Video game characters enter the real world with CATIA
In just a few years, Ubisoft's Raving Rabbids have become a global video game phenomenon. Combining a series of wacky challenges and an unusual sense of humor, Raving Rabbids have rapidly captivated people of all ages. Ubisoft licenses the rights to Raving Rabbids to toy manufacturers, including Polymark, who wish to produce the bobbing heads of its video characters.
An industrial design agency
Olivier Lemaître, director and founder of the design agency Nowiew, previously spent 20 years as a designer working for one of the world's leading providers of tableware products and services. His experience as an industrial designer enables him to combine creativity with the demands of a product development process.
When Nowiew was contacted by Polymark with a design issue concerning the production of Raving Rabbids dolls, Lemaître responded with an innovative approach to the challenge. The usual approach, which involved sculpting physical molds of the characters and providing these molds to the manufacturer to produce the plastic toy figure, did not provide satisfactory results. "The bobbing head did not comply with Ubisoft's graphic charter and had to be reworked," Lemaître says. "Re-sculpting a new mold took time and did not provide the manufacturer with enough precision to produce an acceptable prototype. My customer, Polymark, had already lost four weeks going back and forth between the physical sculpting phase and the production stage."
“ CATIA is the solution that enables me to fulfill all the requirements of an industrialized product, from styling and design all the way to manufacturing.”
Director and Founder Nowiew Design
A creative yet industrial approach
To resolve the dilemma, Lemaître used CATIA for Creative Designers, including CATIA Imagine and Shape, the module that delivers ultra-fast modeling technology based on exact subdivision surfaces, to design the character, finally producing a doll that satisfied Ubisoft's requirements.
Design modifications were fast and easy to implement. In a matter of weeks, the final prototype was manufactured. "I could not have done it without CATIA Imagine and Shape," Lemaître declares. "CATIA is the solution that enables me to fulfill all the requirements of an industrialized product, from styling and design all the way to manufacturing." It also became very easy to derive new toy versions showing the characters in different positions by simply modifying the validated products.
Thanks to a unique CATIA data model, Nowiew designed the associated package directly on top of the Raving Rabbid toy. "The advantage is that even if the design is not completely finished, the associativity between the packaging data and the character itself enabled me to update one when the other was modified, thus accelerating design time," Lemaître explains. "I was also able to prepare the supports used to position the product in the best way and to validate not only the product and the packaging, but the experience the final customer has with the combination of these two elements together."
Nowiew is a young company with grand ambitions. Lemaître is convinced that choosing CATIA for Creative Designers has done a lot for his company's image. "When clients see that we use CATIA, they look at us differently. They know they can count on Nowiew and that we are a reliable and serious agency. It has brought us credibility."
CATIA for Creative Designers is a comprehensive industrial design solution offering a wide variety of creative tools, from modeling – with explicit, parametric nurbs surfacing and exact subdivisions surfaces (surface modeling tools that can be combined) – to direct solid modeling, drafting, rapid prototyping and rendering capabilities.
In 2009, based on 25 years of experience in design, Olivier Lemaître founded Nowiew Design, an agency devoted to brand promotion. Design is of strategic importance for a company's growth. Nowiew helps its clients realize their products, graphic artwork and services of tomorrow. Imagining, designing and innovating to satisfy the needs of its clients and their market is Nowiew's primary concern. The agency excels in products for the home (furniture, tableware, lighting, etc.), as well as in the design and creation of licensed products.