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Thread: Derren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

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    Registered User Phil_dB's Avatar
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    Derren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Just seen this on youtube. Couple of thoughts:


    1.
    Did the cameraman have Parkinsons diesese?

    2.
    Why wouldn't the BBC allow him to show his prediction - as it's only a guess!? Plus, a few minutes before draw you can't buy tickets anyway?

    3.
    When Darren revealed his prediction did you think he looked ever so slightly guilty!?? And his "acting" (of joy from getting them right) was terribly unconvincing, don't you think??

    4.
    Darren's going to reveal how he did it tonight! Instead of just admitting that it was a simple split screen camera trick which allowed someone to swap the balls (hence no audience), i'm sure he'll continue with his "year of studying" story, - I'm also sure dozens of idiots will fall for it & try it out for themselves!


    Here's the clip:

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Didn't see it . He is quite clever with what he comes up with though. I remember the time he filmed himself tossing a coin and getting 10 heads in a row, it was real with no camera tricks - he was simply standing there for hours on end tossing a coin until it eventually fell 10 heads in a row I think its unlikely to be any camera trickery, as that would simply be cheating. I'm sure the reason he had an obvious handheld camera was to ensure people knew it could not be a split screen effect.

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    I'm pretty sure it wasn't a hand held camera, the shaking is too precise, - definitely looks like it's on a tripod with engineered shaking to my eye...

    I actually have no idea how he did it (haven't given it a huge amount of thought tbh!) - but there's no way I'll ever believe that he predicted the numbers

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    The Sun has an article on how he did it...........

    basically split screen - and you can see a 'wobble' at one point where it flicks from the static picture (like in the film 'Speed') back to the 'real' balls.

    Of course it could be something else (and Paul Daniels says there are 99 ways in which this could be done*).

    * One of them probably involves Debbie McGee

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Well all should be revealed tonight.

    I think it would be unlikely to be a split screen, a bit too easy and not usually Derren Brown's way.

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Quick research:

    Look at the balls at 5:39

    They look like this


    A few seconds later 5:43, look carefully at the first ball! It's not level


    Then, when he turns the balls around, the first ball becomes the last, you can see, its wedged a bit higher


    And there I was thinking he spent an entire year building a time machine

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Possible solution:

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    JiveLad (11th-September-2009)

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post
    I'm pretty sure it wasn't a hand held camera, the shaking is too precise, - definitely looks like it's on a tripod with engineered shaking to my eye...
    Ill watch it when i get home, now that you have me itnerested Can't see youtube from work.

    I actually have no idea how he did it (haven't given it a huge amount of thought tbh!) - but there's no way I'll ever believe that he predicted the numbers
    Well he is a master of illusion, he's never suggested he can see the future

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    I don't think he used digital trickery - that would be 'cheating' for derren, where is the skill involved in that. Rather, I think he used mirrors.

    There are yellow markers all along the edge of the floor, I believe they are there to line up mirrors, which for me (aside from the cheat of a camera split-screen which I think is too low for Derren) is the most obvious solution. There are not really any new illusions, just reinventions of existing ones and mirrored tricks have been done successfully for centuries.

    If you look at the clear stand that the balls are on, you can see the yellow markers and the edge of the floor, but you can't see all of cable that is going to the TV! It passes behind the stand twice and is invisible both times. This suggests that we are looking at a mirrored image of a ball rack, allowing an assistant to insert the correct balls in the real rack while Derren delays after the balls have been drawn.

    • yellow markers on the floor
    • TV cable 'disappears' behind the stand
    • If it was a genuine prediction, he would have shown us the balls before the draw. The line about the BBC being legally the only ones able to announce the draw is a misdirection, if the draw is live, Derren wouldn't be announcing the balls any more than you or me would be, he would be showing a prediction.
    • There is an obvious delay after the balls are drawn. Why wait until after all the balls are drawn before writing down the numbers. He's already said we don't need the bonus ball yet waits until after the bonus ball has been drawn before writing any of the numbers down. I believe this is to give the assistant enough time to re-arrange the recently placed balls into the correct order.
    • Might be wrong, but it also looks like he might be speaking into his hand which he holds over his mouth only while the main balls are being drawn (he removes it from his mouth before the bonus ball). I think he's relaying the correct ball numbers to the assistant who can't see the TV screen because of the mirrors.

    Unrealted to that theory though, when Derren walks over to the TV, he clearly stands on a 'mark' on the floor and while the balls are being drawn he has one hand over his mouth and he is turned in such a way that you can't see what he's doing with his right hand. He appears to be holding the card in his right hand, however, the car could be tucked under his right arm allowing him to use his right hand.

