"Using Geomagic Freeform 3D modeling crushes time and cost for everybody concerned." - Synapse Director Roger Hulks

The Players

Synapse Modelmaking is an internationally acclaimed design and development studio specializing in 3D licensed character products. Its multi-disciplinary workforce of 50 highly skilled model makers, engineers, sculptors and finishers produce a wide range of products within the toy, consumer electronics, giftware and car accessory areas. Familiar with their work, Boots Plc. approached Synapse about designing collectible figurines based on Aardman Animations’ hugely popular summer movie Chicken Run.


Approval, in the Blink of an Eye

When a representative from Aardman visited Synapse at their shop in Watford, England, to look at the design of a figurine, he had never seen Geomagic Freeform before. Still, he sat down at the Freeform station, and in just seconds he was moving the model of Rocky the Rooster around, turning it upside-down, viewing it from all angles, feeling it. “Then he asked if he could make a change to the model,” recalled Synapse Director Roger Hulks, “and we implemented the change immediately. Right before his eyes.”

Synapse got approval for their design on the spot. The Aardman representative was dazzled. Hulks says: “He still goes on about it today.” That’s one of the reasons Synapse is making a point of showcasing its Freeform 3D modeling capabilities to current—and potential—clients. “You can create something just like that. You can be amazing that way. It’s really fun and liberating.” said Simon Goodall, Synapse Sculptor.


Other FreeForm Benefits

Not only does Freeform software allow Synapse to get quick approval of its designs, Hulks also cited the “continuity of approval” made possible by Freeform’s digital advantage as a key benefit. “Once the character has been sculpted digitally and approved by the client, it can be upsized, downsized and re-manipulated, practically within minutes,” said Hulks. Because the resized version is, in essence, a digital copy of the approved model, it is already pre-approved. “Using Geomagic Freeform crushes time and cost for everybody concerned,” said Hulks. Besides these bottom line benefits, there are artistic advantages to Freeform  as well: the Synapse sculptors using Freeform find it to be as intuitive and expressive as modeling with clay or foam. Plus, it has advantages over more traditional modeling methods.

“If you have an idea in your head, no matter what it’s used for, then Freeform is the ultimate,” said Synapse Sculptor Simon Goodall. “You can focus your ideas onto the screen in a realistic form quicker than any other medium.”


The Competition Is Untouchable

Goodall found other 3D modeling products to be seriously lacking when compared to Geomagic Freeform.

“They take quite a long time to learn and you can’t actually feel the object you want to create. I want to feel it on my hands. I want to be able to move, manipulate and feel the model when I’m doing it.” With these other products he says, “You have to mathematically arrange all the other components together and try to create (a model) whereas Freeform is very organic,” said Goodall.

And fast. Roger Hulks is so upbeat about Freeform that he wants it to drive Synapse into the field of animation. He has already developed his pitch for future licensors: “Let us create characters for you,” he declares. “Using Freeform we can finish a character before anyone else can even pick up a mouse.”