New Ziva VFX 1.7 Tool Enables precise Creative Direction for CG Characters

Advanced Character Platform Adds Art Directable Rest Shapes; Custom Deformations with Full Dynamics.

September 25, 2019

Today, Ziva Dynamics breaks the rules of character simulation with Ziva VFX 1.7, inviting more artists into the fold 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 cartoons and digidoubles.


Artists can now adjust a character’s silhouette with simple sculpting tools to quickly achieve any look they desire. Once the goal shape is established, Ziva VFX can morph to match it, maintaining all of 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.


The 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.

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


“Art Directable Rest Shapes allow us to nail difficult anatomical details in an intuitive way while still taking advantage of Ziva’s physical simulations,” said Seong Joon Lee, CG Supervisor at MPC and early adopter of Ziva VFX 1.7. “This helps us depict complex physical motion in a very realistic way. We’re thankful to the Ziva team.”

To use Art Directable Rest Shapes, artists simply duplicate a tissue mesh; sculpt their new shape onto the duplicate; and add the new geometry as a Rest Shape over select frames. This will intuitively morph the character, creating a smooth, novel deformation that adheres to any artistic direction a creative team can think up. 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.


To see Ziva VFX 1.7 in action, please visit the Ziva Resource Library or Ziva’s Vimeo page. For a free 60-day trial, click here.


Pricing & Availability

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. For all pricing options, please visit: