Video editor playback question

Good day, I left hitfilm after pro4, but I am not pleased with vegas 15 "new features", bugs, etc. My question is if hitfilm separates its editor and compositor into two programs, like Adobe, can the editor part of hitfilm programing get updated to handle editing better or are the requirements the same for both tasks in the software. I ask because I placed the exact same 4K clip in Vegas Pro and Hitfilm and it played perfect in Vegas and stutter non-stop in Hitfilm no matter the settings (half, quarter, please no with the hour long proxy to still stutter


  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,138 Enthusiast
    edited August 2017

    First Vegas Hitfilm proxies are not really proxies in the way the term is generally used by most. They are lossless pre-renders. Not intended to proxy media, but to pre-render complicated composites. Hitfilm sadly does not have a smart proxy mechanism like Vegas/Premiere/Resolve.

    The editor and compositor in Hitfilm are integrated and as one. A very clean and slick workflow.

    Hitfilm is kinda slow at basic timeline performance. One often needs to transcode to a faster to decode, lower overhead, format with Hitfilm. More so with 4k. A lot depends on your machine and the exact media being used. High overhead AVC media is the common media out there and thus is normally the source of users performance issues.

    If you have gotten frustrated with the Vegas development group I think you will find FxHome to be a different animal altogether.

    Some reference material for you.

    A currently active thread with the same general question.

  • Thanks for the fast response. I was just wondering. I have been holding out for the Vegas 15 update from 14 but after the release I felt I could probably benefit by going with another system. At this point I'm ok with learning a different software (I'm familiar with Hitfilm) So I dropped by an old forum I use to visit (Hitfilm :) ) to see if I should settle down here once again or not. Thanks again NormanPCN.

    Thanks for the video!

  • NormanPCN  I used handbrake to convert my 4K video as per the video's hitfilm recommended settings and I finally got real time playback of 4K video in hitflm 4 pro. It is not super smooth but it is a huge difference. The only bad side is it took handbrake 30 minutes to convert a 5 minute clip. :( I normally have 60 to 80 shots, so I ca only imagine the time that will take. 

    But, thank you again sir, at this rate I might update to hitfilm pro 2017, but wait isn't it time for 2018? Should I just wait till November? :)

    Any tips on how to speed up handbrake using those settings?

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,603 Ambassador

    @NormanPCN had a typo in his initial post. HITFILM proxies are lossless pre-renders. 

    Otherwise, he's (as usual) on point. 

    I haven't upgraded to Vegas 15 yet (making this the first version since Vegas 4 I didn't get on day one). Sorry to hear it's buggy, because v14 was very stable for me (with 12 being the most buggy version). 

    Anyways as Norman says, Hitfilm isn't as strong as most NLEs on basic playback. Hitfilm also tends to a little higher overhead than some because it's got a complicated pipeline. FXHOME does strive to improve Hitfilm speed and workflow with each version. For example, Hitfilm 2017 now has a proper audio panel for mixing. Trees are persistent when shifting between composites, and control trees now have a search filter. The mixer brings a lot more power to the Editor, the other two tweaks really speed up workflow. 

  • Thanks @ Triem23 and thank you very much for the hard work you put in the video.

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,138 Enthusiast
    edited August 2017

    @TheDigitalMedia "The only bad side is it took handbrake 30 minutes to convert a 5 minute clip."

    What "encoder preset" did you use. The faster ones will encode faster and result in slightly larger files. I also assume you also entered the extra text commands for keyint and bframes.

    On my machine (4Ghz, 4770k), UHD media transcodes in Handbrake at approx 14-15 fps with "Medium" and 20-21 fps with "faster". That is not blinding speed or real time (e.g. 24, 29.97 fps) but nothing 4k is ever going to be blazing. 4k is a world class B.

    @Triem23 Thanks for catching my typo.

  • TheDigitalMedia
    TheDigitalMedia Posts: 195
    edited August 2017

    @NormanPCN I used the fast preset and yeah I used the extra text commands. My laptop for this experiment has an i7, 16gb memory, gtx 980m, ssd and a hd. Handbreak is installed on the hard drive. Thanks again.


