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post #1 of 63 Old 08-30-2019, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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DIY top masking

I have a 110” 16:9 screen. Thinking of adding a masking system to the top. This is a retractable screen which is hidden behind a soffit at the end of the room. Was looking at just adding an electric roller shade with the blackest material sold that could mask when watching 2.35 material. My video processor can move the entire image to the bottom of the screen and therefore just need the top masked. I could do a roller or even a curtain of black material. Would only have to drop like 20” or so. I have room in the soffit for either a roller. Anyone do something like this or have suggestions? I can find no products that would do this. I believe there was one that went out of business or stopped producing. Thanks. SJ
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post #2 of 63 Old 08-30-2019, 08:04 AM
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The products still exist.


Black Velvet.....9' long Roller Bars w/Manual Pull / Motorized carriages. It's all there, and if your already able to consider a method to hide all the hardware, your ahead of the game at this point.

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post #3 of 63 Old 08-30-2019, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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The products still exist.


Black Velvet.....9' long Roller Bars w/Manual Pull / Motorized carriages. It's all there, and if your already able to consider a method to hide all the hardware, your ahead of the game at this point.
I can hide all of it. Where do I start? Product list? Thanks!
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post #4 of 63 Old 08-30-2019, 08:21 AM
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I can hide all of it. Where do I start? Product list? Thanks!

It'll have to wait a bit as I'm mobile....but there is a recent Thread where someone asked for and received the same info, as well as a few that document such a build.


You'll get hooked up soon...so no worries!

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post #5 of 63 Old 08-30-2019, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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No rush. Lol. Need it to be electric and controllable (IR, serial, whatever) as it will be integrated into my control system. Cost is not the main factor. Thanks. SJ
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post #6 of 63 Old 08-31-2019, 10:55 AM
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Here are some links:


38 mm 106" Roller Tube:
https://www.avoutlet.com/window-treatments/shade-components/manual/tubes/1.5-38mm-shade-tubes/rollease-rtea4t12-9/


38 mm Roller Tube Motor
https://www.avoutlet.com/window-treatments/shade-components/motorized/motors/somfy-1240292-ru28-rts/

The source for the Motor also sells RF / IR Remotes as well as Z-Wave compatible Controls.
https://www.avoutlet.com/window-treatments/shade-components/motorized/motors/?features_hash=94-3952_109-2998


Alternative source for Motor and Remote:
http://rollertrol.com/DIY-blind-tubular-motor-aluminum-tube-selection




The choices above are very heavy duty quality components. However you can get there on a budget by using the Roller Tube above, and the Motor w/Remote & End Brackets below
https://www.amazon.com/MorningRising-Electric-Roller-Blind-Tubular/dp/B01DZQ43AI
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post #7 of 63 Old 08-31-2019, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! I will take a look. Any links for masking material for the roller? SJ
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post #8 of 63 Old 08-31-2019, 03:14 PM
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Thanks! I will take a look. Any links for masking material for the roller? SJ

oops....I furgitted.

https://syfabrics.com/collections/plush-triple-velvet/products/plush-triple-velvet1



Comes in 44" wide so you'll have pplenty if you order 3 yrds.

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post #9 of 63 Old 09-01-2019, 06:38 AM
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I often wonder about using a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino as a controller.

The Somfy motor already has the ability to set the minimum and maximum travel points.

Does all of your gear have the ability to fix the video image to the bottom of the screen?

You will want some weight sewn in as a straight line and to keep the masking tight. On my Draper masking system, that bar
extends past the masking material and runs in a channel, to keep the masking material barely off the screen fabric.
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post #10 of 63 Old 09-01-2019, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes I can fix to the bottom of the screen. Already have done this. Just need masking on top. The company he linked me to also sells weights for the fabric which can be sewn in. I’m looking at the various motors because I will need to have control options to automate. One question is that the material may end up being 5” in front of the screen because of the screen housing. Is that too far or maybe doesn’t matter as it will just be black? Room is totally light controller. I could attach the masking rod to the screen housing, but not sure how I might do that or if the 5” really matters. Thanks for any suggestions. SJ
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post #11 of 63 Old 09-01-2019, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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If the 5” matters, I might be able to build brackets from the walls to hold the tube ends for the masking. That would put it as close to the screen as possible.... SJ
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post #12 of 63 Old 09-01-2019, 08:47 PM
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As long as the Projected image is not angled into the velvet, you should have no issues. Any Projector that has vertical Lens Shift and that is set in place both level and plumb to the wall will do just fine.

But if you can reduce that 5" spacing to any degree...do so. That seems a bit much. You should be able to rig up a mounting solution that has the Fabric rolling up the rear side of the Roller, and the Brackets set / positioned so that the fabric falls within a inch or two.

