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
Having speed issues in Maya 2018?

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ZIVA VFX seamlessly integrates into Autodesk Maya, making it intuitive and second-nature for all existing Maya users.


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.

a plan that works for you

Production schedules can range, so we've create ZIVA VFX Indie licensing options that work for you, no matter what your schedule may be.

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

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You'll receive a new 1-month license every 30 days, right in your inbox.

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You'll receive a new 365 day license and free upgrades for the entire year.
With the help of ZIVA VFX, Cara Delevingne's character Enchantress in Suicide Squad achieved shocking realism.
ZIVA VFX was used in the Ghostbusters (2016) movie to add plausible jiggle to the film's feature character Slimer.
The Graphorn from Fantastic Beasts came to life on screen and in VR with the help of ZIVA VFX. 
The towering Kaiju monster in the recent release of Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) was created using ZIVA VFX by DNEG.

Faster changes

Character alterations can be applied retroactively at nearly anytime. Simply adapting the underlying anatomy of your characters will allow you to react faster.

Greater Control

Muscles preserve volume under force and collision, and the tissue will bend, stretch, crease and jiggle with the realism audiences and experts expect. 


ZIVA VFX lets you improve fidelity, modify appearances, and shift art direction while still preserving the character essentials. Never start from scratch again.
"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."
“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.”    

build characters with lifelike motion

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

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*Available for individuals working on productions under $500k in total annual revenue or funding.

every month


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You'll receive a new 1-month license every 30 days, right in your inbox.


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 ultra real results.

You can try ZIVA VFX Evaluation license for 60 days for free.

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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

+ Software requirements

  • Maya 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, or 2018
  • Windows 7 (or higher), or Linux

+ 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.