As films heteroepitaxially grow on substrates, lattice mismatch strain at the interfaces causes stresses in the films and substrates. These stresses can have deleterious effects on film quality. To facilitate an understanding of defect production and control during growth of films on compliant substrates, transient finite element models were developed to simulate the complete mechanical stress and strain fields. Effects of constraints between the template and handle wafer on the film stresses were examined. The investigation showed that different types of constraints caused stress variations over a large range. Other factors affecting the stresses, such as lattice mismatch strain, wafer radius, film and template thickness, were also assessed.