Ziva VFX 1.7 for CG characters

Scanline VFX used Ziva to move those dragons on Game of Thrones I keep talking about. They won an Emmy with it, remember? Well, Ziva has released a major new feature which has the potential to change how characters are made. First, here’s their Ziva reel, then a bit of a press release to give you clearest idea of why this is so important.


Ziva Dynamics enables precise creative control and art direction in digidoubles and animated characters with Ziva VFX 1.7 with their most user-friendly tool yet. With the introduction of Art Directable Rest Shapes (ADRS), artists can make characters conform to any shape without losing their dynamic properties, opening up a faster path to animations and digidoubles.

 Artists can now adjust a character’s silhouette with simple sculpting tools to quickly achieve any look they want. Once the goal shape is established, Ziva VFX morphs to match it, maintaining all the rich dynamics embedded before the change.


Whether unnatural or precise, ADRS can work with any shape, removing the pains of both complex setups and exhaustive corrective work.

 This Art Directable Rest Shapes feature has been in development for over a year and was created in collaboration with several major VFX and feature animation studios. While outputs and art styles differed, each group essentially requested the same thing: extreme accuracy and more control, without compromising the dynamics that sell a final shot.

Tutorial video


Hit any custom shape or silhouette in your simulation with Ziva VFX 1.7 Art Directable Rest Shapes, complete with rich, physics-adhering secondary dynamics. This high-demand feature enables animation and VFX teams to reduce their corrective workflow and push their characters, digidoubles, and facial work beyond any artistic limitation.


For feature animation characters, unchained by the laws of nature, ADRS can rapidly alter and exaggerate key characteristics, allowing teams to be expressive and creative without losing the power of secondary physics. For live action films, where the use of digidoubles and other photorealistic characters are growing, ADRS can minimize the setup process when teams want to quickly tweak a silhouette or make muscles fire in multiple ways during a shot. 

ADRS has already begun making its way into the hands of the world’s top studios, many of which are eager to reduce their reliance on shot sculpting and corrective workflows.


“Our creature team is really looking forward to the potential of Art Directable Rest Shapes to augment our facial and shot-work pipelines,” said Josh diCarlo, Head of Rigging at Sony Pictures Imageworks and current ADRS user. “Ziva VFX 1.7 holds the potential to shave weeks of work from both processes while simultaneously increasing the quality of the end results.”

On top of ADRS, Ziva VFX 1.7 will also include a new zRBFWarp feature, which can warp NURBS surfaces, curves and meshes.

 The release of Ziva VFX 1.7 follows months of incredible new creature work from top VFX studios like Scanline VFX (Game of Thrones dragon), Milk VFX (Good Omens), Mr. X (Hellboy) and Pixomondo’s full animal cast for A Dog’s Way Home.   Ziva VFX 1.7 is available now as an Autodesk Maya plugin for Windows and Linux users. Ziva VFX 1.7 can be purchased in monthly or yearly installments, depending on user type.

The Ziva method 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.


Related links:
Ziva Dynamics
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