.

Public published knowledge is great, but discretion is of great value if one is interested in learning more.

Most patent attorneys will tell you that trade secrets are better than patents, if only that you don't have to publish trade secrets in public.

Patent infringement is rampant. Most large companies build portfolios as much as a defensive measure than to gain security against infringement.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-22-2001, 09:51 PM
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You must understand, I am in no way trying to discourage you. Please continue. It's just that this particular situation rapidly dissolves into pure physics and logic.

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post #7 of 9 Old 04-22-2001, 10:09 PM
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Actually the best way to make screens is to do it yourself. You learn what works and what doesn't. Commercial screens are sprayed with industrial quality sprayers and if your are painting spraying is the way to go IMO. Its not too hard to get a decent painted screen with a good choice of starting materials.

It may or may not be worth it when you figure all the costs, including your time. If its work, then it may not be worth it. If its a hobby, you may fill your garage with screens that didn't make it.

A good frame can be used countless times and cuts down on the baggage in the garage. I strongly recommend stretcher bars.

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post #8 of 9 Old 04-26-2001, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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First I want to apologize - I seem to have ruffled a few feathers, and this was certainly not what I was trying to do. I do however think that to a certain extent people misunderstood the bulk of my post. Most of the responses were centered around what I said in just two or three sentences at the end of the post. This was not the main gist of the post. The simple fact is that if Stewart or any other company were to comment on questions of shininess or absolute whiteness of the screen material they would not be giving away anything even approaching a trade secret.
The question that you seem to think that I was asking is something like what is Stewart's (or anyone else's) specific techniques of screen fabrication. I was only proposing that we (forum members), and if they chose, industry reps comment on ideas like shininess and whiteness. I did not say 'Hey Ken, tell me about the formulation of Stewart's final coat and just exactly what equipment is used to spray this coat. Oh, and by the way can you touch on how they turn the raw materials into that spray'. You mentioned that the trick is making the product work at a viable consumer level. Making it work involves proprietary things. Concepts regarding whiteness and shininess could not in any way be seen as proprietary - simply food for thought. If I the above (hypothetical) question I'd understand your criticisms. Because I was interested in what forum members and potentially industry leaders have to say on this topic I think your response was a bit of an overreaction. Industry is quickly learning that the path to success in not necessarily followed by employing a traditional strictly competitive model. Look at the the marketing of high end audio equipment. Great efforts are made to bring the young or inexperienced consumer in on the ground floor and provide enough information and affordable products to keep us interested. This cultivates future interest in products which are at the pinnacle of the art. As an industry leader Stewart gets to make decisions about where they want the industry to go. It would not be unheard of in the specialty electronics industry to promote interest by providing food for thought. It is just good consumer relations, and it builds faith in a company. It does have the effect of stimulating future business. As I said before encouraging and educating us on the road to perfection has the effect of drawing us to their (near perfect) products in the end anyway. Again, like you I hope that this is not taken as an attack - I don't think that is what this forum is for - I just wanted to clarify my intentions.

So, anyway what do people think about the idea of shininess and of using Magnesium Dioxide? Does anyone know if artificial brighteners are used in paints? How about gesso base (or its equivalent) - does anyone know if it would work with MgO2 as a pigment? Does anyone know where to get this? I know that chemical supply houses have it, but they usually only ship to universities etc. This was the original point of my post
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-27-2001, 08:36 AM
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Due to the alternative usage parameters of some of the ingredients you seek, the materials are not controlled, but are definitely monitored, with restricted access. Thus the sale only to universities, etc. Governments hate it when these things cannot be traced... buyers have to be qualified by the companies involved.

At this point, it gives you very little alternative to anything other than experimenting with finished product mixing... like different paints together, in different ratios and mixing times, etc.


Then, if you are looking to do this with the purest, most PROPERLY MADE components out there... you end up running into the other products made by the people I am working with.. the 'maximum' artist grade materials! I think they have 92 different base mixtures they sell retail. From that, they have formulated 4000 different designs, and other ones that have no relation to the current product. So, you would end up on my doorstep anyway, and with greater expense in the end, with indeterminate results when others attempt to copy or follow your work. It's just the nature of mixing different paints on this 'desired' level of quality. The paint is wound so 'tight' that results will vary from mix to mix.

Where you are going, was my original intention. I switched to making a finished product, realizing it would end up being easier for the average person, due to the work involved in getting things right.
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[This message has been edited by KBK (edited 04-27-2001).]

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