Creating hinge constraints

A Hinge constraint constrains rigid bodies along a specified axis. You can use a Hinge constraint to create effects such as a door on a hinge, a link connecting train cars, or a pendulum of a clock. In this example, the Hinge constraint constrains the plank to a position in the scene view.

In the following steps, you’ll add Hinge constraints to the center of the planks, which automatically turns the plank into a rigid body. You will do this for each plank. By default, Maya automatically creates a rigid body when you use a field or rigid body constraint to control its motion.

To create a hinge constraint

  1. Select Soft/Rigid Bodies > Create Hinge Constraint > .
  2. In the Constraint Options window, set the following options:
    • Initial Orientation X, Y, Z: 0 90 0
    • Leave the options window open.

    By default, the initial orientation is set to 0, 0, 0, which orients the hinge constraint to lie parallel to the Z-axis in world space. By setting the orientation to 90 in the Y-axis, the hinge constraint is rotated 90 degrees around the Y-axis, which orients the constraint parallel to the X-axis.

    By leaving the Set Initial Position at its default setting, the hinge constraint is created at the rigid body’s center of mass.

  3. Select pCube1 and click Apply in the Constraint Options.
  4. Select pCube2 and click Apply in the Constraint Options.
  5. Repeat this until each of the six planks has a constraint applied to it.
  6. Close the Constraint options window.