What is ZFX?

ZFX(Zelos for Effects) is in-house software independently developed by Dexter Studios.

One of the most difficult fields in VFX involves creating digital oceans through computer graphics technology. ZFX was developed to allow for efficient workflow for large-scale shots involving oceans or fluid effects. Animated oceans of extremely large scale can be easily created through the use of ZFX. ZFX has been used to successfully create oceans for projects in the past such as “Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon,” “The Pirates,” “Splendid Politics,” etc., and to this day, it continues to undergo ongoing development as new features are added.

Features

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· ZFX provides efficient and procedural workflow inside of Maya as an all-in-one Maya plugin.
· By connecting nodes provided by ZFX into a node network, users may produce desired result through a procedural approach.
· ZFX can create both a calm and turbulent ocean. It can also simulate particles interacting with water.
· Identical and reproducible results may be achieved thorough ZFX even when used in the context of various 3D applications(Maya, Houdini, RenderMan, etc.).
· A library of various preset oceans may be used for convenience.

Ocean

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· ZFX is able to mimic ocean surfaces by translating the vertices of a surface with respect to time.
· Calculated results may be viewed in real time in the Maya viewport through the GLSL displacement shader.
· Data pertaining to displacement information may be saved as image files.
· Because these image files are able to be edited using various photo editing tools, it is easy to mix multiple ocean patterns, allowing for efficient workflow.
· Also, through the recent addition of new technologies such as the TMA spectrum into ZFX, resulting oceans are increasingly improving in likeness to real oceans.

Breaking Wave

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· With the ZFX’s Breaking Wave Deformer, waves of desired shapes can easily be created just by drawing a few curves.
· Because tools to blend breaking waves on top of ocean surfaces are provided within ZFX, dynamic and natural-looking waves are able to be produced.
· In order for large data to be displayed in real time and allow for efficient shot workflow, functionality allowing for accelerated GPU calculations using CUDA is provided

Hybrid Fluid Simulation

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· ZFX is capable of creating fluid simulations through independently developed FLIPs or level-sets.
· Portraying phenomena that are big in size and turbulent(e.g. tsunamis and floods) demands large amounts of data and long calculation times. Thus, ZFX utilizes multi-threading and GPGPU to accelerate the simulation process.
· Because both FLIP and level-set simulation approaches are provided, using a choice of either or even a combination of the two allows for the user to choose the most appropriate option per situation for maximum efficiency.

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