Digital Fishing Trip

I was jostled awake earlier in the morning than I could ever recall up to that point in my life. It was still dark outside, but my groggy eyes brightened when I realized that today was the day that my daddy was taking me on a fishing day—just me and him. It was a summer day in 1953 and I was only 5 years old, but I still remember my dad tying off the long cane poles to the side of the car with the colorful bobbers bobbing in the wind as the car drove to our Lake Lansing destination. I still recall stopping for breakfast that morning—a very rare treat because we almost never went to a restaurant at that time. I remember the fun of catching perch and blue gill. What I remember most, though, is stopping by the home of my dad’s friend, Art. Art was a crusty, brusque and earthy man. I still recall being fascinated by his cigars. I loved the smell of the smoke and the brown curls that rose to the ceiling before evaporating from my sight. It was this invitation to the grown-up world of men that I remember most. I was allowed into that inner circle of men who seemed to know anything that mattered—men who called me “champ” and included me in their joking, their chatter and their banter. My dad had made me part of who he was and what he loved. At the end of our fishing trip I remember skipping into the house. It was a day I would always remember.

This weekend the roles were reversed. It was I who was jostling a young one to wake up for a long-awaited outing. I was waking up my grandson. It would not be for fishing. Instead it was for assisting me at our KCdigiSTORY Center booth at the KC Maker Faire. He would be in charge of introducing our booth visitors to Google Cardboard and the fun of 3-dimensional virtual reality experiences. We stopped at Panera’s for breakfast—a frequent ritual for me, but a rare joy for Jared. He was excited to be in charge of something that showed off his digital savvy. He engaged visitors with energetic delight. He bantered with the grown-ups and traded talk on all things digital. He took special joy in counting the bills in the cash box and periodically pronouncing our progress in sales throughout the event.

I don’t recall ever feeling quite so close as this with my grandson. And I think he felt the same about the experience—

I noticed when we returned home that he skipped into the house.

As for me, I may have called him “champ” once or twice

Popular Resources from Maker Faire Booth

The KCdigiSTORY Center offered several hands-on experiences in their booth at Kansas City’s Maker Faire on June 27 & 28. Many enjoyed working with the stop-motion animation resources.  Others enjoyed new 3D VR apps available for their devices.  Below is a list of some of the more interesting stop-motion animation and new apps.  Included is a list of 3D VR apps that can be used with Google Cardboard viewers.

Stop-Motion & Animation

Zu3D Stop Motion Animation

This software has all of the features of HUE Animation, but it has the added feature of having full green screen capability. If the objects are photographed with a green screen background, Zu3D allows you to replace the green background with whatever photo, video or scanned artwork you want to use.

Single user license for Windows or Mac: $54.60

Single user for iPad: (price not given)



HUE Animation (also called MyCreate)

This software has all of the features most amateur stop-motion artists need except for green screen capability.

Single user license for Windows or Mac: $19.99

Single user for iPad (Brand name for this is MyCreate):



Scratch Animation

A free coding program that makes animating characters and objects easy while learning the basic elements of coding.


3D Virtual Reality Resources

Google Story Spheres

360 VR sites and scenes that have zones that activate with voice over narration, music and/or sound effects.

Google Photo Sphere

A Google app that guides you and your smart phone through the process of taking a 360 degree photo of a scene, room or setting. The software in the app automatically stitches your progressive photos into a seamless 3D interactive photo.

Template for Making Your Own Google Cardboard

YouTube Tutorial on Assembling Your Google Cardboard

3D VR Apps

Rating Name of App Vendor Price Devices
★★★★ Visions of California Jaunt, Inc.* Free iPhone
★★★★ Paul McCartney Jaunt, Inc. Free iPhone & Android
★★★★★ The North Face Jaunt, Inc. Free Android
★★★★ Jack White: THIRD Jaunt, Inc. Free
★★★ Other Space Jaunt, Inc. Free
★★★★ Revolt: Big Sean, Blessing Jaunt, Inc. Free
★★★★ Kaiju Fury: Sundance Jaunt, Inc. Free
★★ Dreamizer Dreamizer Free iPhone
★★★★ Google Cardboard Google Cardboard Free iPhone & Android
★★★★ Roller Coaster VR Fibrum Free iPhone
★★★★★ Orbulus for Cardboard VR VRCraftworks, Ltd. Free iPhone
★★★★ Zombie Shooter VR Fibrum Free iPhone
★★★ Dive City Roller Coaster Durovis Free iPhone
★★★★ Jet Sprint FabulousPixel Free Android (Samsung)
★★★★ Tuscany Drive FabulousPixel Free Android (Samsung)
★★★★ 3D Virtual Reality FPS-Demo Unity Asset Free Android
★★★★ Insurgent VR Lions Gate Films Free iPhone
★★★★ Insidious VR Focus Features** Free iPhone
★★★★ Walking New York VRSE Free iPhone & Android
★★★★★ Evolution of Verse VRSE Free iPhone & Android
★★★★ Clouds Over Sidra VRSE Free iPhone & Android

Many of the above apps can be downloaded directly from Google Cardboard. *Download Jaunt Player for Jaunt 3D VR apps

**May not be appropriate for young children

Digital Storytelling an Emerging Industry Sector in Kansas City

The Mid-America Regional Council recently published a report on Digital Storytelling in the Kansas City Metro that reveals digital storytelling as a growing industry sector in our metropolitan area.  The study reports that 34,743 digital storytelling jobs are already in place in the metropolitan area.  That total is expected to grow by 15.2 percent by 2022.  The study defines digital storytelling as “…the use of computer, digital and web technologies to create narrative solutions that are enhanced by their creative use of media.”

The report provides information that clarifies what digital storytelling means in terms of its business results.  Key disciplines include video and photography, media production, multimedia animation, scriptwriting and story editing, sound and sound editing, web development and computer graphics engineering.  It identifies common products such as story-based ads, e-cards, smartphone and tablet apps, animated features, stop-motion video, motion graphics and story-based computer games.

The report provides a list of Kansas City businesses that rely on digital storytelling solutions for their success.  Some businesses such as VML, Barkley and Global Prairie rely on digital storytelling to support their advertising and promotion businesses.  Others such as Hallmark Cards, T2 Studios and Propaganda3 use digital storytelling solutions to support their multimedia production businesses.  Other subsectors identified for digital storytelling businesses included educational media, new media technology, news and entertainment, video production and web and social media.

With funding from the KC Accelerator report, MARC developed the report to raise awareness of the digital storytelling industry to Kansas City’s growing information technology sector. Victoria Ogier, Workforce Development Project Manager for MARC, states that “Thanks to labor market information, MARC is able to share this valuable information that helps the region identify real-time workforce needs and support partnerships that can implement programs and increase employment and training opportunities in order to meet the talent demand and workforce needs of local creative IT companies”.  Ryan Weber, President of KCNext points out that “text to be added here”.”

To explore further opportunities for digital storytelling in Kansas City, the Mid-America Regional Council is partnering with KCNext, the Kansas City Area Development Council and the University of Missouri to apply for an Economic Development Administration Planning Program and Local Technical Assistance Program grant. If awarded, this grant would provide funding to create a regional economic development strategy for growing a stronger digital storytelling industry cluster in Kansas City.