How to make your own multi format masking system

Masking systems are expensive. They easily cost thousands.

Yet, there’s surprisingly little special material required. All the parts required can be bought for a very low price.

That brings the cost of your DIY masking system down a lot. The one that was used in the video cost around 200 USD.
That’s because we re-used some materials (the cost do not include the projection fabric).

The biggest expense will be:
1. the tubular motor
2. the MDF frame
3. the spring in the lower tube

All the other components, like the velvet, base material for the masks and the small fixtures and fittings are very inexpensive.

In this video, you’ll see how the masking system works. In the follow up video, you’ll get a detailed overview of how to construct it all.

If you have any questions, let me know.

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  1. Richard Kalnins says:

    Hi, I’m making a 16:9 150″ screen and have been researching the masking screen. How do I find the tubular motors, sprins and tubes in Canada. What do I search for? Thanks. Richard

  2. Hi Richard,

    Thanks for asking. I’ve sent you a reply by e-mail.

    If you didn’t get it, please let me know.



    PS: here’s a short summary

    The best source for tubes, springs and motors for your masking systems are manufacturers of shutters, roller blinds and similar products.

    All these products have a similar design where a tube turns to make someting roll up and down.

    Projection screens use the exact same motors as these products, so yo’d be able to use the components without any alterations.

    If you can’t find any, call a company like Somfy (who produce tubular motors) and see if they have any addresses.

  3. Any plans for diy CIH masking video? Would be very interested in your thoughts around a one or two motor solution.


  4. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your comment. I did make a CIH version and made it with 2 motors.

    I still have it lying around, as it was a small demo, not lifesize as the other system. But, it worked fine.

    I have other videos planned for the next few weeks, but keep an eye out for new posts here, or subscribe to the channel and
    I promise to get it done within 6-8 weeks.

    Oh yeah, the channel is



  5. I thought I would follow-up on my 1/18/11 post above. Did you make a CIH version of your masking system? I loved you video on the CIW version.


  6. Hi,
    I watched these video’s awhile ago but it would be so good if someone had a video of doing a CIH masking system. There are a few but they are don’t show much.
    How they work isn’t rocket science but it still would be nice to see the video though.

    Anyway I guess I will just have to do my own in the future and if I do I will surely post a video on how it all works.

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