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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Building illusions for larger assistants (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Lothar
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Ok, I've finally taken the first step to building illusions. I have followed my friends' advice and will practice on cardboard first. I have a ton of it sitting in my kitchen. I have many illusion plans and my ideas are all set. I'd like to start with the zig-zag illusion. I have the Paul Osborne plans, which are for a 5'4" assistant. How do I change the measurements to build one large enough for a 5'9"-6'0" assistant?? (Is it like modifying a recipe in a cookbook or changing factors in algebra???)

Wes
Magicduck
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I have done a fair amount of this type of thing, but mainly in converting small livestock boxes to larger animals, such as ducks or dogs. In one case I went the other way, converting a lady to a lion to fit a rabbit.

I would figure out, on the plans you have, where very specific parts of the box would come on the specified size assistant... as in "this blade is at waist level". Then I would determine how much to adjust the box to get that blade,to the same place on your assistant.

As far as height, if it is 2 inches over the assistant in the directions, go the same distance over your assistant. You might do this measurement first, then if the blades are center, you just figure the half way point to get that. You will not miss by much doing it this way, I am sure.

There are things I have built where I determined that one dimension I needed to make it fit was, say, 20% larger than specified in plans. I did that modification and then changed other dimensions by the same percent, bigger or smaller. That may not be necessary here however, since you would not necessarily need to make the width broader, depending on the girth of the assistant. Hope this helps. If Thomas Wayne checks in on this he can give you some great suggestions. Also I would draw a blueprint, even a crude one, to scale and work from that. Get your alterations and % bigger figured out on paper.

quack
Thomas Wayne
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Alaska
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Anyone who is serious about building illusions will keep charts of standard assistant measurements to refer to. My charts are from many years ago but are still valid today. Typically, such charts will include sketches of assistants in various normal (and contorted) positions, each sketch bearing as many different dimensional notes as are appropriate. By referring to these charts and measuring your current assistant in the different positions you can determine just how to alter blueprint measurements to fit.

So it would seem that if you aren't an experienced illusion builder and haven't created such charts, you may be out of luck...? Fortunately, this is not entirely true. In one of the Rand Woodbury illusion building books (I don't recall which one) you will find a simple page of approximate assistant dimensions that should give you a great "leg-up" on the process. Find that volume, go to the relevant page and study it carefully.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Steve Brooks
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Wes,
while I admire and collect the Paul Osborne plans, please be aware that many times his measurements are 'approx', and he assumes the builder has good wood working skills and experience in building illusions.
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"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Pakar Ilusi
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Bringing this back up...

Good question. Some might want to know this...

Why?

'cause I was wondering this just now for a friend's Show...

Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Blair Marshall
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You must also consider the fact that some illions profit from the use of a smaller assistant, while others may not lend themselves to "over" sizing ie. for a 6' subject.

Blair
illusionman2
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[quote]On 2002-01-24 18:52, Lothar wrote:
Ok, I've finally taken the first step to building illusions. I have followed my friends' advice and will practice on cardboard first. I have a ton of it sitting in my kitchen. I have many illusion plans and my ideas are all set. I'd like to start with the zig-zag illusion. I have the Paul Osborne plans, which are for a 5'4" assistant. How do I change the measurements to build one large enough for a 5'9"-6'0" assistant?? (Is it like modifying a recipe in a cookbook or changing factors in algebra???)

-.-.-.-..-.-.-.

This is very old thread but I thought I would answer the question. The topic said for a larger assistants then in the thread it said a tall assistant - these are two different things, If the assistant is larger than the Zig Zag is not a good choice if the assisant is thin and tall then the Zig Zag is great choice. The prop should be a few inches shorter than the girl, but it is not so much the height of the prop as it is where you cut the head and foot holes.

James Wiggs
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