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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Conjuring a ball of light (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

danaruns
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I'm told you guys are really handy and smart in this sub-forum. Smile So I'm looking to you for ideas.

I have a need, in a stage act, to conjure a ball of light out of thin air. The effect is a magician who is standing on stage with empty hands, slowly conjures up ball of light floating between the hands.

This is not anything I've ever seen done, so I'm clueless as to method. Does anyone have any resources for methods for such an effect? If so, would you please PM me or put it here? I'm looking for any thoughts, ideas, knowledge or resources. I'm wide open on this. Unfortunately, I'm not very handy and I stink at building things, so I'm asking for your help. I also need explicit instructions, if possible.

Thanks!
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
MeetMagicMike
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I suggested a light up Zombie ball and Dana thought that might be a good idea but she's not a maker.
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the Sponge
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Quote:
On Sep 11, 2017, MeetMagicMike wrote:
I suggested a light up Zombie ball and Dana thought that might be a good idea but she's not a maker.


I recently saw one for sale on facebook from a female magician... but I can't remember who/what group it was... sorry.


but here's a link to something:
http://www.thomasmoorecreative.com/site/......o/32-orb

and this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQmViL962YU
jimgerrish
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Dana: You don't have to be much of a maker to buy a light up ball from Dollar Tree. If you don't have a Dollar Tree near you you can buy them in quantities on-line.
Source: https://www.dollartree.com/Light-Up-Rubb......ndex.pro

That's the next trick I will be posting in my Dollar Store Book 3 at The Magic Nook, so first see if you can get the light-up ball and then, if you need some methods for floating it, check back at The Magic Nook in a few days to see if the e-Book of directions is ready to go.

I already did an e-Book on floating blinking beach balls (The Wizards' Journal #29), but these smaller balls use different techniques for close-up to parlor shows and the beach balls are more for stage shows.
danaruns
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The idea is to find a method to make this effect on stage. Note that there is no discernable"ball."

Image
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
the Sponge
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MeetMagicMike
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How about a strong led on the end of a black wire coming out from the belt area?
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danaruns
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Quote:
On Sep 12, 2017, MeetMagicMike wrote:
How about a strong led on the end of a black wire coming out from the belt area?


I like that thought. I guess I'll have to test it to see how it comes off. But I would need IT rather than a black wire, as the thing then has to move. You've got some great ideas. Smile
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
gimpy2
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Quote:
On Sep 12, 2017, danaruns wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 12, 2017, MeetMagicMike wrote:
How about a strong led on the end of a black wire coming out from the belt area?


I like that thought. I guess I'll have to test it to see how it comes off. But I would need IT rather than a black wire, as the thing then has to move. You've got some great ideas. Smile


I think you are on to something workable. Its going to be tough to do this with IT. A variation of magic mikes idea would be a thin tube with the lED on the end and the wires inside the tube. Power source could be in the belt. The tube could fold straight out toward the audience. The view of the tube would be hidden by the angle and the light and the arms on each side. you could use something heavier than IT to move the tube side to side. I have seen a stage gag where a bright ball of light moves strangely over the audience to spooky sounds. The lights come up and its a guy with a flashlight on a 20 foot stick. Jim stafford had it in his Branson show years ago as a comedy bit.
MeetMagicMike
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I was thinking the small bright LED would need power and maybe a way to turn it on and off so you would need wires going back to your belt or chest area as Gimpy described. Unless you find a strong enough light enough self-contained LED unit.
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randirain
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Note that super bright LEDs are only bright from straight on. That's how they make them brighter, by focusing the beam and not having it scatter in every direction.

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Anverdi-museum
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About eight years ago I was playing around with the idea of a floating light...self contained yet under your control. This is fairly small, not a huge glowing ball , this is what I came up with...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP63QvIiKtI


Chuck C.
Ralis
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Amazing lite-flite but Perry Maynard is a floating light up ball illusion with itr
http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S9742
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jimgerrish
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Quote:
On Sep 12, 2017, MeetMagicMike wrote:
I was thinking the small bright LED would need power and maybe a way to turn it on and off so you would need wires going back to your belt or chest area as Gimpy described. Unless you find a strong enough light enough self-contained LED unit.


