Joshua J. Morgan is the Animation Program Supervisor at UCLA after serving for over a decade as a the Animation Technical Services Engineer at Loyola Marymount University, where he has taught Interactive Animation, Game Design, Game Development and Game History. He also teaches Interactive Animation at UCLA, and he has taught Game Prototyping and Game Programming at the Art Institute of Los Angeles.
A native to Southern California, Josh holds a BA in Communication Studies and an MFA in Animation, both from UCLA. He worked in feature animation as a technical coordinator and assistant editor on Shane Acker’s 9 (2009), and as an editorial coordinator on the blockbuster hit Despicable Me (2010).
Josh specializes in educational software development and he has programmed applications and games for the web and mobile devices. He was the lead programmer of Looney Tunes™ ClickN READ Phonics®, which teaches children to read and features classic Warner Bros. characters. He has also developed enterprise desktop, mobile and touchscreen kiosk apps for corporate clients.
University of California, Los Angeles: Master of Fine Arts, Animation 2012
Attended UCLA Animation Workshop from 2002 to 2005. Completed MFA Thesis in 2012
University of California, Los Angeles: Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies 2001
Graduated Cum Laude Major: Communication Studies (Mass Media concentration) Minor: German
Areas of Expertise (7)
Mobile App Development
Unreal Engine 4
Industry Expertise (6)
Motion Pictures and Film
Training and Development
Media Appearances (2)
A CONVERSATION WITH JOSH MORGAN
LMU Magazine print
Josh Morgan, an animation technical services engineer at LMU, is a lecturer in the School of Film and Television and the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering. He has studied the films of Japanese animation filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and has published an article on the subject in Animatrix, an animation-based journal produced at UCLA. Morgan teaches interactive animation and game design. He was interviewed by Editor Joseph Wakelee-Lynch.
Josh Morgan on the Intersection of Comp Sci & Animation, the Artist/Programmer Overlap, & Game Feel
Cara Elvira Salvatore online
A conversation with Cara Elvira Salvatore as part of her Unconditional Positive Reg(ART) interview series.
ANIM 250 Intro to Interactive Animation
Nonlinear storytelling for animators and filmmakers with an emphasis on interactive scripting to create user involvement in the unfolding narrative. The integration of animation and interactivity is explored to show how user-controlled animation for games is different than for film and linear narratives. There is also an emphasis on design issues and scripting for interactivity.
ANIM 450 Advanced Interactive
Advanced production and design of animated interactive content using industry-standard real-time video game engines. This course places an emphasis on interactive scripting and students develop interactive projects and game prototypes individually or in small groups.
ANIM 352 Game Design
The iterative process of game design will allow students to develop prototypes of their original games and storylines. Important topics include design issues, balanced play, theming, game theory, intellectual property, and play testing.
CMSI 3751 (formerly CMSI 375) Game Design
The art and science of games. Goals, rules, game balance, and other fundamentals are introduced, as well as implementation issues such as modeling, physics, animation, networking, and performance. Coverage of existing gaming platforms and languages is provided as needed. Concepts are applied in an appropriately scaled, team-implemented game project.
CMSI 3752 (formerly CMSI 376) Game Development
Development, production, marketing, and distribution of electronic games. Technical details of game and physics engines. Modeling, programming, and interaction techniques. The course covers both two-and three-dimensional platforms.
ANIM 443 History and Analysis of Video Games
A survey of the historical developments, styles, techniques, theory, and criticism of video games as an art form, with an emphasis on video game design and development. Topics include technological advancements, cultural impact, future of the medium, and the relationship of video games to other media. Screenings, lectures, and discussions.
Flying with Miyazaki: Flight as a metaphor for power in "Spirited Away"Animatrix, Volume 12, 2003
Virtually every animated feature film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the “master of Japanese animation,” depicts fantastic scenes of flight. By granting his characters the power of flight, Miyazaki conceives visually stunning flying sequences, as his heroes and heroines soar to the outer limits of the dreamscapes he creates. It is just as easy, if not easier, for an animator to make a character fly as it is to make a character walk, and since his medium is animation, there are no limits to the scale or complexity of the flying machines that Miyazaki can construct. Moreover, Miyazaki’s characters do not even need airplanes to fly, because the magic of animation can give anyone the magic of flight. Despite the boundless freedom that animation affords him, however, Miyazaki is very deliberate about which characters he endows with the power of flight, how they are able to fly, and when they can take to the air. The dazzling displays of flying in Miyazaki’s films are not merely for show, but rather, they are masterful metaphors that symbolize the empowerment of the character in flight.