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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Inexpensive, "Visual" Illusion (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Zach Allen
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466 Posts

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Hello everyone,
I'm thinking of building an illusion, and not quite sure where to start. I am working on a limited budget, and have limited construction tools available. Last year, I built a sub trunk myself, with total cost being about 300 US dollars, which included the material for curtain/bags and locks, etc.
I'm looking for an illusion of a visual nature. By that, I mean an appearance, disappearance, or transposition; one where the magic moment is instantaneous, rather than something along the lines of "Sawing in Half" or "Zig-Zag".
It doesn't have to be flashy at all, just visual.

Any ideas of illusions or plans to look at? I purchased Andrew Mayne's SOLO-X book awhile ago, and plan on building his "Walking through a Mirror" effect that is included in there.

I'm looking for one good illusion to add to my show in the future, in addition to the mirror one that I mentioned above. I already do the Metamorphosis...when I said transposition above, I was thinking more along the lines of "magician appears in back of the auditorium" kind of thing.

Well, hopefully the above made sense...any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Zach Allen
Check out all 6 of my e-books!
The Magic of Zach Allen

Also, here is a free PDF of ideas:
Starlit Circles
MikeJRogers
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Australia
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Zach,

I would suggest you think about building a utility device, such as a D-Base or D-Steps. It sounds as though you’re relatively new when it comes to illusions. Seeing as this is the case you should build and/or purchase equipment that can be performed under any condition and possible allow for more than one effect with the same equipment i.e. D-Base and D-Steps. There are many possibilities if you do this where as there’s only one possibility if you choose to build a 'feature' effect/illusion. The D-base and/or steps will allow you to do all the appearances, vanishes and transportation’s you can think of, well almost Smile The final choice is up to you.

I hope this helps and good luck!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers Illusion Design - Australia - http://www.mikerogers.com.au
"Nothings impossible, the impossible just takes longer" - Dan Brown novel
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Magicduck
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Washington State
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Steinmeyer, in Device an Illusion, has some good material. Some harder to build but lots of it not that way. His levitation of a child is a big improvement on magic carpet/super-x. Also he has a need illusion involving a woman in a box, ropes on the wrists. I do not recall the exact effect and do not have the book handy. I know the effect has been marketed. The book, when I got it, was only around $40.
quack
Zach Allen
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Mike,
Yes, you are right...I am relatively new and inexperienced with illusions. Where would I find information on the construction of D-Steps and D-bases? Thanks for the information.

Magicduck,
I'll check into the book...Thanks.

Zach Allen
Check out all 6 of my e-books!
The Magic of Zach Allen

Also, here is a free PDF of ideas:
Starlit Circles
HarbinJr.
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Magic Duck,

I think the illusion that your thinking of is called "Thru a One Inch Hole." It deals with a very small box in which you thread a rope thru the holes in the front and the bottom of the box and then you lock the lid down on it. The rope is then tied around the ladys waist which audience members would hold the other end of the rope to "pull" her thru the hole into the box. Its a neat illusion, that I had paid a carpenter round two hundred dollars to get one built. He did a great job.

Robert
MikeJRogers
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Zach,

Try looking in the illusionworks series by Rand Woodbury. They are out of print now so check e-bay if you don't have them already, they pop up often. I think the illusionworks videos, which are still available, have some info of D-bases and steps as well. I think Rand also put out a 'Base' book but I think that's out of print also, lifes tough isn't it? Hehe.
You can also purchase plans for basic steps and bases from most good dealers. I think most use either Tannens or Abbotts to purchase Illusion plans.

I don't have many illusion books myself so maybe some others can recommend some good books about bases and steps for you?

Good luck,

Mike
Mike Rogers Illusion Design - Australia - http://www.mikerogers.com.au
"Nothings impossible, the impossible just takes longer" - Dan Brown novel
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Michael Messing
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Knoxville, TN
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Don't forget to consider the Paul Osborne "Illusion Systems Books." There are four volumes with pretty detailed dimensions. (Just make sure to double check the dimensions before building. Mistakes have been found in some of the plans before.)

Michael
Kevin Kelley
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New York City
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Zach,
I don't know what requirements you have, but you should consider black art. It's so simple people often overlook it, but it can be used verydeceptively for a ton of different effects. The most useful for you may be as simple as hanging it on the back of a table to give you a utility appearance/disappearance. you can then do an asrah, a box trick, just anbout anything. now the downside of course is that you need to work on your ighting, and have a decent stage, but for the price you may find black art to be well worth it. check out don Drakes stuff, and Darwin's book on black art.
JAEIII
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I would recommend a nice shadow box. They can be very inexpensive to build (using the original method) and packs a killer effect.
Believe In Magic....I do!
Starrpower
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Be careful in your selection. Suggestions here included a shadow box and black art. I disagree, as both of these require very special conditions that limit there use. A shadow box has severe angle problems and requires a pre-load of the assistant, meaning it's impractical for even a two-person show (who's gonna wheel it out when you're on stage? If you, it'll have to be an opening effect, or you'll have to scurry around backstage to load her and wheel her out *during* the show!)

As for black art, you have lighting to worry about, and also the aforementioned pre-loading, but this is even worse, as black art often calls for special stage settings.

I think you should consider the classics. You already have one -- the sub trunk. Why NOT the Zig-Zag? It's a great effect, people love it, and it can be perfomred darn near anywhere. Also, consider the sword box, hindu Basket, Temple of benares, mini versions of "Lights through Girl", headchoppers, etc.
ClintonMagus
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Southwestern Southeast
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The Zig Zag is one of my favorite illusions but, from experience, I wouldn't recommend building one unless you are fairly adept at building and have at least a decent table saw. Out-of-square parts could wreak havoc on the operation of the "zig".

Look for illusions with few or no moving parts except maybe doors or a lid.

Amos McCormick
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
TomBoleware
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Hattiesburg, Ms
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The Steinmeyer Device an Illusion book has several good illusions in it. Most look fairly simple to buid and if you own the book you also have peforming rights to them.
Also don't forget the Mark wilson book, it has a couple of good ones in it. Also, The Mark Wilson illusion videos are good.

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

www.tomboleware.com
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