Nice Work! Check this out

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 12/18/07 06:30 AM

Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of magic with us!

Take care.

Tom Wolf
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Postby Guest » 12/18/07 07:02 AM

You Tube can be sooooo bad for magic, it is so refreshing to see something like this
You Tube can also be soooo wonderful for magic
and this is a perfect example
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Postby Guest » 12/18/07 09:11 PM

that was wonderful cardwork IMHO
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Postby Brad Henderson » 12/18/07 10:30 PM

That's been two very interesting pieces to pop up onto YouTube lately. Perhaps the pendulum is beginning to swing the other way?

Were those cards of an elongated dimension or was it just a weird aspect ratio thing with the filming?

I'm glad I watched this.

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 12/18/07 11:55 PM

It looked wonderful, and I too enjoyed it, but...there's something bugging me about it: I cannot help but call "Shenanigans." Has anyone seen this performed live?

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Postby Guest » 12/19/07 02:35 AM

i doubt it is "real" magic.
look here for more videos from the same people:
http://www.neonbird.com/

Hannes
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Postby Guest » 12/19/07 07:49 AM

It's too clean. If someone can perform it for me live, then I will believe it and build a shrine in your honor.
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Postby Guest » 12/19/07 08:05 AM

I can't see the youtube video here at work. Is it the same video as "Words" on the neonbird website?

If so, that looks very much like Boris Wild's Kiss routine he did at FISM
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 12/19/07 08:37 AM

I cant see the video from either here at work (dang propeller-heads), but from what I can see it looks like its the same video. That being said, Ive seen BWs Kiss; I dont believe they are the same, though its been a while since Ive seen BWs piece.

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Postby Pete Biro » 12/19/07 11:22 AM

out of frame assistant slipping cards in?
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Postby Larry Barnowsky » 12/19/07 01:46 PM

Nice effect but you'll never see it performed live.
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Postby Guest » 12/19/07 06:52 PM

Originally posted by Larry Barnowsky:
Nice effect but you'll never see it performed live.
I've heard that several times in my life about things I did, in fact, end up seeing live.

Other things that I have heard/read:

A man's body will fly apart if he travels faster than 30 MPH

It is scientifically impossible for a human to run a mile in less than 4 minutes (complete with charts)

and, relative to magic in particular:

"that is a trick deck, no way you could do that with my cards"

"no way you could do that again"

etc.

My point is simply why make unqualified statements when you could, instead, be figuring out how to do it, or something close enough, to show your audiences. You don't actually know what you you stated as fact, right? Just a question.
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Postby Guest » 12/19/07 07:35 PM

Originally posted by Larry Barnowsky:
Nice effect but you'll never see it performed live.
Why so? As long as you don't have to permit examination of the cards most of that should be workable live.

Anyway it was a beautiful music video and whole thing was well produced.
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Postby David Oliver » 12/19/07 08:50 PM

Hi guys.

If memory serves, Darren Hayes was one half of the 90's musical group Savage Garden. In looking at the other music videos on his site, they are all expertly edited, beautifully produced and the CGI is amazing.

By the look of the work in the video in question, it is very likely that he did hire a magician, or at least someone with some card skills to handle the cards.

However, I would not be surprised if the possible method for this routine was to perform it with all blank cards, and insert the face graphics (cards, hearts, etc.) in post-production. Definitely not an easy task. If not for the expert quality frame-by-frame editing and CGI in the other videos his site displays, I would not have even thought in that direction.

I don't think many of our young video-producing tykes would have similar home video-editing suites that could produce something of this calibre (even with all the talent out there, the financial requirement of such equipment and software alone would be somewhat prohibitive, I would imagine).

It would, however, be fun to be proven wrong and eventually see this performed live someday.

Regardless, it was a refreshingly elegant piece of magic to watch on YouTube (perhaps BASED on Boris' Kiss routine).

Happy Holidays to all.

-DO
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Postby Michael Feldman » 12/20/07 02:02 PM

It's certainly possible that it is CGI,

But my question would be, If it's CGI, why all the unneccesary movements? Is that just a throw-off to "prove" it's not CGI?

I'm still willing to believe there is a method, I like being fooled, and my guess is that since the aspect ratio didn't match very well, that expert video skills were not neccesarily involved.

Regarless, this video makes magic look good. and i am glad to see it.
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Postby Michael Feldman » 12/20/07 02:10 PM

Ok, nevermind.

Having now been to neonbird.com and seeing that it actually is a professionally done music video, the odds are much higher that it is the result of computer graphics.

I would still be very happy though if there were a method.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 12/20/07 04:08 PM

I love being fooled, but for all the right reasons.

