Semi-automatic Windows Install

For windows users, the Ziva VFX plugin is distributed as an executable installer, so the easiest way to install the plugin is to do the following:

  • Run ziva-vfx-installer.exe and follow through the steps of the wizard.

  • Download your Ziva license file (“.lic” file extension) into the ZivaVFX installation folder. (C:Program FilesZivaVFX by default)

  • Enable the ZivaVFX plugin from the Maya plugin manager. (Windows > Settings/Preferences > Plug-in Manager)

Manual Install

Maya Module

The Ziva VFX plugin is distributed as a Maya Module, so the easiest way to install the plugin is to unzip the contents of directly into your local Maya Module directory. A Maya Module directory is any of the directories contained in the ‘MAYA_MODULE_PATH’ environment variable. For example, on Windows you can unzip the plugin into My Documents/maya/modules, and on Linux into ~/maya/modules. You may need to create these directories if they don’t already exist.

For a more flexible installation, you technically only need to put the ZivaVFX.mod file in the Maya Module directory in order for Maya to find the module. However, you will need to edit that ZivaVFX.mod file to make sure it still references the correct path on your system to the Ziva-VFX-Maya directory that contains the plugin files.

For more detailed instructions on installing Maya Modules, please see Autodesk’s page on “Installing the module”.


The simplest setup is to copy your license file (e.g. “ziva.lic”) into the directory from which Maya is being run. On Windows this will be next to Maya.exe, typically installed in Program Files/Autodesk/Maya{version}/bin. On Linux the usual installation directory is /usr/autodesk/maya{version}/bin.

A more flexible solution is to save the license file wherever you like and add an environment variable ‘zivadyn_LICENSE’ that contains the path to that directory. The zivadyn_LICENSE environment variable can either be added to your system variables, or can be added to your Maya.env file, eg: zivadyn_LICENSE=<path/to/license/file/directory>. For more information about setting environment variables using the Maya.env file, see Autodesk support.

If your license is a floating license, you will also need to set up a license server. See Floating Licenses for more details.

For Windows Users

On Windows, users will need to make sure that they have the “Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015, 2017 and 2019” from Microsoft installed. We have included an installer for the redistributable inside “”, or it can be downloaded from Microsoft.

Note that if the vc_redist installer fails because “another version of the product is installed”, this means the redistributable already exists, and you should be able to proceed as normal.

License Management

Ziva VFX uses the RLM license management tool made by Reprise Software. Below, we give a quick overview of how to use our RLM licenses. For more detail, please contact us or see the support for using RLM licenses provided by Reprise, including server and tool downloads, and a detailed manual.

Licenses are described in license files (e.g. ziva.lic) in a human-readable form that show, among other things, the expiry date (possibly permanent) and number of concurrent uses the licenses permits (possibly uncounted).

Ziva VFX needs a ziva-vfx-author license to run with the GUI, and a ziva-vfx-batch license to run in Maya batch mode. A request for a batch license can be satisfied by an authoring license via the ‘token’ line in the license file. To disable this behaviour (e.g. to guarantee the render wall never consumes an authoring license), remove that entire license from the license file. A token license looks something like:

LICENSE zivadyn ziva-vfx-batch 1.0 1-apr-2017 token_unlocked
token="<ziva-vfx-author 1.0 1>" _ck=11d9fd7131 sig="60PG452F..."

Standalone License

If the license says ‘single’ in it, then this file is for a single computer and does not need a license server. This type of license is typically for evaluation or indie use. You shouldn’t need to do anything more than what’s in the License instructions above.

Floating Licenses

Licenses with an explicit count or ‘uncounted’ must be managed by a RLM license server. We have provided you with a RLM server ( or, or it can be downloaded directly from RLM. Put your license file next to the license server executable (rlm) and then execute ‘rlm’ to start the server. If you already have a RLM server running (e.g. for Arnold renderer), just add the license file (e.g. ziva.lic) and our server settings ‘zivadyn.set’ to your existing server’s directory and have it read the license. When a server is running, simple management can be done by http://localhost:5053.

License Troubleshooting

Should you encounter problems with authenticating your license, a good place to start is by defining an environment variable ‘RLM_DIAGNOSTICS’ and setting its value to a filepath of your choice, for example: C:\rlm_log.txt. The next time you attempt to launch the Ziva VFX plugin, detailed information about your licensing environment will be written to the log file you specified.

Please include the contents of this diagnostic log file when asking for licensing support on the Ziva Community Forum.