Curved screens DIY

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 1959nikos, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. 1959nikos

    1959nikos Registered

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    Well...this thing has me tottaly hooked



    must find me a way to make it as cheap as possible.

    I did some searching and I see a lot of people build stuff like this by themselves.
    As I am a tottaly ignorant person and people around here seem to have tons of answers, some simple questions first, so I can direct me into searching:

    Is this a projection screen or a video screen?
    What could be the material of the screen (not the frame, I understand frame can be anything solid).
    If it is projection screen, how come you are not getting in projectors's way while driving?
    How can someone calculate dimentions and curvature of this thing?

    P.S. please forum modderators, let this thread stay a bit here till you send it into the darkness of Hardware subforum!
     
  2. GTClub_wajdi

    GTClub_wajdi Registered

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  3. 1959nikos

    1959nikos Registered

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    Well, Ill kill you!!!

    (Vivaldi wont save you!!!)
     
  4. GTClub_wajdi

    GTClub_wajdi Registered

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    Well,I'm a died man:)give a look at that link because I think that you can find many pictures and useful information.
     
  5. 1959nikos

    1959nikos Registered

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    As I said, Vivaldi wont save you!!!
    triple screens are triple cost, etc, etc, but anyway curved looks tons nicer imho.
     
  6. jtbo

    jtbo Registered

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    Screen itself should not be too difficult to make, but how do you set up projectors so that they don't have distortions? Maybe some software is needed.

    For screen, you need just sheet of screen material, even white cardboard might do in an emergency, then metal wire, not very thin, but no too thick, maybe 2-3mm? then those rubber bands that you use to tie stuff on bicycle, some wood for frame. Rubber bands could work as tensioners that pull metal wires that are at top and at bottom so that you get nice tight screen, which is curved, wood frame would be behind where you attach other ends of rubber bands.

    That might be cheapest, metal wire must be enough thick so it bends smoothly but no too thick as it might not bend enough if it is too thick, more force pulling from center and ends might need to be fixed to frame directly.

    I would use wood as here it is very cheap and available.

    Fabric would be much better for screen than cardboard though as attaching metal wire to cardboard can be problematic, also why not thin plywood or even metal sheet as background, then cheap white sheet glued on that (spray glue and painter's roller to make it straight and smooth?).

    There can be of course even better solutions, I know there are special screen fabric, but it costs a lot, there are however certain interior paints that come very close to that with lot less price, many use those to paint screens made from wood for their home movie theaters as having decent size projector screen costs a really lot of money.
     
  7. martymoose

    martymoose Registered

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    Here are a couple of other curved screens done well.



    That's a 2010 video but how nice is the detail in those tracks especially Monaco oh my, Red bull pretty please release your F1 track pack.

    We wont give it to the evil ones in the red cars I promise. Imagine the great marketing they'd get and kudos in the sim community if they released their 2010 F1 tracks. Not going to happen but oh well we can all dream.

    Curved 360 screen showing an Rfactor track I hope makes an appearance in RF2.
     
  8. martymoose

    martymoose Registered

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    Screen warp software you need for this sort of setup



    The old Alienware curved screen method using 5 monitors in portrait mode, A flexible OLED screen would be very nice in the future.

     
  9. martymoose

    martymoose Registered

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    LOL some guys take it up another notch, here is a DIY cockpit rig just slightly over the top but the screen is interesting.

     
  10. blakboks

    blakboks Registered

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    To OP: First of all, that is done using 3 projectors--you can see the where the projectors overlap by some lighter areas on the screen (right around where the UI elements are on the top of the screen). After you buy the 3 projectors and make your screen, you need some software that will do the blending of the 3 screens and the pseudo distortions due to curvature (can't think of any in particular, but some quick Google searching should yield good results). Ideally, you'd be able to get lenses that would do the screen compensation, which would be the best solution, so you get maximum pixel usage, but those tend to add another thousand US dollars by themselves (each).

    The projectors can be set up pretty easily--by building a stand to mount over the driver's head. You can project them onto anything, really. The difference in materials usually just determines how bright the image is overall. If you plan to use it during the daytime at all, or even with a light on in the room, then you'll definitely want to invest in some actual projector screen material. Otherwise, for the extremely tight budget, you can just use some white sheets (not recommend, though).
     
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  11. 1959nikos

    1959nikos Registered

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    It seems screen is the easiest patr of the project. I also had a nice (I think) idea.
    Its very easy for me and affordable, to buy a sheet of plexiglass. You can get them in sheets of 3,05m X 2,05m.
    Plexiglass can easily take this kind of curvature, it comes in many different thicknesses and can be prepainted white which seems the best. Only thing Im not sure yet, is, if glossiness is not appropriate, in that case I can easilly put a shelf adhesive film on top.
    in any case, Ill check if that special fabric makes that big difference.

    I think 3,05 X 2,05 is ok, 3,05 should be plenty for width, Ill try to calculare, deducting from external dimentions of TL1 simulator.
    If screen needs cutting, it can be done easily by the guy who provides the plexiglass.