I had my son (Mr. Film School Costing Me a Gazillion Dollars Boy*) have a look. He watched it several times, stopping it here and there, etc. He could see no edits; however, hes pretty certain he sees evidence of the use of a program called Shake (You can pretty much do anything with Shake, says he. That trick would be no problem because you can [insert technical jargon and Dads head exploding here]. Whatever you say, says I.).

I hope he and I are both wrong, but...

Dustin
(*Film Boy is interviewing today for an editing job with a small production company, Dad mentions with fingers crossed!)
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Postby Guest » 12/20/07 05:16 PM

Looks like something Armando would do right in front of your face complete with the music in the background. IMHO he is capable of something as good as that was. Hope it wasn't CG Scott B.
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Postby Guest » 12/20/07 06:30 PM

Originally posted by Dustin Stinett:
I love being fooled, but for all the right reasons...
Kind of tough to be fooled by a video.

Anyway, what seems to be the obstacle to doing this live ( aside from being able to hand out the cards as examinable at any time in the routine ) ?
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Postby Guest » 12/20/07 08:09 PM

CGI seems like the most difficult, time consuming, and expensive way to do it. Black art would be the easiest, fastest, and cheapest. Black art looks great on youtube.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 12/20/07 08:16 PM

Jonathan,

There are several moments that I believe are problematic for a live performance. But Im not going to take the time to describe those moments here. It would be a lot easier to view the video in the same room and say to you, right therehow does that happen?

I can certainly see where gaffs could be in playand I thought about thatbut again, there are moments where the effect/handling/etc. are just too perfect.

And I have no idea what you mean by it being tough to be fooled by a video. Are you telling me something youve seen on video has never fooled you?

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Postby Guest » 12/20/07 08:32 PM

Originally posted by Dustin Stinett:
... I have no idea what you mean by it being tough to be fooled by a video. Are you telling me something youve seen on video has never fooled you?

Dustin
Are you claiming it was not a video? Not just a bunch of computer generated dots on a screen showing somewhat meaningful patterns in time with the song? How can a picture of a thing "fool" anyone beyond it's basic trompe L'Oiel representational shift like in the story of the painting of a curtain? ;)

For a trick to work (fool if you must) it needs to somehow convey a sense of tangible ordinariness to the props on display - otherwise it's all too distant to treat as more than pretty but technological display of an engineering or optical amusement. I still think the box shown in "northern song" would make a fun magic item if realizable.

We've come a long way since those Lumiere shows where a video of a train arriving at the station got folks in the audience all flustered.

Where in the video is there a sequence where existing and well explored card trick technology does not suffice?
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Postby Guest » 12/20/07 09:40 PM

Nice camera trick!
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 12/20/07 09:56 PM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Are you claiming it was not a video? Not just a bunch of computer generated dots on a screen
Uh, no. And just WTF are you talking about now? Never mind; lets just keep that rhetorical (kind of like, What color is the sky in the world in which you live?): Im done for the night.

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Where in the video is there a sequence where existing and well explored card trick technology does not suffice?
Asking the same question a third time only using different wording to make it appear different does not work on me. While I have not answered it for what I believe is a good reason, I have replied to your question.

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Postby Guest » 12/23/07 10:37 AM

I have seen far too many things performed live which blew my eyeballs out of their sockets to say that this could not be performed live.
My own quibble is that I get extremely tired of seeing disembodied hands performing a trick with musical accompaniment which may-or may not-bear any relation whatsoever with the trick being performed.
I'd so much prefer to see the performer's face, and actually hear the patter as peformed. (Unless, of course, he carries around a pocket size sound system and turns on his musical accompaniment when he starts to perform, a strategy I have seen several times, and which has always struck me as rather lame, in the same category as rhyming patter)
Anyway, having exposed a few of my own prejudices, I have to say that in general I enjoyed the trick, and I'm utterly baffled by it.
Happy Holidays to all
Don
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Postby DrDanny » 12/24/07 11:18 AM

Well, add my name to the "something's fishy" group. Although, I too have been fooled badly in the past, so I'm not willing to commit. :)

However, I would love to have an ungaffed deck like those cards - they're lovely.

But the song is IMO a treacly piece of pap. Skin-crawlingly awful. So says I, at least.
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Postby Guest » 12/24/07 11:39 AM

Originally posted by Dustin Stinett:
..."What color is the sky in the world in which you live?): Im done for the night. ...does not work on me. While I have not answered it for what I believe is a good reason, I have replied to your question.

Dustin
On my little world we speak cogently and specifically of matters tangible - and respectfully of matters sentimental.

Watching the video I did not feel that the designs were shaking on the cards - usually a giveaway of video methods. Then again perhaps things have gotten to the point where wireframes and virtual objects (like in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) are practical.