    And yes, the end ball has moved because we only see the 'prediction' balls after the mirror has been removed.

    Guess we'll find out tonight - or will we???

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by daveb9000 View Post
    I don't think he used digital trickery - that would be 'cheating' for derren, where is the skill involved in that. Rather, I think he used mirrors.

    There are yellow markers all along the edge of the floor, I believe they are there to line up mirrors, which for me (aside from the cheat of a camera split-screen which I think is too low for Derren) is the most obvious solution. There are not really any new illusions, just reinventions of existing ones and mirrored tricks have been done successfully for centuries.

    If you look at the clear stand that the balls are on, you can see the yellow markers and the edge of the floor, but you can't see all of cable that is going to the TV! It passes behind the stand twice and is invisible both times. This suggests that we are looking at a mirrored image of a ball rack, allowing an assistant to insert the correct balls in the real rack while Derren delays after the balls have been drawn.

    yellow markers on the floor
    TV cable 'disappears' behind the stand
    If it was a genuine prediction, he would have shown us the balls before the draw. The line about the BBC being legally the only ones able to announce the draw is a misdirection, if the draw is live, Derren wouldn't be announcing the balls any more than you or me would be, he would be showing a prediction.
    There is an obvious delay after the balls are drawn. Why wait until after all the balls are drawn before writing down the numbers. He's already said we don't need the bonus ball yet waits until after the bonus ball has been drawn before writing any of the numbers down. I believe this is to give the assistant enough time to re-arrange the recently placed balls into the correct order.
    Might be wrong, but it also looks like he might be speaking into his hand which he holds over his mouth only while the main balls are being drawn (he removes it from his mouth before the bonus ball). I think he's relaying the correct ball numbers to the assistant who can't see the TV screen because of the mirrors.

    Unrealted to that theory though, when Derren walks over to the TV, he clearly stands on a 'mark' on the floor and while the balls are being drawn he has one hand over his mouth and he is turned in such a way that you can't see what he's doing with his right hand. He appears to be holding the card in his right hand, however, the car could be tucked under his right arm allowing him to use his right hand.

    And yes, the end ball has moved because we only see the 'prediction' balls after the mirror has been removed.

    Guess we'll find out tonight - or will we???
    Yes - I have to agree with you about split screen not being the answer - ie not Derren's domain - too easy/obvious.

    And your ideas seem plausible: great post.

    Apparently there is a teaser in the trailer for tonights show - with a model of a snowflake.....

    hmmmmm - what could that be about?

    Well - all snowflakes are unique - and 6 points (= 6 balls).....and they melt....and.....????

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by JiveLad View Post
    Well - all snowflakes are unique - and 6 points (= 6 balls).....and they melt....and.....????
    OK here's my guess (I haven't seen all the theories in the papers, so apologies if it isn't original).

    Suppose you could build some sort of tiny heating elements inside the balls on his rack. These heating elements can heat different pixels on the surface of the balls, a bit like a laser printer, and controlled by wireless.

    Then suppose you have some sort of ink or toner that melts away when it's heated.

    The balls start out with black all over the reverse side, but when the balls are announced, you switch on the heaters in the shape of the numbers you want. Then DB has to keep talking for a bit to let the ink melt...

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post
    Then, when he turns the balls around, the first ball becomes the last, you can see, it's wedged a bit higher
    ...and the heat from the heaters causes the balls to expand slightly, so one is pushed slightly out of place..

    OK I don't know if such technology actually exists yet, but it could work.
    Love dance, will travel

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post
    Quick research:

    Look at the balls at 5:39

    They look like this


    A few seconds later 5:43, look carefully at the first ball! It's not level


    Then, when he turns the balls around, the first ball becomes the last, you can see, its wedged a bit higher


    And there I was thinking he spent an entire year building a time machine
    There is a camera freeze at 5.40 if you look

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    actualy, I've changed my mind. Its a time machine. Definitely. If you look carefully at 6:45 in the video you can clearly see the top of a morlocks head.

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by daveb9000 View Post
    I don't think he used digital trickery - that would be 'cheating' for derren, where is the skill involved in that. Rather, I think he used mirrors.

    There are yellow markers all along the edge of the floor, I believe they are there to line up mirrors, which for me (aside from the cheat of a camera split-screen which I think is too low for Derren) is the most obvious solution.
    The thing about mirrors is they are really, really sensitive to misalignment (I did some work simulating mirrored surfaces in my MSc, and errors of 1 part in 10000 in the surface orientation were easily visible). It would also be hard to get consistent lighting.

