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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » For all you illusion designers (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

chrusa
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Connecticut
736 Posts

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A While ago I asked a question about making mock ups before building the illusion. I have been using MS paint to draw designs and what not,

I know there are programs out there to design your own homes and what not, I was wondering if there is a software program I could use to design computerized versions of ideas.

Are there any software programs that you use to design concepts for illusions and make mock ups before building your actual props?

Chris
Thanks,
<BR>
<BR>Chris Hrusa
Chris Stolz
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Inner circle
Mississauga, Ontario
1958 Posts

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There are many useful programs out there. You may want to start with this thread:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=26


I personally use several programs, depending on what I'm doing. If I want to model something fast and easy, I get my best speed out of Rhino 3D. If I am using any kind of a character in the image or video, I will use Poser to add the people. When it comes to blueprints, it's all about AutoCAD. I'll also use 3D Studio once in a while but I find that I can use Rhino for most of the same functions and with the VRay rendering plugin for Rhino, I can get some pretty realistic results.
Kex
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Twin Falls, ID
580 Posts

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Check out TrueSpace 7.6

Its now been released as free. As with all 3D programs there is a learning curve and if you have no experience in the 3D computer world it can be daunting at first. But overall it is a solid package.
George Ledo
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SF Bay Area
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The biggest problem I've found w/ CAD or 3D programs is that people tend to forget the point of the exercise. It's so easy to get carried away w/ the rendering itself that you forget that the final product is a real built piece. The program's purpose, in this case, is to help you visualize or communicate the final product, not to create a stand-alone rendering.

That being said, I use SketchUp for quick 3D visualization and "selling" designs to directors, and then I go into AutoCAD for the drafting. Actually, I'm perfectly happy w/ my 12-year-old copy of AutoCAD LT: it has everything I need to do very intricate drawings and then some. I've even created 3D images with it, and I figured out how to import line drawings from other programs into it. This may not work for everybody, but I find it easy and straightforward in my work.

TrueSpace is fantastic, although you need to wrap your brain around its user interface. This is one program that, to me, seems more geared towards a final product of a stand-alone rendering than towards a means to an end. Its lighting capabilites are incredible; I used it a few years ago to sell a concept for a show to a director, using its light and shadow capabilities.

Nowadays there are a number of programs that let you download a trial version. Try a few and see which one works for you.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Lseeyou
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Inner circle
1267 Posts

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There is no illusion mockup software till now... No reason or necessity for it...
I use Cinema4D and it is inexpensive and it's one of the easiest 3d package to learn in my opinion...

Very good and fast rendering engine.



Cheers
magicjohn2278
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Isle of Man UK
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Personally, I use AutoCad (2008 George!) for visualisations and drawing up the construction plans for my projects, but only because I use it on a daily basis for my work (Architect). I wouldn't recommend anyone to get it with the intention of just using it for a few illusion projects, it's VERY expensive, and there is quite a lot to learn before you can use it!
I recently "played around with" Google's "Sketchup", and although I haven't used it in relation to any magic projects, I can see that it could be used for these. It seemed pretty easy to use and comes with quite a few tutorials which seem to show you all that you need... and best of all, it's free! (It's also a lot easier to do 3D stuff in Sketchup than it is in AutoCad!)
George Ledo
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SF Bay Area
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Quote:
On 2008-09-29 08:42, magicjohn2278 wrote:
Personally, I use AutoCad (2008 George!) for visualisations and drawing up the construction plans for my projects, but only because I use it on a daily basis for my work (Architect).

:) Yeah, I know, there are still a few dinosaurs out there...

Actually, there's another issue with using a program like AutoCAD or even SketchUp right up front to design something, and I'm seeing it more and more with theatrical designers who do this. It's so easy to start with straight lines and right-angle corners, that, unless you'vre very careful, things end up looking very "mechanical." It's hard to describe, but it's easy to see the difference.

For my work, I always start with a free-hand sketch. Actually, several of them, very small and very loose, until I find the overall design I want. Then I start fleshing out the details -- the larger ones first and then the smaller ones. Only then, when I know exactly where the design is going, that I sit down at the computer.

With SketchUp, I often scan my freehand sketches and bring them right into the program, and then "build" right from them. It's easy, but the final product still has that "spontaneous" look that is so hard to do directly on a computer. Maybe one of these days I'll get a digitizer tablet and try free-hand sketching on the screen, but I don't know that it'll really add anything to what I'm doing now.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Pecan_Creek
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The Nation of TEXAS!
323 Posts

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I would definently reccomend Google Sketchup. It is much easier to use that any CAD program out there. If you aren'e making architectual blue prints that have to be approved by engineers then Sketchup is all you neeed.
CCPCris
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Alabama
280 Posts

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I still use a pad of graph paper, red pen, black pen, and blue pen. Works will for me, and I can easily count the squares and have the equal a certina distance to draw a prop to scale. It works well for me, because usualy I am not sharing my ideas with a ton of people. And, it takes less time than a computerized drafting program in my oppinion. That is time I could be spending on my build.
making the unreal, real...really!
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