Image Number 5 for United States Patent #5499304.
Apparatus for producing a light mask for balancing light across a display area of a vehicle instrument cluster comprises a camera, a digitiser and a computer. An image of the display area is obtained and digitized to produce data relating to the illumination levels of the image at a plurality of pixels. The illumination levels are used to calculate an appropriate light mask for the display area on the basis of the transmissive density of the masking ink used and of a reference illumination value relating to the least lit part of the display area which it is desired to illuminate. The light mask comprises an array of dots having a diameter related to the amount of attenuation required in the area in which the dot is located. Up to three masking layers may be provided if a single layer is insufficient to produce the required attenuation with the chosen masking ink. Balanced coverlays can readily be produced, and the number of masking layers required can also be reduced.