At RMAL we love animation!

At Rocky Mountain Animation Labs we believe that anyone can learn animation.  And we’re committed to giving that opportunity to everyone.  While exposing a student to their first animation experiments is important to us, of equal importance is giving them a solid foundation in the principles and theories of animation, thereby preparing them for continued college-level animation, or a career in the animation industry, or simply to have the skills to create their own animated films!


Located in beautiful downtown Durango, Colorado, Rocky Mountain Animation Labs is inspired by the rugged, ever-changing scenery of the San Juan Mountains and the Four Corners region.

Classes at our Smiley Building location are currently limited to 6 students per class.  Each student has their own top-of-the line iMac with a custom-built RMAL AnimStage (patent pending) for creating Cut-Out, Stop Motion, 2D, or Pixellation style animation.  All workstations are networked to our high-end Sony Projector – perfect for screening animation in our comfortable classroom!

Scholarships and Reduced Tuition Opportunities!

As a non-profit arts education organization, making sure that everyone has access to our classes is important to us.  That’s why we’ve instituted our needs and aptitudes-based scholarship application.  If you would like to apply, email us at: and we will send you a questionnaire.  The questions and short written requirement should take between 45 minutes to an hour, assessing both the financial needs and the aptitude of the applicant.  Our staff will review each application carefully and let you know whether or not you’ll qualify for a 25%, 50%, or full scholarship.




How much does it cost? 

And how does this compare to other extra-curricular activities?

In general, we all tend to invest in extra-curricular education or ongoing learning.  After doing some quick research for a variety of opportunities in the Durango and surrounding area, we found that on average, music lessons costs $50 per hour.  What about after-school sports?  Mountain Biking, Soccer, or Hockey?   While the hourly rate might be in the $20 per hour range, they can become VERY expensive due to the equipment costs, and of course, the investment of your time driving to and from races and matches.  Animation lessons at Rocky Mountain Animation Labs are $32 per hour (based on a 10-class semester).  At our summer camps, the costs is only $24 per hour!  Similar schools in the Denver, Dallas, Los Angles, or San Francisco areas cost between $87 – $120 per hour.

It might be worth mentioning that in terms of career goals, animation is an large and growing industry – whether it’s in gaming, advertising, special FX, television, film, scientific visualization, internet applications, motion graphics, or even forensic technologies.  When comparing “Musician” to “Multimedia Artist”, the Bureau of Labor Statics, puts rates of pay, number of jobs, and project growth all significantly higher for the animation industry.  Go to our class schedule for more information to find out what’s going on now!

Call us today to find out about our new discounts and scholarship programs!

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Check out our Winter Classes!

CLICK HERE for Winter 2017 Classes.