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Topic: Large square circle illusion
Message: Posted by: haywire (Oct 19, 2005 08:01AM)
I'd like to build a very large square circle illusion.

I can obviously build the box from wood, but any suggestions for
materials to build the tube from?

Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Oct 19, 2005 08:07AM)
Build a second box instead. Works the same way and much easier to build and transport.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Oct 19, 2005 10:08AM)
I'll second that. The question is, what would the boxes be? You've already started a visual theme with your trunk, so you can continue in the same vein with the SC. Do a little research on the Celtic period, or runes, or Lord of the Rings, or even medieval furniture, and you'll get lots of ideas for the cutout in front as well as for the sides and the inner tube. Have fun!
Message: Posted by: mvmagic (Oct 19, 2005 10:20AM)
A box is much much better-and it allows for a larger load :)

We made one that was like a store window and it had a huge gift inside (the outer box was red bricks and the front was a window). The gift was lifted out, shown to be empty, a wishlist (for Christmas presents) was thrown in and tons of gifts were produced and a girl as well.
Message: Posted by: Dave Dorsett (Oct 19, 2005 10:26AM)
If, however, you still want to pursue a tube, there are a couple of options. Sheet metal, of course, but there's every chance of it getting bent. There is also something called a soma tube. These are essentially big cardboard tubes used as cement forms for pilings and the like. Much depends on how big "very large" actually is.
Message: Posted by: LostSoul (Oct 19, 2005 11:58AM)
Just to echo in, a box is good, but if you really want the tube, the soma tube, you can get them in a wide variety of diameters and they’re “easy” to cut.

Message: Posted by: haywire (Oct 19, 2005 06:43PM)
Personally, I would think the tube would be easier to conceal with the black art than another box, but I could be wrong.

I started on the main outer box tonight. One strange question though, for black art purposes, should I use flat black or gloss black paint?

George, I will use ornamental wood pieces like I did on my trunk in silver to look metal so it will match.

I can also frame it in the same nice carved moldings.
Unfortunately, the trunk is all black with silver trim, and I'm not sure the square should be black inside and out, so maybe it will be white or grey outside
with some designs and silver metal looking ornaments.

Now I simply have to decide how big is practical. I'd like a really huge load...
not quite person sized because I feel that would be too big to handle, but of course producing a person would be awesome.

Ahhh going back to my drawing board now.

Thanks for the suggestions guys.

Message: Posted by: ChrisG (Oct 19, 2005 08:09PM)
Not having worked with large stage illusions I can not speak from a users point of view. However just this weekend I saw a large square circle used at a conference.

From three quarters of the way back from the stage (40'-45') it was apparent how the trick was performed. My work in video production leads me to believe that lighting was a factor. It seems that some back lighting is required to aide the black art for an illusion of this size.

So round or square light is an important factor.

Message: Posted by: magicurt (Oct 19, 2005 11:55PM)
Don't use paint inside-- use black velvet. Never use gloss black for any inside of a box unless it is suppose to be finished as the outside is finished.

But again don't use paint or felt, use velvet.

Message: Posted by: haywire (Oct 20, 2005 07:42AM)

I have a fabric store right nearby me I will go check out the prices...
that will of course raise the price if the illusion is as big as I would like..
ARGH! I can't win!

Message: Posted by: Dave Dorsett (Oct 20, 2005 08:23AM)
The others are correct... the fabric will help if you can afford it. Another vote for an interior l**d tube is the curvature of the surface helps the eye "slip" across the surface, blending the shadows inside the outer box.

There is also a sheet flocking which we used to use. It isn't terribly expensive, comes in about a 48" wide roll and is the short, fuzzy nap stuff you sometimes find inside commercially produced trick boxes. We used to use it for the Steinmeyer "Inside Out Production Box" and it worked well. May not be easy to find though.

Lighting is important... don't let any spots point down INTO the outer box. You will also have better blocking if you get a bright metallic screen to cover your holes with. Many hardware stores sell sheets of decorative metallic grate that can be easily used.
Message: Posted by: TRUMPETMAN (Oct 20, 2005 08:38AM)
Well, maybe I have ignored the rules, but I used black felt for the box interior of my recently built large SC, and also used concrete form tubes, purchased at Home Depot (they were CHEAP, about $8 @, and they nest beautifully). For the cut out on the front of the box, I used 1/8" lucite to make a window, and also used 1/4" hardware cloth, cut at an angle, spray painted gold, and then mounted as a layer on top of the lucite. Made a very attractive window, and also helps to create a glare with stage lighting. You can still clearly see your hand when you insert it into the box to show the box is "empty". The load tube has not yet been detected by my viewers.

hope some of this helps !

Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
Message: Posted by: haywire (Oct 20, 2005 03:11PM)
This is all interesting, but remember I'm looking to make a very very large illusion...

Think 5 feet, 8 inches tall, with the box made from paneling sheets to be light enough to handle, with the trim wood on th edges.

The tubes, I have no idea how I can build tubes that big. I might go for the triple box because that's easier to build that large. I do agree however, that the curved shape helps the illusion.

I haven't gone to the fabric store yet but I am hoping the fabric is inexpensive
because I have several sheets of paneling and moldings and other wood pieces.

All in all my only big expensive with be decorative and the fabric so I guess I can't complain all that much.

Call me cooky, but I'm making a BIG one :

It will be a lot thinner than this looks...

I'll get started next week, in the meantime I will be looking around for decorations and materials...

It will be decorated and painted to match my sub trunk.

Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (Nov 8, 2005 11:05PM)

May I ask why you are making such a large Square Circle? Can the same effect be accomplished using another illusion? I know the black art in a square circle routine is astonishing... Did you factor in the distance your audience will be sitting from your illusion. Will it be off stage in an "unseen area" for your load or assistant to be placed into it? I would think about these issues?

Just trying to make you think more...

Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Nov 9, 2005 09:54AM)
Felt is usually fine for square circles (well for normal sized ones anyway).

Also you may think of using a "grill" in the front window to help sell the black art. The grill will make it very difficult for the secret to be detected. This is something I would recommend with such a large illusion. Obviously the smaller it is and the further it is away from the audience, the more deceptive it is. The grill would help a lot in regards to deception with such a big prop.

Now it doesn't have to be a "grill" you can use your imagination espicially with such a large prop.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Nov 21, 2005 04:36PM)
The grill or outside design of the outer square should be very bright. This contrast helps trick the eye and contributes to the black art effect. Velvet is best. It's an investment.

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Nov 21, 2005 10:16PM)
There is a fabric that is called NuVel. It is a synthetic fabric that is a cross between velvet and felt. It has nice nap to it and works very well. I had a friend do a whole black art act with it. Much cheaper than velvet.

Message: Posted by: haywire (Nov 22, 2005 09:12AM)
It turned out (Imagine this) that a huge square circle is not very practical.

I built a very small one in comparison, and went on to build a tip over trunk instead to accomplish the same effect (appearing girl)

Now I'm still deciding which illusion to build next...