Are Newbies Worth It?

cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

This thread asks...

Is it worth it to sell video tools to newbies (those with little to no video editing experience), and if so, what's the most effective way to do it?

It seems the place to start is to ask whether newbies are a good business opportunity for video tool vendors, because if they're not, then there's no need to discuss the best way to engage them.

On one hand, there are far more people with little to no video editing experience than there are expert users, and these novices are not yet married to a competitor's product.  Newbies could be a huge opportunity, but...

On the other hand, newbies require a lot of support, and it's questionable how many of them will ever actually buy anything.  A huge opportunity, or a huge waste of time?

I can't answer this question, and would welcome some illuminating discussion.  Perhaps we should chew on this for a bit before continuing with the "how to market" issue.

Although I have no need of this information myself, my background as a special ed teacher and twenty years of interface design has made my mind incurably interested in in such nerdy topics.  While some of you are fascinated by exploring the technical frontiers of video editing, for me the interesting nerd question is, how do you take someone who knows nothing about a subject and take them up a carefully designed ladder to success?

But first, are newbies worth it?  Or is it wiser to let one's competitors get bogged down in that?   I have no idea really, what do you think?



  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Posts: 2,481 Enthusiast

    The short answer is newbies are definitely worth it. It's notoriously difficult to draw users away from an entrenched ecosystem they already know. How many Windows users switch to Mac? How many Mac users switch to Windows? How many Mac or Windows users switch to Linux? Yes there are users changing all the time but if you look at the numbers, there's not that much change from year to year in terms of market share with actual growth coming from new users. 


  • cluelessnube
    cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

    While I was in the middle of typing this long post the power blinked here knocking me offline.  I was annoyed to have lost all my typing, but the forum software saved it for me.  Nice.


    Ok, thank you, we have a vote for the Nubes.   Your comment is my first instinct too, but I've been questioning that instinct by reflecting on how much work we nubers can be. 

    Yes, getting anyone to switch systems does seem very much an uphill climb, good point.  I'm still using a Mac after 25 years, not because I'm sure Macs are better (and I actually no longer love Apple to put it mildly) but simply because I'm too lazy to learn Windows.  I even have it installed, still too lazy to learn it, even though I know it's not that hard.

    So until further commentary arrives to challenge this view, we might for now assume nubes are worth it, at least in some circumstances. 

    It seems a main consideration is finding ways to take as much of the work out of serving nubes as possible.  It's not that scalable to personally hand hold for each nube here on the forum, as, um, you guys are doing for me.  You know, imagine 1,734 of me on the forum asking questions all day long like, "But, but, what is a layer???"  It just might drive you out of your mind...

    To me, it seems a key problem is that the more expert the staff and leading users become in using any technical product, the less connected they are to the newbie user experience. 

    Well, enough general yack, let's get on to some specific constructive ideas. 

    How about a "Getting Started With Hitfilm" section of the forum right at the top specifically for inexperienced video editors?

    It seems to me that the forum may be the best thing FXhome has done in regards to newbies, it certainly has been a crucial part of me becoming a Hitfilm user.  I wouldn't have made it without it.  A place to start, build on what is already working?


  • OliThompson
    OliThompson Staff Posts: 154 Staff

    We truly believe in the value of all new users. HitFilm is intended as a stepping stone for people with no experience to make their way into the creative film industry; giving the tools and resources to expand their skills and become pros if they're willing to learn.

    We do what we can to cater for as many of our users as possible when it comes to content and features we release. As you mention, we certainly don't want to become out-of-touch with new users and we use the feedback we're given to guide our actions. 

    I really like the idea of a "Getting Started with HitFilm" section on the forum to really help people who are just starting out. We have a playlist on YouTube which covers "The Basics" but a complimentary forum section would be a great asset. 

    We'll continue to stay vigilant to the needs of all users, taking on feedback whenever possible and doing what we can to stay in-touch with the userbase :)

  • cluelessnube
    cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

    Hi @OliThompson - nice to meet you.

    First, it does seem like inexperienced novices could be important, if only because there are so many of them. 