    It would be incredibly simple to do this with some kind of split screen - in fact, if it was done with a split screen it was quite badly done. Overall, I'm discounting the split screen solution - not because I think it's terribly unlikely, but because it's terribly uninteresting.

    Another suggestion I've seen on a site where magicians congregate: Given the camera angles, it would be possible to use a pole, very carefully aligned, to apply some kind of sticky labels (or caps) to the rear of each ball without anything being visible. This would explain one ball moving slightly (which seems a monumental cockup if it happened with the split screen), and if they were also partly relying on gravity to keep the labels on, it might explain why the numbers are facing somewhat upwards.

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    FWIW one way to do a stunt like that is videoprocessing. In sports events the technology exists to insert video into video and have ads appearing on billboards with computers doing all of the nexessary adjustments as the camera moves. To make that work the backsides of the balls would have a patch of colour on them that could be replaced by a computer generated image. It is one way such a stunt could be done, I suspect the switch method is more likely.

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Well I hope it is not something silly and trivial (like split screen) - otherwise DB will be going down in a lot of people's estimation.

    Better be something super clever - although I have an inkling we won't get the full and complete answer............

    Excitement building - delaying going dancing to catch this.........

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdjiver View Post
    FWIW one way to do a stunt like that is videoprocessing.
    Well yeah, but every person who says "split screen" is really meaning video processing of some sort or other.

    In sports events the technology exists to insert video into video and have ads appearing on billboards with computers doing all of the nexessary adjustments as the camera moves.
    Note that the ads don't attempt to match the ambient lighting. Doing so is really, really difficult and it would be needed here. It's also not a disaster during a game if your motion tracking algorithms glitch and an advert appears in the wrong place for a second. It would be considerably more embarrassing here.

    To make that work the backsides of the balls would have a patch of colour on them that could be replaced by a computer generated image.
    Not actually necessary, and if I was going to try to do it this way, not, I think how I'd actually do it. I'd motion track on the corners of the frame or something, and then render the numbers onto the real balls. That gives you a lot more margin for error (it doesn't really matter if you render the numbers a few pixels off), and you wouldn't have to worry about lighting boundarys as you go on/off chromakey.

    I'd still say doing it "split screen" would be much much easier and safer here.

    Note: I'm not exactly current, but I've worked in the effects industry (software) in the past - I've written chromakey and motion tracking algorithms.

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Franklin View Post
    Well yeah, but every person who says "split screen" is really meaning video processing of some sort or other.

    Note that the ads don't attempt to match the ambient lighting. Doing so is really, really difficult and it would be needed here. It's also not a disaster during a game if your motion tracking algorithms glitch and an advert appears in the wrong place for a second. It would be considerably more embarrassing here.

    Not actually necessary, and if I was going to try to do it this way, not, I think how I'd actually do it. I'd motion track on the corners of the frame or something, and then render the numbers onto the real balls. That gives you a lot more margin for error (it doesn't really matter if you render the numbers a few pixels off), and you wouldn't have to worry about lighting boundarys as you go on/off chromakey.

    I'd still say doing it "split screen" would be much much easier and safer here.

    Note: I'm not exactly current, but I've worked in the effects industry (software) in the past - I've written chromakey and motion tracking algorithms.
    I just mentioned this as a possibility, I like other theories better. I did look at a replay in slo-mo and on my tv there was pixel jiggling at the top of one of the balls that seemed to support this as a possibility, and Derren did tilt that ball forward. There are other explanations for pixel flickering and I like other theories better.

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    well I'm watching the show tonight... and what a lot of rubbish. He's showing us illusion after illusion to make us believe that he really did predict numbers... come on I want to know what it was, I liked DF's idea of the pole thing, I did think too that the alignment would permit some sort of trick like that...

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    Re: Darren Brown "predicts" the lottery numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caro View Post
    well I'm watching the show tonight... and what a lot of rubbish. He's showing us illusion after illusion to make us believe that he really did predict numbers... come on I want to know what it was, I liked DF's idea of the pole thing, I did think too that the alignment would permit some sort of trick like that...
    I'm not watching it, and I don't really know what Derren's normal 'schtick' is. My understanding was that (like Penn/Teller often do) he would give a genuine explanation of the trick, in which case the 'pole' method is quite a good one: it would still be impressive, and have a lot of people thinking "why didn't I think of that?".

    But if he's doesn't actually tell the truth, then he might as well be a complete cheat and do it using video effects. It would be incredibly simple - the most difficult thing would be making sure none of the technicians involved blabbed about it.

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