Ziva VFX comes with an extensive Ziva Python scripting library called the “zBuilder”. This library is essentially a set of “VFX pipeline” tools to make it easier to author and manage the characters. It was written by our TDs at Ziva, who prior to Ziva worked for many years at the top VFX places such as Weta and Sony Imageworks. The target audience of “zBuilder” are professional TDs at VFX studios who want to integrate Ziva into their workflows.
You can see the documentation and installation instructions here:
Among other things, this library makes it possible to export your entire Ziva character setup in an easy-to-understand ASCII format. While you could always save your scenes using the Maya’s .ma or .mb formats, the zBuilder ASCII format gives smaller files that can be manually edited with any text editor.
This makes it easy to import multiple character parts from different files, so that you can better organize your character pipeline. For example, you can store the bone geometry in one file, the muscle geometry in another file, the fascia and skin geometry in another file, etc., and then use zBuilder to import everything into one scene.
You only ever need to author the Ziva attachments, muscles fibers, materials, etc., once. You can then save the setup to a file using zBuilder, and then re-apply it to the character as many times as you wish. In this way, you can continue tweaking your geo, and zBuilder can automatically re-apply your previously created Ziva rig to the modified geometry.
The “zBuilder” library is open-source and you can contribute to it if you wish!