    As disclosed above, I'm obsessed with such topics, so please forgive me if I rant on about it.  I'm not attached to anybody acting on any of what I have to say, and obviously, you are in the video biz and I am not.  With that said...

    One observation is that you guys have provided an impressive abundance of information on Hitfilm.  This would seem to serve your more experienced users very well, but it's not automatically an asset for newbies, imho.  To the person entering the video editing and Hitfilm realm for the first time the sheer volume of available information can be overwhelming. 

    As example, a tutorial will mention some term new to the newbie.  So they look it up.  The explanation they find will mention two other new terms they don't understand, so they look them up too.  The next explanation delivers 6 new terms they don't understand, and on and on it goes, the confusion spiraling out of control.

    For the newbie, it may be more useful to hide most everything except the next thing they need to learn.  Less is more.   You mentioned "stepping stones" above which reminds me of the ladder analogy.  We can climb a ladder to the top of a 100 story building if the task is broken up in to tackling one rung at a time, a series of small sequential steps which lead naturally one to the next.

    In my view, it's really about motivation management.  Each user, novice or expert, wants to experience a victory.  When a newbie finds 100 videos they don't understand, victory may start looking like an impossible dream, those videos may be experienced as 100 defeats. 

    A successful newbie learning ladder should probably focus on the next small doable digestible step they need to take, while hiding everything else.  They climb that next little rung on the ladder, experience a victory, and are encouraged to climb another rung, get another victory.  Small steps, one at a time, in some kind of logical order.

    A newbie portal comes to mind as a possibility, that is, a walled off compound which hides  the more advanced information, a zone which pays extra attention to those crucial first rungs of the ladder.   My guess is that you're losing most of your newbie prospects on the lowest rungs of the ladder.  If true, that's where more focus might be put.

    Once someone gets a certain way up the learning ladder, then they can access the rich diversity of information available in a more random manner.  I'm about at that point now.  The forum was crucial in getting me here.  It's much much much more useful than say, the Adobe forums where I was previously.

    Which brings up the issue of scalability.   What if there were 2,973 other video clueless newbies (who haven't bought anything) on the forum just like me.  Do you guys have time for that?  Probably not.  So if newbies are to be given special attention, that probably has to be largely automated by some method.

    I promised I would rant, and I delivered.  :-)  In any case, it seems a quite interesting question.  There are many thousands of others like me out there, interested in video, but not having much of clue where to start.  

    How to best harvest this crop?


  • Thomekk
    Thomekk Posts: 105 Enthusiast

    And as another highly motivated noob who also made it into Hitfilm thanks to the help- and skillfull people here in the forum just have to chime in and I like to say: I third the idea of a ""Getting Started with HitFilm" Section here.
    Could be, that some naive and redundant questions would not be asked so often any more then.

    Of course there are always enough fellows, who are just lazy or not that often here to read carefully. But it could help for the ladder idea if this would be prominently placed.
    For myself I used the forum search function and mainly the google search for checking problem points and terms I had to learn and understand - but this can take some time.

  • inScapeDigital
    inScapeDigital Posts: 709 Just Starting Out*

    There is a stickied post at the top of the Forum, called "Learning HitFilm: tutorials from basics to advanced".

  • cluelessnube
    cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

     Today's rant...

    Have you, or can you, quantify what percent of Hitfilm users are newbies? 

    We've established the general principle that newbies are welcomed and valued by FXhome, but how much attention do they merit?  For example, are they 15% of the user base and potential prospect pool, or 85%?  How important are they?

    If you could get the newbies to self identify by some method then you could determine how important an opportunity they are, and you could offer them specialized services aimed at their unique needs.

    Newbies might be identified using a quick poll on the download page, or perhaps with a bulk email questionnaire to all users. 

    Specialized services might include things like an emailed autoresponder course on basic introductory topics, a newbie portal, invitation to the newbie section of the forum etc.

    The question seems to be, how much time should be invested in such efforts?  To answer that it would help to know more precisely what role newbies play in the Hitfilm business. 


