– Ziva Dynamics has launched Ziva VFX 1.6, bringing anatomy transfer capabilities to the world’s most advanced character creation software. With Anatomy Transfer, artists can take the full anatomy of one character and automatically fit it to the mesh of another, removing the need to start from scratch every time a new character or creature has to be developed.
The new Anatomy Transfer feature attacks one of the most time-intensive portions of the character pipeline, so studios can scale their projects at a level never seen before in high-end productions. Now, instead of waiting days or weeks for new inputs from the modeling team, characters artists can begin right away, using the anatomy of one creature to generate another. Transferred rigs require little to no remodeling and come with the full power of Ziva physics, producing characters that move, flex and jiggle just as they would in real life.
“Creating hundreds of high-quality characters has never been easier,” said James Jacobs, Co-CEO of Ziva Dynamics. “When we were at Weta, we would have given our left arm for technology like this; now, every artist and studio in the world can ‘build it once,’ instead of again and again.”
The transfer process starts with a source creature that has been simulated with Ziva VFX, and the external skin mesh of a target creature with similar topology. Artists run two functions (a proprietary bone-warp and spatial-warp) that automatically reshape the bones, joints and muscles to the second creature. Then a simple load function automatically transfers the simulation properties to the new rig, including attachments, fibers, materials and more. The result is a new creature that is simulation-ready, out of the box.
“By now, everyone knows we used Ziva to simulate the Megalodon in The Meg. But, we used the anatomy transfer tools to generate hundreds of other sharks in the film as well. Each one had to meet the quality standard of our hero character,” said Sue Rowe, VFX Supervisor of Sony Pictures Imageworks. “Anatomy Transfer made this possible and saved us an enormous amount of time and effort. We're thrilled this tool is available in Ziva VFX 1.6."
To make it easier for users to get started, Ziva’s Zeke the Lion character asset is now included in the Ziva VFX 1.6 software package (a $10,000 value). Along with Zeke, users will also receive a quadruped cheetah (Lila) to help them practice the anatomy transfer process.
Zeke is Ziva’s flagship quadruped and has undergone extensive iterations and revisions over the course of the past two years. The asset is complete with over 132 individual muscle tissues and an optimized fat/skin layer with approximately 880,000 collision points. This simulation-ready rig is blockbuster quality and has already been used to power quadruped characters in major productions.
Along with the free assets, Ziva VFX 1.6 introduces another speed optimization that runs 15-20 percent faster than the previous version. With the improved algorithms from December and the removal of the fascia simulation pass from August, Ziva simulations are now over 300 percent faster than they were a year ago.
Ziva VFX 1.6 is available now as an Autodesk Maya plug-in for Windows and Linux users. Ziva VFX 1.6 can be purchased in monthly or yearly installments, depending on user type.