Installation and License Management

Windows Installer

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.

  • Launch Maya and enable the ZivaVFX plugin from the Maya plugin manager. (Windows → Settings/Preferences → Plug-in Manager)

  • Activate the ZivaVFX plugin through the License Registration GUI (Ziva → License Register…).

  • Restart Maya.

Linux Quick Installation

The Ziva VFX plugin is distributed as a Maya Module, so the easiest way to install the plugin is to unzip the Ziva VFX zip file and move the contents of Ziva-VFX-Maya-Module folder directly into your local Maya Module directory.

  • Copy the contents of Ziva-VFX-Maya-Module (ZivaVFX.mod and ZivaVFX-Maya-x_x/) into ~/maya/modules. You may need to create this directory if it doesn’t already exist.

    mkdir -p ~/maya/modules
    cp -r Ziva-VFX-Maya-Module/* ~/maya/modules

    See the section on Maya Modules for more details and alternative locations.

  • Launch Maya and enable the ZivaVFX plugin from the Maya plugin manager. (Windows → Settings/Preferences → Plug-in Manager)

  • Activate the ZivaVFX plugin through the License Registration GUI (Ziva → License Register…).

  • Restart Maya.

Custom Installation

Maya Modules

ZivaVFX is distributed as a Maya Module, which is essentially a bundle of related files that Maya can load as a plug-in. In order to load modules, Maya searches for .mod files in the directories listed in the MAYA_MODULE_PATH environment variable. Typically, MAYA_MODULE_PATH contains by default eg: on Windows:

Program Files\Autodesk\Maya<maya_version>\modules;

You can add additional directories to the MAYA_MODULE_PATH either in your system’s environment variables or in your Maya.env file. Make sure the ZivaVFX.mod file and ZivaVFX-Maya-x-x directory are in one of the paths listed in your Maya’s MAYA_MODULE_PATH.

For an even 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 also need to edit that ZivaVFX.mod file to make sure it still references the correct path on your system to the ZivaVFX-Maya-x_x directory that contains the plugin files.

For more detailed instructions on installing Maya Modules, please see Autodesk’s page on “Distributing Multi-File Modules”.

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

License Registration

To ease the process of activating our product, we provide a GUI tool to help users set up a license for their ZivaVFX installation.


You need to launch Maya with administrator privilege if Ziva VFX installation path is under “C:\Program Files”.

After loading the ZivaVFX plug-in into Maya, you can launch it through Ziva Menu. (Ziva → License Register…)


For Indie users, choose the “Node-locked License” mode. Make sure you have downloaded your node-locked license file from the Ziva webstore. Click the “Browse” button, select the downloaded license file, and then click the “Register” button. The license file will be copied into your installation of the ZivaVFX Maya plugin module.

For Studio users, choose the “Floating License” mode. Input your license server’s name or IP address, as well as the port number if your organization is using a non-default value. Your organization’s license administrator can tell you these pieces of information. Finally, click the “Register” button. Under the hood, a license file called “zivavfx.lic” is installed containing the given license server information. If a license server was already previously registered, the new license server information is prepended to it.

The status line at the bottom of the window will show whether the operation was successful or not.

After you successfully register the license, restart Maya to start working with ZivaVFX.

Licensing Details

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 farm 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=... sig="..."

Node-Locked 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.

In order for ZivaVFX to function it needs to be able to find your license file. There are three places that the ZivaVFX plugin searches for license files, you can put your license file in any one of them:

  • The ZivaVFX module directory. You can get this path by running the MEL script in the Maya Script Editor:

    getModulePath -moduleName "ZivaVFX";

    Note that by default this path is not the same path as where the .mod file resides; It’s actually the path listed inside the .mod file, on the first line.

  • The directory containing the ZivaVFX plugin binary (.MLL file on Windows, .SO file on Linux).

  • Last but least recommended is 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, e.g.:


Make sure to restart Maya in order for a newly-installed license to take effect.

For more information about node-locked license setup, see Node-Locked License Installation.

Floating Licenses

Licenses with an explicit count must be managed by a RLM license server. This type of license is typically for studio or organizational use. ZivaVFX needs to be able to contact a running license server, and in order to do so it needs to be told where to find that server. There are two ways to accomplish this.

First, a license file can be installed that contains information about the network connection to the license server. The file format of this license file is as follows:


The <LICENSE_SERVER_NAME> is either the host name or IP address of the license server. The <PORT_NUMBER> is a number specified when you setup the license server, with default value 5053. Here are some examples:

HOST license ANY 5053


This license file can then be installed following the same instructions as for a Node-Locked License.

The second way is to set an environment variable named ‘zivadyn_LICENSE’ to the following value:


For example, if your license server name is “license” and port number is 5053, the value of ‘zivadyn_LICENSE’ environment variable would be:


Make sure to restart Maya in order for a newly-configured licensing setup to take effect.

For information about RLM license server setup, see Floating License Installation.

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 file path 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.