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post #13 of 63 Old 09-09-2019, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I have ordered everything. If I do the 5”, the tube will be completely hidden. To get it closer, I would have to position the roller under the screen canister which would make it visible. I held up some material and didn’t see any shadows. Think I might do the hidden way first and if that doesn’t work, I can move it. It will be mostly black so might be ok to show a bit. Thanks again for all the help. SJ
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post #14 of 63 Old 09-09-2019, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by SJHT View Post
Well I have ordered everything. If I do the 5”, the tube will be completely hidden. To get it closer, I would have to position the roller under the screen canister which would make it visible. I held up some material and didn’t see any shadows. Think I might do the hidden way first and if that doesn’t work, I can move it. It will be mostly black so might be ok to show a bit. Thanks again for all the help. SJ

I understand how difficult coming back to install such assemblies can be when the original conceptual design was intended to accommodate hiding just the Screen casing. I mean...who knew...right?


I did one installation where the Screen Canister received a coating of adhesive Black Velvet. That made the thing virtually invisible. That was a quick and easy fix...of course that Screen Canister was White...so it had'ta go! That installation had a Top Roller Mask (Pull Chain) and I had limited space so I too had to place the Roller assembly directly above the Screen Canister but out just far enough so that the descending Velvet barely brushed the front of the Canister. That left me with just a 2.5" distance from the actual screen.



5" is a bit much IMO, but as previously related, during content watching it should not be an issue, as much as the assembly might look a bit odd when observed during "lights up" conditions and someone comes up and looks at it from a sideways position.....


If they make a derogatory comment, just give 'em the tip of your Toe on the way out of the door.


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post #15 of 63 Old 09-09-2019, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the advice. When I get all the parts I will look how best to get it close. May need to paint the ends of the roll black or something depending on how much fabric, etc. SJ
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For the hem, I’m using one of these:

https://www.avoutlet.com/window-trea...ease-rcbihb-9/

Can this be taped into the bottom of the fabric? Thinking I could apply very strong double sided tape (like what comes attached to the roller that the fabric attaches to) on both sides and just fold the material over. Folding so the end of the fabric ends up behind. SJ
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post #17 of 63 Old 09-10-2019, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SJHT View Post
For the hem, I’m using one of these:

https://www.avoutlet.com/window-trea...ease-rcbihb-9/

Can this be taped into the bottom of the fabric? Thinking I could apply very strong double sided tape (like what comes attached to the roller that the fabric attaches to) on both sides and just fold the material over. Folding so the end of the fabric ends up behind. SJ

That is made to be inserted into a Hemmed Pocket. I suppose you might use a Adhesive Fabric Tape and create a Pocket, but taking your material to a Seamstress and having it sewn in would be best...and surely not a very expensive a proposition.

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post #18 of 63 Old 09-10-2019, 05:43 AM
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Isn't it much easier to mask the bottom by not retracting the screen all the way?
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Originally Posted by markmon1 View Post
Isn't it much easier to mask the bottom by not retracting the screen all the way?

That would essentially eliminate the Black Masking at the top of the screen...and require that the image be shifted all the more higher. Then...Top Masking would be entirely dependent upon how well the Screen Casing could act in that regard. Also, unless the Screen has the ability to accept multiple stop positions, there might well be a lot of "up & down" adjusting going on.

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post #20 of 63 Old 09-10-2019, 06:35 AM
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That would essentially eliminate the Black Masking at the top of the screen...and require that the image be shifted all the more higher. Then...Top Masking would be entirely dependent upon how well the Screen Casing could act in that regard. Also, unless the Screen has the ability to accept multiple stop positions, there might well be a lot of "up & down" adjusting going on.
Moving the picture to the top sounds great. You could sit in a recliner and relax and watch a movie (leaning back comfortably) rather than sitting on these benches most people seem to like.

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That is made to be inserted into a Hemmed Pocket. I suppose you might use a Adhesive Fabric Tape and create a Pocket, but taking your material to a Seamstress and having it sewn in would be best...and surely not a very expensive a proposition.
I will check out some local seamstresses. They also could likely cut the fabric straighter than I could probably do myself.
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Moving the picture to the top sounds great. You could sit in a recliner and relax and watch a movie (leaning back comfortably) rather than sitting on these benches most people seem to like.

Arbitrarily having to recline to accommodate a Image that is higher than normal isn't in keeping with sensible and effective Room design.

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post #23 of 63 Old 09-10-2019, 07:06 AM
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I will check out some local seamstresses. They also could likely cut the fabric straighter than I could probably do myself.

