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Ziva VFX 1.4 Puts Real-World Physics into Character Creation




Ziva VFX 1.4 Puts Real-World Physics into Character Creation

Just ahead of the SIGGRAPH confab, Ziva Dynamics has launched Ziva VFX 1.4, a major update to its character creation technology that adds five new tools for production artists. Thanks to insights from the community and key customers like Sony Pictures Imageworks and Scanline VFX, Ziva VFX now helps creators apply real-world physics to even more parts of the character creation process, including muscle growth, tissue tension and natural elements like heavy winds and water pressure.

“Ziva’s character tools have really worked out for us,” said John Hughes, founder of Rhythm & Hues and Tau Films. “The updates speed up simulations and give artists even more control and creative flexibility. Our creature pipeline is really hitting its stride.”

Already in use at Double Negative and Rising Sun Pictures, Ziva’s groundbreaking technology fundamentally changes the character creation process by combining the effects of real-world physics with the rapid creation of soft-tissue materials like muscles, fat and skin. By mirroring the fundamental properties of nature, users can produce CG characters that move, flex and jiggle just as they would in real life, removing difficult steps from the rigging process.

Ziva Lion Breakdown from Ziva Dynamics on Vimeo.

Some of the update’s highlights:

  • With External Forces, users are able to accurately simulate how natural elements like wind and water interact with their characters. Making a character’s tissue flap or wrinkle in the wind, ripple and wave underwater, or even repel towards or away from a magnetic field can all be done quickly, in a physically accurate way.
  • New Pressure and Surface Tension properties can be used to “fit” fat tissues around muscles, augmenting the standard Ziva VFX anatomy tools. These settings allow users to remove fascia from a Ziva simulation while still achieving the detailed wrinkling and sliding effects that make humans and creatures look real.
  • Muscle Growth can rapidly increase the overall muscle definition of a character or body part without having to remodel the geometry. A Rest Scale for Tissue feature has also been added, letting users grow or shrink a tissue object equally in all directions. Not only do these tools improve collaboration between modelers and riggers, but they also increase creative control for independent artists.
  • Ziva VFX 1.4 also marks the introduction of Ziva Scene Panel, a frequent request from advanced users. Now, artists working on complex builds can visualize their work in an effortless, compact way. Ziva Scene Panel’s tree-like structure shows all connections and relationships between an asset’s objects, functions and layers, making it easier to find specific items and nodes within a Maya scene file.

“With Ziva VFX 1.4, artists are able to make faster changes at every stage of the design process, in a more intuitive way,” said James Jacobs, Co-CEO of Ziva Dynamics. “As the need for realism grows, artists are constantly being asked to break the mold. With Ziva VFX, they can.”

At SIGGRAPH 2018, Ziva Dynamics will be showing Ziva VFX 1.4 and character results from blockbuster films in the Intel Booth (#1300). Schedule a demo or meeting by contacting humans(at)

Ziva VFX 1.4 is available as an Autodesk Maya plugin for Windows and Linux. It can be purchased in monthly or yearly installments, depending on user type. See all pricing options here. A free 60-day trial is also available.






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