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Special Effects Masterclass to Open Week-long DigiFest Event

Ross Kelly


DigiFest Special Effects

Technology enthusiasts will have the chance to explore the world of visual special effects at this week’s DigiFest event. 

Ben VonZastrow, technical lead of world-renowned visual effects company, Tippett Studio, will meet with students from Bridge of Allan Primary School during their visit to the week-long celebration of heritage and technology.

VonZastrow said events such as DigiFest can provide a welcomed opportunity for young people to access and explore technology.

“It was a delight meeting with the young people of Bridge of Allan Primary,” he said. “It’s great to see DigiFest giving young people access to technology which can safeguard the built environment around them.”

Tippett Studio has previously worked on special effects for blockbuster films such as Star Wars and Jurassic Park.

Visual Effects Masterclass

Tippett Studio is a leading organisation in digital special effects for TV shows, films, adverts, mobile apps and VR experiences for theme park rides. VonZastrow’s work includes credits on a number of films such as Matrix Revolutions, Cloverfield and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

People attending DigiFest will have the chance to attend one of the many masterclasses on offer, led by Tippett Studio animator, David Lauer.

Lauer will showcase Tippett’s experience of creating Star Wars’ iconic ‘Holochess’ stop-motion monster puppets, which were re-created in digital form for this year’s latest instalment of the Disney-led franchise, Solo.

VonZastrow commented: “Working in the entertainment field offers many rewards. But one of the greatest for me has always been the marriage of entertainment, art, and history in a way that not only opens up previously hidden or long-lost worlds to new audiences, but does so in a way that may take audiences by surprise – leaving them with a little knowledge when their only intent had been to be entertained.”


DigiFest will take place from the 15th to 20th of October at The Engine Shed in Stirling. Aimed at families, young people and tech enthusiasts, the event will offer a range of activities and discussions that will explore emerging technologies; including 3D modelling and printing, augmented reality, virtual reality, gaming, animation, robotics and coding.

Dorothy Hoskins, Technical Outreach and Education Manager at the Engine Shed, said: “While advances in technology are allowing us to conserve, monitor and care for our historic sites and buildings with ever-increasing efficiency and effectiveness, these same innovations are also making heritage more accessible than ever.

“New online platforms and developments in digital technologies are enabling people to inspect historic sites and artefacts from anywhere in the world, while a combination of digital documentation and animation allows for accurate recreation of historic environments which can be explored through cinema and gaming. The response so far to DigiFest has been superb and we look forward to a week packed with unique experiences for families.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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