    Hitfilm Express is free, so money is not the obstacle to attracting newbies. So it must be that those not already on board haven't heard of Hitfilm, or they're intimidated by what they perceive to be a steep video editing learning curve.

    As example, once upon a time long long ago in a happy land far far away, iMovie was a newbie friendly interface.  And then Apple "improved" it, and thereafter it was routine for users to complain about the complexity.  One of my best friends online is a really smart fellow with 20 years of programming experience, and he even gave up on his interest in video editing after banging his head against iMovie.

    Point being, if some of the entry level tools are not really all that accessible, and Hitfilm is perceived to be even more advanced, many novice users may be assuming that it's beyond their reach.   I was probably in this category at one point.

    What I see is that Hitfilm already provides far more instruction than most software, and the forum is most excellent, but these notable efforts are not really targeted at newbies.  It's more like, "Here's a vast amount of information everybody, what you need should be in there somewhere".

    Hope something above is somehow useful.


  • JMcAllister
    JMcAllister Posts: 593 Enthusiast
    edited March 2018

    @PhilTanny " must be that those not already on board haven't heard of Hitfilm, or they're intimidated by what they perceive to be a steep video editing learning curve..."

    Or they don't have a computer that meets minimum spec.

  • cluelessnube
    cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

    Ah, yes, good point.  Oh well, we aren't going to solve that one.   Though my Mac is seven years old and it seems to work fine here.  I have 16gigs of RAM, perhaps that helps.

  • OliThompson
    OliThompson Staff Posts: 154 Staff

    @PhilTanny - I'd say the skill level of users isn't black and white; it's not a case of one group of new users and one group of Pro users. We have a huge userbase of over 2 million users and everyone is at a different skill level on a hugely varied spectrum.

    Unfortunately we're only able to bring out one video per week at the moment and we do our best to have some information in that video for everyone. Whether they're able to follow through the whole video with ease, or they have to start and stop it along the way, we just really hope users can go away with more than what they turned up with. This may not be a complete understanding of the process but it'll be one step further.

    We'd love to be able to provide all users with the "ladder" approach you've mentioned but it's not quite possible just yet. Fortunately we have other resources online such as the user manuals and other user created tutorials which help widen the skill range covered in the learning resources.

    We would like to keep this in mind for the future. If we could have more defined beginner, intermediate and pro resources beyond what we already have it would be ideal!

    I think most users just starting out on the software will see a tutorial and follow along as best they can, if there's something they don't quite understand we're always here to answer questions along with the existing community members. From my first-hand experience, if I'm learning a piece of software it always takes a little longer to get my head around things at the start. If there's something I don't quite understand I'll spend quite some time Googling and learning about it. I see this as just part of the process and I thoroughly enjoy it.

    I do hope new HitFilm users do this too, but as I've previously mentioned, we'll certainly take into account what you've said. We wouldn't want to put any users off learning HitFilm, we want to give them the motivation and encouragement to learn.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,622 Enthusiast
    edited March 2018

    From my observation 90% of Hitfilm's tutorials ARE geared towards the "newbie". Every-time that FX Home releases a newer version of Express there are hundreds of videos on how to use the program. Those along with Hitfilm-U's training no-one should miss a single thing. 

    Since I'm not looking to use Hitfilm in MOGraph environment (That's why I own Motion 5)...if anything (IMHO) there should be more videos on advanced techniques such as the particle sim, occlusion (alpha & luma),  model & properties, lighting, *camera rigs, compositing, etc etc. I find that watching AE , E3D, C4D tutorials and the like and then porting that knowledge into what I know about Hitfilm is extremely gratifying in the end. The trails and tribulations you go through stick with ya forever.

    I think along the lines of what JMcAllister said.  It comes down to the machine specs - video production is not cheap - it's extremely taxing on a machine -especially if that machine is run of the mill. That should be the first lesson every newbie should learn and understand. Even my iMac i5 w/32gb ram and a GT755M 1GB wasn't powerful enough to do some of the things I wanted to do so even I, a diehard Mac user, had to break down and spend 3k+ on a PC that would allow me to do the things I wanted.