  • TheDigitalMedia
    TheDigitalMedia Posts: 195
    edited August 2017

    @NormanPCN I found another thread where you shared you changed your GH4 footage from .mov to .mp4 for Hitfilm. I tried it with my GH4 video and got the same increased playback response on the 4K extension change footage as my handbreak converted clip that took 30 minutes. I no longer  have to wait 30 minutes per clip :)

    Question, if I understood your thread correctly, you also shared video converted to cineform gives a greater improvement over the above methods. What batch processor would you recommend to convert to cineform so I can edit in hitfilm. 

    I get increased playback with the name change and handbrake, but as soon as I add one effect it's back to stuttering. I know it will be a trade off but I want to try cineform converted video in hitfilm. Thanks NormanPCN

    side note: I tried go pro studio (legacy) , you can't use third party footage in quik, and the video playback is about the same playback quality as the name change method mentioned above but  the audio is pure white noise.

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,138 Enthusiast


    "I found another thread where you shared you changed your GH4 footage from .mov to .mp4 for Hitfilm."

    That thread is linked in the transcode thread. The point here is that Quicktime AVC decode sucks. Vegas bypasses Quicktime for most DLSR MOV files. AVC video and PCM audio. Hitfilm should do the same but the rename is a workaround.

    You should be able to shoot in the MP4 container on the GH4. I don't know the limitations, if any, that exist when choosing such.

    "What batch processor would you recommend to convert to cineform so I can edit in hitfilm. "

    GP studio would be my GoTo. Actually my preferred GoTo would be ffmpeg but it does not have a Cineform encoder. Decode only.

    Apparently, GoPro studio does not seem to like the Big Endian PCM audio in the GH4 files. I don't have a GH4, just a handful of samples. I have Canon. Canon uses little endian PCM audio, in a MOV container, and GP studio works fine with that.

    If you shoot in the MP4 container on the GH4 the audio will be AAC and GP studio should do fine with that.

    You have Vegas. Do you have Vegasaur? That would/should be a decent transcoder.

    Beyond that, with GoPro installed, then any transcode utility that uses Video for Windows should, hopefully, be up to the task.

    Of course you can use Hitfilm to transcode. Unfortunately it is a pathetic transcoder due to filename considerations and a workflow that results. Also performance will not be as good (the GPU readback thing). It will/should work.

    "...but as soon as I add one effect it's back to stuttering."

    That could be your GPU bottlenecking. What GPU? What effect? What timeline?

    Most effects are GPU driven but most in the temporal group are CPU based. Also, Levels Histogram has a performance problem, likely related to the CPU and GPU readback, so don't use it. Use curves or others instead of levels histogram.


    Looking at your first post, I notice you never gave specs of your computer. This is really important. One can rightly say that UHD is 4 times the work of HD and to expect the same hardware to be smooth at UHD as HD may not be reasonable. There are reasons all the top editor are adding smart proxy features.

    Vegas 15 seems to be trying the hardware decode thing, which can help underpowered CPUs, but it is Quicksync only as of now. I would not enable my integrated GPU just for that. I read too many reports of separate manufacture GPU drivers getting into fights(conflicts) and causing issues.

  • TheDigitalMedia
    TheDigitalMedia Posts: 195
    edited August 2017

    @NormanPCN My laptop for this experiment has an i7, 16gb memory, gtx 980m, ssd and a hd (7200 rpm) 

    I did my last test. 4K MP4 recorded in GH4 vs 4K converted to cineform using GoPro Studio (version 2.5). With no effects both played smooth but GoPro deleted the audio file. :( After adding an auto contrast effect, cineform started to stutter but the GH4 clip played decent and I am still at Full instead of quarter in Hitfilm. I will stay with native GH4 mp4. 

    Thanks a lot NormanPCN (and Triem23). Thanks to you I will upgrade to Hitfilm Pro 2017 tonight :) instead of continuing with Vegas 15. (14 works with HF 2017 anyway)