Case Study : Zeke the Lion
Meet Zeke. He's an anatomical virtual Tsavo lion created in-house with Ziva VFX.

Zeke is available for all Ziva VFX subscription holders. Discover what you can create with a simulation-ready quadruped designed by the Ziva experts.
Download Zeke
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Skeleton & Muscle Modeling
Muscle fibers & attachments
fat & Skin
Texture & Lighting
* Fur/grooming not included in the ZIVA VFX toolset.
Learning New Animation
We’ve been truly impressed by the results the Ziva team has achieved with this lion. This is exactly why Scanline has committed to using Ziva.
– Mohsen Mousavi, VFX Supervisor, Scanline VFX.


Physically realistic results.

The ZIVA VFX FEM Solver empowers artists to simulate soft tissues that follow the laws of physics and biomechanics. All tissues can be accurately coupled together to naturally flex, jiggle, collide and fold with unparalleled realism.


Agile editing and versioning.

Ziva allows every team member to iterate alterations more easily. With geometric representation, new changes are instinctively integrated and solved, making collaborative reworking faster and more manageable.


Faster timelines for better characters.

ZIVA VFX reduces the need for time-consuming alterations and shot sculpting. With higher quality characters out of the box, and minimal parameter tweaking, every step in the production is improved and accelerated.

Muscle & Bone Modeling

ZIVA VFX modelers can iterate new geometry at any point during the production. Alterations will be ingested into existing builds, effortlessly.

This empowered our modeler to rapidly design a rudimentary first pass of Zeke from a pre-existing quadruped muscles, thus accelerating initial TD work, and later model more intricate, feedback-informed geometry.

Click to view Zeke's Muscle Iteration Comparison

FAT & Skin

ZIVA VFX facilitates secondary motion that follows the laws of physics. Varying levels of elasticity can be painted onto a single tissue, resulting in the non-linear wiggle and jiggle of fat under gravity and force.

This step can be used to improve the dynamics of existing, non-ZIVA VFX rigs as well. Even the most primitive 3D characters can receive organic secondary motion within hours.

Click to view Feature Animation Elephant Example


Although Zeke's grooming and lighting were completed with external solutions, they effectively highlight the end benefits of Ziva's anatomy-first approach to character creation and the strength of the robust FEM solvers.

Throughout Zeke's creative process, our Modeler and TD were able to work collaboratively and simultaneously, with some feedback edits taking less than a day to complete and render.


INTEL I7-47490K
CPU @ 4.00GHZ (8 CPUS)


307,000 Total Vertices
~11,000 collision proxy pairs
132 Tissue bodies
209 Bone bodies
30,036 Tetrahedra
3.2s per step @ 2 steps

Fat + Skin:

123,246 vertices on fat mesh
~880,000 collision proxy pairs
317 collision meshes
87752 Tetrahedra
31s per step @ 4 steps


Zeke effectively captures the intricate motion and realism achievable with Ziva VFX. His skin collides and transform with lifelike precision while the physics-abiding musculature excite and contract with visible weight and power.

Ziva VFX's physics-based anatomy expands the artistic range for creators and eliminates the costly, time-intensive, and tedious processes often associated with creature simulation.
Download Zeke
For more information about making a Ziva character, you can visit the 'Making a Character from Scratch ' tutorial.


Modelers can continue to improve geometry and respond to team feedback more efficiently. Everything is flexible and can happen at any time.


TDs will achieve more realistic results that are directly informed by real-world physics. Intuitive tools and controls grant greater artistic freedom from the start.


All existing anatomy can be re-shaped for other characters. From Zeke, any number of quadrupeds could be rapidly simulated.