    *Triem23 has this pretty well covered


  • cluelessnube
    cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

    Hi again @OilThompson,

    Well, until there is some method of identifying the newbies we, including me of course, really have no way of knowing what the relevance of this thread is.  

    You write, "...everyone is at a different skill level on a hugely varied spectrum."  Ok, that seems true enough, but what percent of your prospect pool has little to no experience with video editing?  Your very general statement implies the users are spread more or less evenly across the experience levels.   That may indeed be true.  Or maybe not.  Do you know?

    It might help to have a more specific idea how important newbies are, or aren't, to the growth of Hitfilm.  

    I'm raising the question mostly because simple logic suggests that there are far more people at the low end of video experience than at the higher levels.  You know, for every Triem there are a thousand of me.  

    But then the counter argument which I'm very open to is..  Triem has actually purchased Hitfilm, whereas I have not, at least not yet.  

    On yet another hand, at least part of the reason I haven't yet purchased Hitfilm is that I don't understand most of what is described on your sales pages.


  • cluelessnube
    cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

     GrayMotion writes, "From my observation 90% of Hitfilm's tutorials ARE geared towards the "newbie"."

    Well, sorry to say this, but part of the problem may be that many or most users and staff here seem not to really understand what a newbie actually is.  You simply know too much, your own newbie experience is too far in the past.

  • cluelessnube
    cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

    @OliThompson, and others.   Correct me if I'm wrong please.  I now understand the challenge to be...

    CHALLENGE: Providing Hitfilm instruction targeted to the needs of those with little or no video editing experience, without further taxing the limited time available to Hitfilm staff.

    I figured out how to do this.  Well, it's not really my idea, I just observed what some others in the video tools business are doing.   Anyway, the solution is there if you want it.

    The question really is, do you want a solution?  And that would understandably seem to depend on what kind of sales opportunity newbies represent.  I don't know the answer to that, and as best I can tell you don't either.  This might not matter.  If the solution is cost free to Hitfilm staff, perhaps the question doesn't need to be answered.



  • CedricBonnier
    CedricBonnier Posts: 1,204 Staff

    @PhilTanny Thanks for your feedback. A better question IMHO would be what exactly in the software is complicated for new users and how you think it could be improved.

    You've already mentioned the "levels" system where HitFilm would hide some of the functionality depending on how advanced the user is however this would require a huge amount of work and right now I just don't see it being possible.

    There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube showing exactly how to get started, import a clip, add it to the timeline and export it. Maybe what you find difficult is finding such tutorials?

  • cluelessnube
    cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

    @CedricBonnier, hi again, thanks for your reply. 

    It's not about me.  I've already made it to the point where I can access and benefit from the instructional materials already available.  I'm talking about folks who need extra help getting to that place, at which point they can be well served by the existing system.  I'm talking about an "on ramp" in to the existing instructional structure.

    Here's a quick example.  When I first encountered Hitfilm I found it totally baffling.  After banging my head on it for a bit I gave up and went over to Adobe and purchased their Premiere Elements for $60.  I came back to Hitfilm (thankfully!) but a lot of people won't.  They'll try Hitfilm once, and if you don't get them up the on ramp before they run out patience, they're gone, probably forever.  That's who I'm talking about.

    While it's true I'm fairly clueless about video technology, I have 25 years experience working online, and I'm a retired software developer who has for instance, coded my own forum network system from scratch.   I'm an incurable nerd like you guys, just not a video nerd.  Point being, the fact that I made my way to the level where I could access your instructional materials is not the point of this thread, unless you wish for the business opportunity for Hitfilm to be limited to the nerd community.

    Yes, I accept that redesigning the software is not workable, and that the staff is not in a position to do more instruction than you're currently doing.  I get that, and accept that as the definition of the challenge.  We are on the same page here.  I'm agreeable to working within the real world boundaries as defined by you. 

