Compositing or Editing?

Hi. I'm new to Hitfilm Express, and video editing in general. I recently learned about compositing in a video. I have a live video I want to add a cartoon filter to, for a more animated look. Do I do that in editing or compositing mode?


  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,111 Ambassador

    Hi, and welcome to the fun world of Hitilm and VideoEditing/VFX. To get straight to your question, you can simply add an effect to your video, just drop it right on the timeline. But note this will be for all of the video. You can convert your video (or media) to a composite and add a grade layer, and apply the effect you want to the grade.

    NOTE: however editing vs Grading offer different things. In its basic form, editing simply allows layers of video/images or sound to be added to the timeline, or multiple layers, but only one layer is shown at a time. Compositing is a bit like having a stack of glass and adding different effects, footage, blending to each to make one final image. Of course it gets more complicated with 3d layers.

    There are some great introduction videos by HITFILM on their youtube channel, which explain the basics, then there is advanced tutorials from the community when you are ready to soak up more info.

    Good luck.

  • Palacono
    Palacono Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,422 Enthusiast

    If that's all you are doing, then you can do it in either.

    incidentally, you could also add that filter in many other supported editing programs, such as Vegas Movie Studio, using the free Ignite Plugins.

  • GeekWithNoBeak
    GeekWithNoBeak Website User Posts: 3

    Thank you! I'll give the grade layer a try. Newbie question, do I add the video I'm editing to the composite shot first or do I add the grade layer first and then the video?

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,305 Ambassador

    @GeekWithNoBeak The order in which you add them makes no difference.  It's the order in the composite shot's layer stack that counts.  The grade layer needs to be above your video footage.  You can establish this as you add layers — i.e. add the grade first, then drag in the video so that it sits below the grade — or by dragging layers around to change their order after the fact.  It may be fractionally (and I mean really fractionally) easier to add the video first, because adding a grade layer automatically places that grade at the top of the stack.

    Either way, welcome to the wonderful world of HitFilm!

  • GeekWithNoBeak
    GeekWithNoBeak Website User Posts: 3

    I gave compositing a shot, and like you said, the grade layer was added above my video. However, I went to scrub through the video, and it only allowed me to go to the first 15 seconds of the video clip. Is there a way to add more length to the video? 

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,261 Ambassador
    edited January 2018

    @GeekWithNoBeak When you are in a composite shot you will see a little gear icon at the bottom left of the layer window.   Click that and you can then set the Duration to what ever you want.

    You are also given the same Duration option when you create a new composite shot.

    Just FYI, when you are in the Editor the gear icon is not displayed.  It only shows up when you are in a composite shot.