Without getting thicker than three cards as one - and using wax and/or rough and smooth - still not sure where standard methods would not suffice.
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Postby Guest » 12/24/07 11:54 AM

On my monitor it appears that I am looking at old film, not video. This is almost certainly a clever effect. As such it would lend itself to disguising any CGI effects or clever edits.

However accomplished, it is quite clever, but as others have said, I would like to see it performed live this cleanly.

By the way, about the cards...while they have Bike backs, is anyone familiar with Bikes of this size and front design?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/24/07 01:19 PM

The footage has already been altered digitally for effect (fake scratches, soft focus, lack of color, etc.). The suggestion that the cards are all blank to start and all the faces have been digitally added is my guess as well.

It would be possible, I think, to do this live for a TV camera: all the principle cards could be doubles, held together with a sticky substance like wax. That would account for the changes of the faces. The table is inky black--having extra cards that are black on one side would allow them to lay on the table in full view and not be seen. This has been used for over 100 years by everyone from Theodore DeLand, to Cliff Green, to Henry Evans.

The person whose hands are in view is a magician (again, a pretty good guess), but young and not expert (again, a guess). I make that judgement by the way the cards are Overhand Shuffled--strangely, without the usual left-thumb peeling action. It's almost as if they're being shaken down by the right hand (which holds the deck). This might also support the idea that many of the cards are doubled in pairs. The skill level displayed by the hands, however, leads me to conclude that the effects are accomplished digitally.
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Postby David Oliver » 12/24/07 04:02 PM

A few more views and a discussion or two with friends in the TV industry have caused me to slightly rethink my thoughts on the CGI. I still believe that the cards have been altered digitally, while the handling of the cards is authentic. However, I was perhaps thinking backwards. I now believe the card graphics are not being inserted via CGI onto blank cards. Rather, blank faces are being inserted over existing printed graphics. Apparently this is a far easier graphic element to achieve. A white "box" could easily be inserted onto the face of the cards to cover whatever graphics may be there. Any shaking or inconsistancies in the edges of the "boxes" would be eliminated by "white art" and the aged-film style that has been superimposed. Plus, anyone familiar with this technology would also be able to insert shadows from uppermost cards as well. There may also be elements of black art involved in some tabled moves as others have previously mentioned.

Again, in any event, it IS fun to watch, yes? (Regardless of the music choice.)

I'm going to curl up by the fire, and wait for the fat guy in the red suit now.

Merry Christmas to all!

-DO
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Postby Guest » 12/24/07 04:17 PM

David - that almost works - as it's much easier to superimpose a gray transition over a boundary than to put a design up smoothly (even with Apple's Shake V4).

The court cards could go the way of black art being lost in the table surface thanks to contrast reduction.

BTW this sort of video reproduction of antique film went mainstream in that Sky Captain film a few years ago which did a live action homage to the old Fleishcher Superman cartoons.
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Postby Guest » 12/24/07 04:31 PM

Originally posted by David Alexander:


By the way, about the cards...while they have Bike backs, is anyone familiar with Bikes of this size and front design?
I think the cards are actually regular size, but appear elongated due to the lens used.

You can tell this during the sequence where the card is torn in half.

When the card is turned sideways, it then looks shorter than a standard card (almost square).
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/24/07 08:19 PM

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. A noble failure ... interesting, but Gwenyth Paltrow was terribly miscast. It doesn't say much for the female lead when Angelina Jolie can appear in an extended cameo and make you forget that any other women were in the movie.
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Postby David Oliver » 12/24/07 08:57 PM

There were other women in that movie?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/24/07 09:20 PM

hehehe ...
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Postby Guest » 12/24/07 10:27 PM

After reading David Oliver's post I watched the video again, only this time on full screen rather than the smaller screen YouTube usually presents. On the cards on my right I could see a uniform white line across the top - slightly whiter than the body of the card - suggesting that Oliver's idea may be what is really happening.
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Postby Guest » 12/24/07 10:32 PM

I enjoyed the video and thought the cards were quite unique. Nice looking card graphics.
I tend to think that it is edited as well with CGI for the card graphics.
I would like to see this done in front of a live audience.
It reminded me of blizzard and Wild Card to some extent.
Later,
Mike
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Postby Guest » 12/27/07 10:26 AM

There is no mystery about it. It explains what it is at their site. They call it PIXELTHHING
What is pixel thing? Making images that move. See portfolio - Words. Its a camera trick. Is niice! But not our thing.

http://www.pixelthing.net/
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Postby Guest » 01/11/08 02:11 AM

Quite apart from the magic, I found the choice of forgettable cookie-cutter undistinguished MOR music and the wholly mawkish sentimentality completely unappealing.

Joe
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