    And I've done just that.  And solved the problem.  When the focus of the staff  shifts from listing reasons why this can't be done, to listing reasons why it can be done, you will too.

    Or not, as you prefer, I'm totally ok with that too.  I'm really not intent on changing the Hitfilm way, it's just that my background has made me incurably interested in making things more accessible.    I'm obsessed with the interface to EVERYTHING.  Whenever I mention the word interface around the house, my wife puts her hands over her ears and runs screaming from the room.  :-)  We can let this go whenever you're ready, no offense will be taken.

  • cluelessnube
    cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

    Perhaps this will help?  

    Let's call this forum a small sample of your use base.  Where are the grandmas trying to organize the clips they took of their doggie and grandkids?  Are there even any women here?  The forum appears to be overwhelmingly dominated by nerd men like me and you. 

    Ok, no problem, surely nerd men are an important segment of your user base.  There's nothing wrong with that.  I'm just pointing out that there are other opportunities which might be harvested.  Or not, as you prefer.

    I said above that when I first met Hitfilm I found it baffling.  But it's not actually baffling, it just appears that way to some people for some period of time.  That's what I'm attempting to address, those people, and that period of time.

    A related issue might be...

    Obviously you are able to track how many people download Hitfilm.  I'm curious if you are also able to track how many of those folks are using Hitfilm.  You know, what percent of downloaders have launched their copy of Hitfilm in the last six months, or something like that.  I'm not asking for a public answer I'm just wondering if this is a useful number to investigate. 

    Of those who downloaded Hitfilm, but aren't actually using it, what factors are involved in that?

  • Palacono
    Palacono Posts: 3,423 Enthusiast
    edited March 2018

    I think it's necessary to separate Hifilm users from users of  'ordinary' Video editing software. Largely because the Editor side of Hitfilm doesn't compare well to any of them.

    No one in their right mind would use Hitfilm to make a video of their doggies and grandkids unless they were both against a greenscreen, flying around the sun shooting at an army of cats attacking the earth.

    The problem with some "newbies" seems to be that they see the word "FREE" and think it'll be just like every other video program, and hold their hand with clips, have a wide range of fancy (but usually cheesy and pointless) transitions, maybe even a "best of " option to automagically create a final movie from some of their holiday clips and add some music too. 

    Hitfilm tried to cater for those 'newbies' importing their Variable Frame Rate footage from iPhones etc., and got it horribly wrong and made things worse. Now instead of being directed to a "Transcode your footage" thread and video, they try first, get duplicated frames, or skippy footage at the wrong speed and then (if they don't give up and go elsewhere) get directed to  a "Transcode your Footage" thread and video.

    If you are interested in VFX, then it should be that you are moving on from 'normal' NLE (Newbie: "What's an NLE?") software and that you expect to have to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in.

    The task is then slightly different: learning what questions to ask - using terms you don't understand, or even know exist - to try and (re)create an effect seen somewhere on TV or in a Movie, when you have no idea how it was done. And given that lack of experience: not knowing which tasks would require a Beginner, Intermediate or Expert amount of knowledge to achieve it in the first place.

    Tobias over at Surfaced Studio is great in that respect with his AE (and increasingly: Hitfilm) tutorials. He pitches both the effect and the explanation of the effect at different levels of expertise, so no one tries to recreate a full-on Star Wars dogfight on their first attempt at using AE.

    Hifilm tutorials aren't like that. Someone comes up with an idea and does their best to explain how to reproduce it to their best ability. Quality is generally good, but detail is variable, so you'd be advised to watch several on similar subjects and between them hope to pick up all the little details that make life simpler if you want to stray outside the lines drawn by the tutorial.

    E.g. if a particular "VFX Result" is someone's first Tutorial video: they'll more likely cover the smaller details, because it's not so long ago that they needed to know them. If it's someone's twentieth: then their tutorial will be more "Do this, go here, do this, this and this. Voila!", So you'd have to go back and watch some of their earlier work, on unrelated subjects, to find those that mention the little details that you still need to be told about and that they now assume you already know.