I really believe you'll be happiest doing so. That Bottom edge will be a very important part of the design. Just stress that the Hem Bar must be on exact right angle to the edges of the Material....which also must be hemmed BTW.

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I really believe you'll be happiest doing so. That Bottom edge will be a very important part of the design. Just stress that the Hem Bar must be on exact right angle to the edges of the Material....which also must be hemmed BTW.
So the sides should also be folded/hemmed? Thanks. SJ
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post #25 of 63 Old 09-10-2019, 07:18 AM
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So the sides should also be folded/hemmed? Thanks. SJ

That is advisable as it makes the sides hang straighter with less waviness. The Black Velvet is really not a very heavy, thick material at all.

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post #26 of 63 Old 09-10-2019, 07:38 AM
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Isn't it much easier to mask the bottom by not retracting the screen all the way?
THat's the approach I've taken for many years.

My current dedicated basement HT has an 8ft wide electric screen with IR control.

I prorammed a Logitech Harmony using the timing feature to set the bottom of the screen to 1.78, 2.35, 2.4 etc. THe HArmony allows fine timing control- ie setup a macro/activity called "2.35" that starts the screen UP from 1.78 position, timed to STOP screen at 2.35 posiiton.

Behind the screen I have a dark matte curtain (Burgundy) that looks black when lights are down, so that's the bottom "Mask" (Screen bottom has normal black margin border just above bottom weight pole). Hence, no need to front-mask the bottom of a fixed width screen. If wall mounted, just apply black felt/velvet/etc to wall behind screen.

For the top Ive been using a scrap wood bannister rod with8ft wide black felt stapled to it then rolled on, with a hemmed edge with a 90 degree wood quarter round scrap trim piece for straight edge/weight inside.

The electric screen and Harmony sets the bottom position, then I manually turn the end of the top mask down to the image top. Yes, I'd like to automate the top mask someday.

One option for a quick automated top mask would be to use another electric screen of the same width (Or longer) as the image screen, turned around for the black backside to face the viewers. Program the mask screen the same way as the image screen. WOuld need to ensure different IR codes (Screen make/model) or use RF for top, and surface finish of mask screen backside, ie matte black, perhaps spray with matte finish coat or apply adhesive black felt or similar material to top mask screen.

Could look for a used/scratched/dented/markedup image side electric screen for cheap top mask.

Last edited by Rgb; 09-10-2019 at 07:42 AM.
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post #27 of 63 Old 09-10-2019, 07:47 AM
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THat's the approach I've taken for many years.

One option for a quick automated top mask would be to use another electric screen of the same width (Or longer) as the image screen, turned around for the black backside to face the viewers. Program the mask screen the same way as the image screen. WOuld need to ensure different IR codes (Screen make/model) or use RF for top, and surface finish of mask screen backside, ie matte black, perhaps spray with matte finish coat or apply adhesive black felt or similar material to top mask screen.

Could look for a used/scratched/dented/markedup image side electric screen for cheap top mask.

Doable....but Man! What a lot to suggest to someone to consider! KISS is best....that's my own preference, of course.




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post #28 of 63 Old 09-10-2019, 10:50 AM
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Sounds more complicated than it is

Could also attach a piece of black felt/velvet along bottom edge of electric screen to bottom mask. Just enough material to make up the difference between 2.40 - 1.78.. It would move up/down with the screen to cover anything behind.

Something else I've thought of for years- make flip down rigid/semi-rigid panels for at least the top mask. Just black covered 1/8"-1/4" scrap paneling/plywood or even sturdy foamboard. When not in use they would be up on the ceiling with clips/velcro/etc, then just flip down the 1.78, 2.35, etc panel as needed. Screen bottom edge set with screen stop or programmed remote as before.

Could also do flip-in or slide in "Barn door" side masks for 4x3 material using foam baord or 1/8" whatever.

Last edited by Rgb; 09-12-2019 at 08:31 AM.
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post #29 of 63 Old 09-10-2019, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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That is advisable as it makes the sides hang straighter with less waviness. The Black Velvet is really not a very heavy, thick material at all.

I found a seamstress that is willing to help. What your opinion on size? My screen is 96” and has 4”-6” of side masking. 6” on the bottom/top and 4” in the middle. Should I cover all of the side masking? Thinking of cutting the material to 104”. Thanks. SJ
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post #30 of 63 Old 09-10-2019, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SJHT View Post
I found a seamstress that is willing to help. What your opinion on size? My screen is 96” and has 4”-6” of side masking. 6” on the bottom/top and 4” in the middle. Should I cover all of the side masking? Thinking of cutting the material to 104”. Thanks. SJ

It depends of course on the length of the Roller Bar. But if you have the Bar Length right (...and you should...), 104" will do nicely

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