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Edgar Alstad
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Levanger, Norway
95 Posts

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First of all: Let me say that I've never owned, used or even touched an illusion yet. So I may be in lack of actual experience. I perform primarely at a parlour kind of setting. But I do love illusions, and I have done some research the last couple of years. What I want to learn more about is what does make some illusions more deceptive than others. At this forum "rip-offs" is topic often seen. And many point out how much more deceptive an authorized piece often is. And it strikes me how big difference there is in a well built illusion than a poor one. So I wonder if someone can point out some fine litterature about this point. About the design, painting and geometry that makes the illusion as deceptive as it gets. The better books I've read so far about this is the Osborne books, and the last book of Jim Steinmeyer - which had some real interesting essays.

Other tips?
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Tennessee, USA
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Profile of AmazingEARL
I don't know that there's one comprehensive publication. "Seven Basic Secrets of Illusion Design" by Eric van Duzer comes close, I suppose. "Conjuror's Optical/Mechanical Secrets" by Sharpe was a good one, too. A little dated now perhaps, but some things don't change. My copy was lent out and lost. I really with I still had it.

Steinmeyer's collected works have gold dust scattered throughout. With every illusion he offers, he explains precisely *why* he made each decision and how it adds to the deception, rather than just saying "build it like this and it'll work." He only explains each concept in the context of *that* prop, though. It's up to the reader to translate it to other projects where it might be applied.

You're right. A poor builder can take an exceptional design and still build a poor prop. Likewise, a GOOD builder can take a poor design and do amazing things with it. As far as construction methods to aid deception, I'm not aware of much published along those lines. Most of the "how to build magic" books are aimed at the beginner.

Dan Wolfe
Smoky Mountain Magic
"We build AMAZING things"
George Ledo
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Illusion = box? Smile
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine

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Inner circle
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Strangely, I've had that question posted to me before.
john wills
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Hello Edgar,
There is no specific literature about the deception of illusions.
You have to read many books the find the right answers.
But when you have read the book of Steinmeyer well, you will
understand that every single illusion needs his own specific design.
At the start of building an illusion you think you are on the right way
but as Mendoza stated, in a book of Parker, David Copperfield forced
him to work again and again on it, DC looked for perfection !!
You can learn much from you tube, comparing the many different
building types for one en the same illusion
But try to find an experienced builder in your country or in Europe.
You think to save money building by yourself, but often a good illusionbuilder
can save you many tears and much money.
But again, when you try to realize an illusion: RESEARCH is the first important thing !
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Profile of Magicque
As we say "pa norsk" Edgar, lykke til!!! Har det og godt nytt ar fra Québec, Canada!

"Happy New Year from Québec"!
Edgar Alstad
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Levanger, Norway
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I appriciate your inputs. van Duzer's book is already in my collection. It kinda makes sence that you have to make different designs and solutions to each illusion. At this time I'm not searching for an illusion to build or buy, but I do want to understand why/how certain things work and not just accept that it is like it is.

Magicque: "takk", and happy new year to you too. (is it too late to say that now?)
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