    Look at the interface in people's Tutorials. No two people have the windows in the same default layout. There are people who use the Compositing layout to show how to Edit, and those who use the Editing layout for Composite examples, and within those: windows are moved, resized and deleted entirely. For a complete newbie, it looks like they're watching tutorials of 10 different programs. 

    In AE Tutorials, they always have the same layout, and if people access icons that can be hidden on the layers, they nearly always say "If yours doesn't look like this, Press F4 to reveal these". And "As an alternative to clicking here, you can Press key 'X' as a shortcut to reveal attribute 'Y' etc."  No such standard exists in even FXHome's own tutorials.

    When you're trying to learn a new task, you want each new step to build on the solid foundations of the previous one; not for each step, as soon as you step off it, to be deleted, resized, replaced with a stack of bricks, as you ascend the "staircase of knowledge". If you get to the landing and look back and the staircase looks nothing like the one you walked up, how can you be expected to take a step backwards to retry something?

    So really, there should be a warning: Don't expect to come to Hitfilm unless you've already used something else for about a year and want to do more specialised tasks that your existing software can't handle.

    Even something like Masking. Vegas Movie Studio is great for editing. It's all geared up for it and there are no surprises and the learning curve is pretty shallow. However, to differentiate Vegas Movie Studio from Vegas Pro, there is no 3D at all and masks are very simplistic, with a cookie cutter with a few simple shapes that you can resize and move about in VMS,  but the full, "draw what you like" in Pro.

    That's where Hitfilm Express comes in. It can do 3D, it can do proper masking, and 'sort of' do rotoscoping, and the two complement each other. I use VMS to Edit and Hitfilm to produce the effects that it can do that VMS can't. But anyone coming to Hitfilm as their first program will struggle, because there is no "Easy mode" , and if you don't know what you don't know, then you'll struggle to even ask sensible questions.

    Conversely, I tried Fusion 8 (also free) and the node editing was too much like hard work. I don't mind doing it in Resolve, where it makes more sense, but for something like a Luminance Key (still needs a "Use Layer" adding to it in Hitfilm, IMO) once you know what a Luminance Key actually is: it's a lot easier to do in Hitfilm.

    Maybe the tagline should be "Hitfilm: it's not for everyone!" :)

  • Juda1
    Juda1 Posts: 299 Just Starting Out*

    Quote "Well, sorry to say this, but part of the problem may be that many or most users and staff here seem not to really understand what a newbie actually is.  You simply know too much, your own newbie experience is too far in the past."

    I totally disagree. I started with Hitfilm last autumn and I could understand most tutorials that time. And even being 50+ I am not that old to not remember my newbie time. Those I did not understand at first wer addressing intermediate users - so not me. When I got Hitfilm in spring 2017 first I did not work with it. And that wasn't a Hitfilm-problem but simply because I came from Vegas Pro and humans are mostly use what they know because we are all lazy. Also composites were new to me and a thing I first did not understand (or maybe I didn't really want to).

    But when I started to see what I bought there in that bundle I learned very fast thanks to the available tutorials.

    Being a software developer myself for over 30 years there is one thing for certain: It not only depends on the software interface but also on the type of user. Our company product can show up in three different layouts and workflows. all used by different user. And a user taking layout A usually hates layout B and finds it useless for working. Other users prefer B but can't work with C. So there is no one-and-only-workflow suitable for all users. There may be a solution and workflow fitting for more users than another. But luckily software market offers different products for different users or workflows.

    With all software users have to adopt some of the workflow which the developers had in mind. Otherwise user and software are not compatible which never is a problem of the software alone.

    Sometimes one software has a solution or workflow looking better for a particular user and sometimes he is right. But this again does not always means the software has to change. Other users like windows movie maker for e.g. They do funny things with it so they thing it is state of the art. Compared to Hitfilm that's a joke but if movie maker does the job they want it does not mean Hitfilm has to be redesigned to make it accessible to those users. Some users do all in WordPad while others always need the full office solution. So what...?

    Quote "Where are the grandmas trying to organize the clips they took of their doggie and grandkids?"

