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Building 10 foot by 20 foot Studio Flat / Projector Screen Convertible - Materials?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm building a photo studio in my car detailing studio. I'll be bouncing light off of a 10' x 20' rectangular 'flat', that will be hung on hooks suspended from the ceiling on a pulley system, allowing it to be tilted as needed for photos. At night, two of the hooks will be able to be unlatched, and it will swing down and function as a projector screen for my w1080st.

At least, that's the idea. Originally I was going to use spandex stretched over an aluminum frame, but it sounds like spandex will let a ton of light bleed through. I don't need accoustic transparency - I just want something that will maximize the studio lights, while still working well for a projector screen, if possible.

Any suggestions for a cost effective material? Light-weight is a consideration. We're building a frame out of square aluminum piping. 2" x 2" for the outer frame, and 1" x 1" for inner cross supports.

post #2 of 10
At that size you will need to consider specialty materials, and having significant gain will be paramount to being absolutely mandatory.

There are not a lot of choices, and virtually none are affordable in the true DIY sense.

If you throttle back one dimension to 9', then there is Black Out Cloth to consider. It can then receive a high gain coating.

But in retrospect...the w1080st simply does not have the horsepower to perform adequately on a 245" diagonal screen unless the surface used is at least 2.0 gain....minimum.

Lets refine the info.

1. Is this 10 x 20 monster supposed to show 16:9 or 4:3 formatting? I can see something happening at 2.35:1 (100" x 240" *260" diagonal) but only if you achieve at least 2.0 gain and have adequately controlled lighting.

2. Are you intending to try to fill as much "screen acreage" as possible?

3. Are you wanting to view imagery with any light on whatsoever?

4. Are you flexible as to your PJ's positioning? You would absolutely have to place it within 5% of the shortest throw possible.

I know of a few commercially available Screen coatings that go up beyond 3.0 gain, but they are expensive, volatile mixtures that require great care in the application. To do your size screen would amount to an expenditure of over $1000 on just the paint. (...a very good reason why DIY Screen making using ordinary paints is so popular... wink.gif )

I've made some humongous sized screens, and worked a few impossible solutions out....but there always limitations, be they expense, existing equipment, installation considerations...etc.

but the most daunting issue is almost always the desire to go beyond what is possible. That always has to be mitigated with a dose of reality check.

So pinch your nose, swallow...and let's see what we can accomplish. biggrin.gif

Rethink your needs and requirements. You can accomplish much at 180" - 200" diagonal.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I don't need to fill up the 10x20 screen. Functionality for the studio flat is number one priority, cost effectiveness is number two, longevity is number three, and functionality as a projector screen is last. If I threw up a 15' image on it and there was a ton of white space around it, that's okay. The room is very echo-y, and to treat the whole room would be cost prohibitive, so at no point is it going to be a perfect or even great theater experience.

I don't know that paint is an attractive option. If possible, I'd just stretch some very reflective (high gain) fabric over my aluminum frame and call it good.

The projector will be on a small bench, so it can move wherever. It'll be zoomed all the way out unless that's unwise for some reason.
post #4 of 10
I will explore some light Gray material options, ones that have a small degree of sheen or that are "Silvery" in nature. But one can only go so far down that road before there is reaced a point of diminishing returns, or even total unacceptability...image quality wise.

For certain....if you want to use the screen to show off the results of your work, you don't want the image shown to look worse than the real thing.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah. The only purpose as a projector screen will be for entertainment after-hours. We'll be renting out this photo studio too, so to compromise the functionality of the flat for the screen may be unwise.
post #6 of 10
how about seaming (real tight)...4 sheets of 5x10 - 6mm sintra - framed.
post #7 of 10
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

how about seaming (real tight)...4 sheets of 5x10 - 6mm sintra - framed.

WAY too heavy for the OP's intended use. Shoot, even that much BOC will weigh at least 30-40 lbs!
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Any suggestions on type and source of fabric?
post #9 of 10
If he does not need spandex for AT I think some heavier cottons might do very nicely. I have seen awning materials used also, but that may be a bit high for his budget.
post #10 of 10
I would suggest checking in on the "Outdoor Screen" forum, as they not only deal with out-sized screens, they have more knowledge of the type of materials and sources you might want...or have to consider. Since most all will be Mfg Materials sold for that purpose, that is also the appropriate venue to ask for and receive such help.

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