Course Overview

Class Description:

The all-in-one stop for all things constraints. This recorded course will dive into understanding the purpose, construction, manipulation, application, and destruction of using constraints in the RBD context. Topics will cover both traditional and custom ways to create constraints to fit the needs of the scene, including building constraints from scratch to achieve full control to art direct behaviors in your simulations.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will leave this course with a competent understanding of how constraints are used to gain the desired outcomes within their simulations.

Course curriculum

    1. Files

    1. 1. Welcome & Session 1 Overview

    1. 1. Set-Up & Essential Attributes

    2. 2. Breaking Glue Constraints with VEX by Time (Frame)

    3. 3. Q&A: Constraints and the Geometry Parameter

    4. 4. Q&A: Point or Prim in Wrangle Nodes

    5. 5. Glue Constraints with VEX

    6. 6. Final Thoughts

    7. 7. Q&A: PolyLine constraints with two points

    1. 1. RBD Material Fracture vs Custom Constraints

    2. 2. Q&A: Custom Constraint Networks

    3. 3. Connect Adjacent Pieces Node

    4. 4. Breaking Glue Constraints by Proximity

    5. 5. Q&A: Attribute transfer from Prev Frame

    1. 1. Set-Up & Essential Attributes

    2. 2. Soft Constraints for Metal Bending

    3. 3. Sew Fractures with RBD Deform Pieces Node

    4. 4. Adding Plasticity

    5. 5. Q&A: RBD DeformPieces Node

    6. 6. Q&A: Asphalt Properties

    7. 7. Q&A: Split Nodes

    1. 1. Set-Up & Essential Attributes

    2. 2. Cone Constraints

    3. 3. Understanding Cone Twist Constraints

    4. 4. Low Level vs High Level Nodes

    5. 5. Q&A: Cone Twist and RBD Bullet Solver

    6. 6. Importance of Point Placement

    7. 7. Q&A: Point Scatter vs Fracture Properties

About this course

  • $75.00
  • 52 lessons
  • 2.5 hours of video content

Course Teaser

Session 1

SOP Level RBD Constraints

This session will introduce you to the wonderful world of constraints. Here we will discuss the criteria needed for your constraints to work properly in an RBD simulation and will be implementing them through the SOP-level RBD solver.
  1. Introduction RBD Constraints
  2. Glue with Timed release
  3. Soft constraint with plasticity
  4. ConeTwist Constraints
  5. Proximity-Release Glue
  6. Constraint Iterations

Session 2

Diving into DOPs

Onto DOPs! Within Session 2, we will extend our voyage into RBD control by learning how to set up our constraint networks within a vanilla DOP network. We will cover a few new constraint types and discuss the pros and cons of working within the DOP vs SOP level.
  1. Overview of the DOP network setup
  2. The Slider constraint
  3. Using Propagation to art direct glue breaking
  4. Hinge Constraints
  5. Hard Constraints
  6. Spring Constraints
  7. Clustering of Constraints


Taylor Tomlinson

Houdini Generalist

Taylor is a Houdini Generalist who specializes in FX. He received a bachelor's degree from Utah Valley University in Animation and Game Development and a diploma for FX Technical Direction from Lost Boys Studios, he then went on to be an intern in the Education department at SideFX, and after started his journey into the VFX industry working on projects for Netflix and Feature films, has shifted his attention to teaching.



  1. Computer (Please see SideFx system requirements)
    2. A second Monitor is recommended, but not necessary
  2. Houdini (Apprentice License is free)
  3. A basic understanding of VEX is useful but not required.


Subscribe to our newsletter.
Add the full Houdini.School schedule to your calendar:


Multi-Session Courses
Students may request a refund up to 1 day before the start of the course. Students may also withdraw from Multi-Session Courses at any time and are entitled to a pro-rated refund. The withdrawal date must be 1 day before the next class they intend to drop.

On-Demand Courses
All on-demand courses are non-refundable.

How to Drop a Class
Please send a request to drop a class via email to [email protected].
Your written request to drop any or all of your classes must include:
  1. Student’s full name
  2. Name of the course(s) being dropped

See you in Class!