I have found one, complete with power, and although you have to do a little work to add an on/off switch it comes from Dollar Tree and no wires back to your belt or chest are needed. It is described in my just released "Floating Blinky Ball" in Dollar Store Magic Book 03-06. The LED unit can be moved from the Blinky Ball to be used solo, or inside a floating styrofoam pumpkin, or light up light bulbs with a brilliant pure white light. The battery replacement problem has also been solved.

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TheRaven
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I think the d-lite solution is the simplest and most practical for a non magician performer. Rather than appearing at the fingertips, it could possibly be shielded by the hands so the source was more ambiguous.
Tap Roniart
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@danaruns,

I make small stuff. Smile

If you want the effect to be between the hands, yet seem to move on it's own (within hands), I would suggest a bundle of either regular (3mm or 5mm) or even SMD (super-small) LEDs. The really tiny ones look like this: https://www.oznium.com/images/prewired_surface_mount_lrg.jpg

And the 3&5mm ones are the ones larger that you are used to seeing as indicators, etc. The 3mm and 5mm ones come in either diffused (fuzzy that as you guessed diffuse the light) and clear, which is really clear plastic, like water. They are both good for different effects, and I use all 3-even ones that can be changed to any color any time (RGB LEDs). They are about $0.02 ech, and I have hundreds of all kinds of variety.

That said, you can also surround the LED(s) with a small ball of translucent, collapsible foam if you like, which really gives it that effect such as you showed in that PS picture above. A smoky room, fog gen, smoke from mouth, etc. really makes them easy to see!

As for wiring, I would use super fine wire-even thread-wire (thread for wiring wearables), meant to be held over the fingers of each hand, one for + and one for - power. the wire is so thin you can just drape it back to the controller & battery, which can ve very, very small, but that thin wire can break if pulled too hard. Easily fixed, though.

Between the hands, you can tighten or loosen the grip in each hands' fingers to bring the light(s) closer or further from one side or the other, and it is drop dead simple. That is, until you wan them to vary in brightness, as in a program, or continuously fading in & out at a desired rate.

So if you want the colors to change, or to fade up & down, etc. you need a tiny "microcontroller", which is just a really, really small computer that has a simple program to control power to the LED(s). I would start with the amazing Atmel ATTiny85, which goes for around $0.50, I think, and has multiple outputs for each color, should you want random/programmed changes of color, or it can be programmed easily to do all kinds of things-even triggered by a local/remote switch/button, as in on/off, or to switch on queue between display patterns, speed, brightness, etc. With a little more patience it can be fed a microphone input and use sound to alter the display.

Oh, and the size of this little computer? 2 of them can fit side-by-side on your thumbnail! The LEDs will take a LOT more power than the processor, but lucky for you the batteries are hidden on you in a convenient place and you can even use rechargeable batteries.

Also, to kill the effect, you can just use 2 magnets to hold one of the wires somewhere between a hand & 'source" and just tug on it to disconnect. You can cup/palm the LED(s) while you attach the circuit and reveal it slowly from one hand, pull the wire from the other hand (or from wire around neck, etc.)... You get the idea... I don't know your routine, though. The LEDs have essentially no weight. I mean, a push pin weighs as much as about 5 LEDs... Smile

I've been looking for a way to justify my lab in a magical way, and putting a few together for folks here might be therapeutic!

Disclaimer: A lot (everything) depends on how bright "bright enough" is, and what you imagine the light should do.

That said, please don't imagine any restrictions when describing the effect. There is always, *always* a method for any effect you can imagine, so if you can describe the intended routine/effect, it is then simply a matter of deciding how many & type of LEDs will do.

Sounds fun!

Experts: Is there anything like what I'm describing out there on the market?

P.S. Adding a radio remote adds about $2-$5, depending on what you want the 'fob' to look like... Smile
Tap Roniart

# PM me your effects looking for a method!
# Please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors-especially ideas that end up being awful-as I am on cell.
# Mods: I only break site rules that the "inner circle" themselves break.
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