Monday, April 10th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Ziva Dynamics releases free trial of Ziva VFX for Maya

Ziva Dynamics has released a free trial of Ziva VFX, its muscle and skin simulation system for Maya.

The new evaluation editions – there are both commercial and non-commercial versions – make it possible to test the tissue simulation technology used on recent blockbusters like Suicide Squad and Fantastic Beasts.

An Academy Award-winning history of tissue simulation
Founded in 2015, Ziva Dynamics builds on CEO James Jacobs’ experiences in the VFX industry, including periods as creature supervisor at both Weta Digital and Method Studios.

At Weta, Jacobs helped develop the firm’s Tissue Physically–Based Character Simulation Framework, for which he received a 2013 Sci-Tech Academy Award.

Ziva VFX itself received a closed release last year, and has since been used in production by some of the world’s leading VFX houses.

Recent outings include Sony Pictures Imageworks’ work on Enchantress from Suicide Squad, and Image Engine’s work on the Graphorn from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (shown above).

Create stable, realistic simulations of soft tissues with accurate secondary dynamics
An FEM solver similar to the one used in Houdini, Ziva VFX is designed to let users set up stable, robust simulations, preserving tissue volume exactly even under large deformations or when using large timesteps.

It supports a range of material types, designed to mimic the stiffness, density and volume preservation of real tissues, including bone, tendons, muscles and skin; and supports multiple types of physical damping.

As well as editing parameters directly, Ziva VFX supports a brush-based workflow making it possible to paint material properties and mesh resolution, and even paint in muscle attachment points and muscle fibres.

Users can also embed arbitrary meshes into tissue simulations or “goal elastic solids to externally animated triangle meshes, for automatic addition of secondary motion”.

Simulations can be cached to RAM or to disk to speed up playback and iteration; while character rigs can be scripted in MEL or via a set of open-source Python tools.

Pricing and availability
Ziva VFX is available for Maya 2014 and above, running on Windows 7 and above or Linux.

Both a free 30-day commercial trial and a renewable 180-day non-commercial licence are available. You will need to register on the Ziva Dynamics website to download them. The software itself is priced on demand.

Read more about Ziva VFX on Ziva Dynamics’ website
(Includes download link for the free trial editions)

Watch video demos of Ziva VFX’s toolset on Ziva Dynamics’ Vimeo channel