VANCOUVER – Ziva Dynamics (www.zivadynamics.com) is enabling artists creating digital characters with a user-friendly tool called Ziva VFX 1.7. The latest release introduces ‘Art Directable Rest Shapes (ADRS)’, allowing artists to make characters that conform to any shape without losing their dynamic properties.
Artists can now adjust a character’s silhouette with simple sculpting tools to quickly achieve any look they desire. Once the goal shape is established, Ziva VFX can morph to match it, maintaining all of the rich dynamics embedded before the change. Whether unnatural or precise, ADRS can work with any shape, removing the pains of both complex setups and exhaustive corrective work.
The ADRS feature has been in development for over a year and was created in collaboration with several major VFX and feature animation studios. While outputs and art styles differed, each group essentially requested the same thing: extreme accuracy and more control, without compromising the dynamics that sell a final shot.
For feature animation characters, unchained by the laws of nature, ADRS can rapidly alter and exaggerate key characteristics, allowing teams to be expressive and creative without losing the power of secondary physics. For live action films, where the use of digidoubles and other photorealistic characters are growing, ADRS can minimize the setup process when teams want to quickly tweak a silhouette or make muscles fire in multiple ways during a shot.
“Art Directable Rest Shapes allow us to nail difficult anatomical details in an intuitive way while still taking advantage of Ziva’s physical simulations,” says Seong Joon Lee, CG supervisor at MPC and early adopter of Ziva VFX 1.7. “This helps us depict complex physical motion in a very realistic way. We’re thankful to the Ziva team.”
To use Art Directable Rest Shapes, artists simply duplicate a tissue mesh; sculpt their new shape onto the duplicate; and add the new geometry as a Rest Shape over select frames. This will intuitively morph the character, creating a smooth, novel deformation that adheres to any artistic direction a creative team can think up. On top of ADRS, Ziva VFX 1.7 will also include a new zRBFWarp feature, which can warp NURBS surfaces, curves and meshes.
Ziva VFX 1.7 is available as an Autodesk Maya plug-in for Windows and Linux users. A free 60-day trial is available.