    I think I can skip the frame which would be nice (if my thinking does work out).

    My playroom is triangular, something like 3,00m X 3,00m X 3,00. Im thinking of placing the screen in one corner and help me support it . This can be done simply as follows:
    As the room is 2,40m high, I can put the screen touch the ceiling, making it follow the curvature by screwing pegs in the ceiling.
    To support the screen, Ill have to bridge the distance between the two walls with a thick (maybe two or three, I must draw this to get an answer) plank and on the plank Ill screw same begs as ceiling's.

    I think it can work out.
     
  12. 1959nikos

    1959nikos Registered

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    It seems after the screen, come the serious/expensive stuff.

    First of all blak, you are sure there are 3 projectors? That means distortion could be minimal, which is good.
    I think I can afford them (birthday present, Christmass present and then just one present more) and I hope there is some affordable software, somewhere out there.
    But if I do need special lenses costing thousands of dollars, Ill just have to cancel the project from the start.

    Ive seen projectors mounted on the ceiling, I suppose I could find around instructions about height and distances from screen?
    (Oh, I got it, perhaps Ill contact these guys who construct home theaters and ask a lot of innosent questions.)

    As I get to my sim late at night, I dont use ambient light. Im thinking also that I could paint the two walls and ceiling matt black, at least where the screen occupies space (I really wouldnt want to paint all room black, there is a wife around).

    Thanks for responses, thanks for videos marty, as I have my laptop outdoors atm I cannot see a thing, Ill check them asap :)
     
  13. martymoose

    martymoose Registered

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    Sounds interesting and I'd like to see some progress pics if you go ahead and see how it turns out. One of the videos is showing some software used for this and multiple projectors, I didn't look at price but noticed comments regarding software called warpalizer that most likely does the same thing. That company in the video also have a video of a 360 screen using projectors and also sell curved projector screens but they aren't cheap.

    I think mark Webber even mentions that they use 3 projectors for the curved screen in their simulator. Not sure if it was in that video or another one regarding the simulator but I do remember him mention it.
     
  14. Gearjammer

    Gearjammer Registered

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    I know it will take up a bit more room where the monitor is and require a stand for it, but I think it would be best to mount the projectors behind the screen and project onto it from the back. Obviously there would be software involved that would make this work right, and the film on the plexiglass might not be cheap, but you could have a talk with a company that makes them and they might be able to help you out.

    www.totalspanishsimulator.com makes a screen that is designed for rear mounted projectors. They don't sell their screen with projectors, but if they wish to make sales, I am sure they would be able to either supply the software or direct you to a company that has it.
     
  15. 1959nikos

    1959nikos Registered

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    Progress will be slow for sure, till I gather appropriate info, as there is so much I dont know about.
    Actual construction shouldnt take more than a week, I think its pretty straight forward.
    Ill sure post photos of the result and construction.
    People mentioned warpalizer, but I just found a manual (by Mitsubishi lol)
    http://www.merl.com/papers/docs/TR2005-079.pdf
    explaining method of positioning projectors for best results, but its so full of twisted math equations, Ill have to locate a math guy to help.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2012
  16. 1959nikos

    1959nikos Registered

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    Plexiglass as such is quite cheep, depending on thickness, something around 50 euros for a 3m X 2m sheet which I think will be plenty.

    Now, projection from the back whould be sweet, Ill do some searching for this too.

    If any people are tempted by such a project, please share info and Knowledge.
     
  17. buddhatree

    buddhatree Registered

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  18. martymoose

    martymoose Registered

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    $1300 just for the screen but does look pretty cool. A single projector isn't going to look great unless its outputting 4k Res so multi projectors same as multi screen setups will give best results still I think. Blowing up a 720p or 1080p projector to that size will reduce the density pretty badly and it won't look great.

    I've been in front of a large projected image in a motion sim and the screen Res was the biggest let down. They only had a 720p projector at the time as it was only a prototype but I think even 1080p at that size so close isn't enough.

    That canopy does look very much like the red bull simulator screen and if you can give it 3 1080p projectors it would be the best option most likely.
     
  19. Bart S

    Bart S Registered

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    Hey Nikos,
    Since I did alot of research in the same setup I saved some links here this guy knows what hes doing.
    http://nthusim.com/ you must look at all his gallery pics
     
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  20. 1959nikos

    1959nikos Registered

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    looks awsome Mike, the front canopy that is, as it takes so small space, but since its Frex...much beyond my budget and Im sure I cannot DIY it.

    If my calculations are right, the curved screen could cost me perhaps no more than $300, so $1300 is out of the question.

    If you go to
    http://www.motionsimulation.com/?page_id=416
    they are talking about
    "Generating a single, seamless image of nearly 7 million pixels", while standard res is 3 million pixels.

    What that translates in projector's capacity? Any idea?

    EDIT
    Image resolutions 5760 x 1200 (7m pixels) or 3840 x 800 (3 million pixels)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2012

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