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Damping update tip:

When zSolver.maxNewtonIterations is greater than 1, the dynamics were often under-damped. The dynamics are correctly damped now, which will result in some simulations appearing more damped than before. To recover similar results to previous versions, decrease zSolver.stiffnessDamping and zSolver.massDamping – possibly to the new default values: 0.001 and 0.0 respectively. This

Maya 2018 Speed Notice:

Maya 2018 has a performance bug causing meshes, that normally take a few milliseconds to process in Maya 2016, to take multiple seconds in Maya 2018. This is independent of Ziva's plugin and can easily be triggered entirely with built-in deformers.

If you're using more than 1 simulation substep per frame (zSolver.substeps > 1), then this Maya problem may be triggered and can significantly slow down everything.

The workaround is to set Maya to playback at the same rate as the solver substeps. For example, if zSolver.substeps = 4, then set "Playback by" in the Time Slider preferences to be 0.25 = 1/4 to match.
Damping tip for Ziva VFX v1.4 users

Now available for $50/month. Achieve character effects that rival those of the world's largest Visual Effects and Feature Animation studios, for only $50 per month.
Currently Serving:

Autodesk ® Maya
version 2019-2023

Available for OS: 



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Indie Licenses are available for individuals working on productions with under $500k in total annual revenue or funding.

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Add a physical-correction on top of any existing character rig with our goaling attachment. This lightweight approach corrects unwanted stretch, and adds contacts and secondary motion.


Design remarkable characters powered by science. Ziva VFX lets you create interdependent muscle, skeletal, and tissue networks that mimic anatomy and maintain biophysical accuracy.


Build characters easily as a single volume on top of a skeleton. This approach is ideal for feature animation - capturing the bulk, volume, contacts, and secondary dynamics of a character.
"It is the best muscle plugin we've found. It brings extra realism to our creatures via physically plausible muscle FX. It is a great improvement to have Ziva integrated into our workflow."
"Ziva was instrumental in helping Sony create the most realistic muscle and skin simulations for our CG characters to date. Ziva's outstanding results speak for themselves."
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“Ziva’s FEM muscle and skin simulation was the last piece of the puzzle we'd been longing for to achieve realistic looking, physically plausible Creature FX.”    
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Includes Free Ziva Assets

Every copy of Ziva VFX comes with free access to high-end,
simulation-ready assets like Lila the Cheetah.
Click below to browse our other available assets:
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build characters with physics

With ZIVA VFX, virtual characters move, flex, stretch, and jiggle the way audiences expect. Our high-fidelity FEM Anatomy Simulation technology lets you accurately simulate solid objects with complex material properties.
Access all Ziva VFX features for

$50 USD

per month (single-user)
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Available for individuals working on productions under $500k in total annual revenue or funding.
Easy painting: attachment areas, muscle fibers, muscle strength, tet mesh resolution, material properties, etc.
muscle growth
Instantly multiple the effects of muscle excitation with the Muscle Growth parameter setting for greater definition or shot-specific alterations.
External Forces
Combine the effects of any standard Maya Field with the organic physics and volume conservation of Ziva.
Goal elastic solids to externally animated triangle meshes for instant secondary motion.
Cache simulations to RAM or disk for fast playback and/or restarting.
Script and pipeline using Maya MEL or open-source Python tools.
Much more....

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The Ziva VFX Indie Licenses let you create anatomical, industry-leading characters for your independent projects and productions. Our full spectrum of Ziva VFX tools in Maya let you replicate real world physics, biology, and kinesiology for top-quality results.

You can try Ziva VFX free for 60 days:

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  • Take large timesteps with stable and invertible FEM
  • Use multiple material types, producing robust motion even under large deformations: StVK, NeoHookean, co-rotational, anisotropic
  • Collide objects using automatic collision detection and response
  • Add physical attachments between objects and paint where they are attached
  • Embed arbitrary triangle meshes into your simulated solids
  • Simulate thin shells (for skin)
  • Paint muscle fiber directions, then excite/contract a muscle using scripted muscle activation forces
  • Goal elastic solids to externally animated triangle meshes, for automatic addition of secondary motion
  • Paint nearly everything: attachment areas, muscle fibers, muscle strength, tet-mesh resolution, material properties
  • Use multiple types of physical damping
  • Cache simulations to RAM or disk for fast playback and/or restarting
  • Exactly preserve volume, even under large deformations
  • Script and pipeline your rig using Maya MEL, or using our open-source Python tools

+ Workstation requirements

  • Operating System
    Microsoft® Windows® 10, version 1809 or higher.
    Microsoft® Windows® 11
    Linux CentOS 7.6-7.9 operating system
    Maya 2019, 2020, 2022, 2023

    64-bit Intel® or AMD®
    8 GB of RAM (16 GB or more recommended)
    Disk Space:
    7 GB of free disk space for install
    NVIDIA® graphics card with Turingarchitecture support (Minimum Compute Capability: 7.5 ; Graphics driver compatibility: CUDA 11.8)

+ Use Cases

  • Anatomically realistic character animation, including:
    – Anatomically accurate bending of the skin at the joints
    – Correct hand pronation-supination
    – Correct neck shape with precise neck muscle movement
    – Correct upper-body rigidity under twisting
    – Correct thigh skin shape due to quadriceps muscle excitation
    – High-quality belly fat secondary motion (inertia and gravity)
    – Correct elbow self-collisions
  • Cartoon/feature character animation with simple, single-simulation-mesh anatomy or complex, hyper-realistic anatomy.
  • Enrich existing baked animations with controllable and tuneable secondary physically based motion.
  • Modelling tool for reducing stretch and volume-change in sculpts.
  • Make and simulate arbitrary elastic objects undergoing collisions and self-collisions, from gel to plants to steel-beam bridges.