    Hitfilm is not the software they need for that purpose nor should IMO the developers waste time changing Hitfilm to make it useful for them. Because they are not the customers FXHOME addresses (I don't know at last but I am pretty sure).The market is full of software and apps to organize the 1000 doggy pictures or whatever. Hitfilm has VFX  as goal and in 5 month I learned a lot about it thanks to tutorials by Axel, Mike, Javert, Simon and Josh and all other users here.

    When I compare Hitfilm with AE while working through AE tutorials there is only one thing I am jealous about:

    In AE they change properties in something similar to Hitfilms control panel while they have all layers in the layer stack one below the other. Anytime I change and property in Hitfilm everything in the layer stack expands without need so I spend lot of right-click->collapse all after any property change.

    To be honest the last was more a hint to the developers and not really problem I would jump in front of a train because of that :) But it is just pain working with lot of layers.

  • cluelessnube
    cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

    Juda writes...

    "Hitfilm is not the software they need for that purpose nor should IMO the developers waste time changing Hitfilm to make it useful for them."

    1) I'm certain that I could organize a pile of doggie clips in Hitfilm.  And I'm 66.  If I can do it, why not grandma?   Why are we telling grandma she shouldn't use Hitfilm instead of showing her how to use Hitfilm? 

    2) If you'll review my comments above, you'll see I'm not suggesting the wasting, or even using, of the developer's time.

    The point of this thread is to expand the Hitfilm universe, and try to harvest what may be a promising business opportunity.  When intelligent people go looking for solutions, they usually find them.  When intelligent people go looking for lists of reasons why something can never work, they usually succeed at that as well.



  • Palacono
    Palacono Posts: 3,423 Enthusiast
    edited March 2018

    You've got a background in Special Ed teaching and you ask why can't Grandma do it, just because you, with your years of software development experience, can?  For the same reason you wouldn't use an axe to trim your toenails. Use the right tool for the job and give the right tool to the person using it, depending on their level of expertise.

    You want to learn how to juggle chainsaws? Work your way up from balls to clubs to chainsaw shaped bits of wood to non-running chainsaws to working chainsaws.  Start with the wrong tool and you'll soon be standing (or lying) there saying "It's just a fleshwound".

    It would take longer to explain to Grandma how to (or even why you have to) transcode the files from her iPad (assuming she can work out how to get the clips off of it) into a format that Hitfilm would accept and load them into the Media Bin than it would be to drag a sequence of clips into something like the semi-automated: Magix FastCut.

    Drag, drop, choose a music track, press a button: done.

    The free version comes with 9 music tracks, and makes cuts to your clips to line up with the music, and has access to over 200 more in different styles available to buy. If she buys the Plus Version it has a range of style templates as well as more music and will find the beats in any other music she might care to use of her own choice, as well as allow choices to guide the order of the clips to use and pick the 'best bits', rather than just the order they were dragged and dropped into the project and using all of the clips. 

    It's designed specifically for people with no experience, interest or inclination to learn, but also has enough customization features that if they improve in any of those three areas: they can change things to their heart's content.

    Something like that is what Grandma should be using; the results will look better and both she, and her audience, will be happier. Even iMovie is probably too sophisticated unless she's also had 25 years of experience of being a software developer and is a self-confessed nerd.

    I.e. She is a niche market within a niche market within a niche market that's not even worth the Developer's  time to write on the whiteboard then scrub off again.

  • cluelessnube
    cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

    You're trying to serve Grandma.  Ok, cool.

    I'm trying to serve FXhome.  Different project.  I don't care what Grandma should be using, I interested in how she might be encouraged to use Hitfilm.

    Again, as stated just above, the point of this thread is to expand the Hitfilm universe. 

    For every tech savvy nerd man like you and me, there are a thousand grandmas.   I'm simply saying that if a market of that size can be better served at no expense to Hitfilm staff, what's not to like about that?

    I'm entirely agreeable to debate.  But that debate should be about finding the best way to get grandma in to Hitfilm, not a contest to see who can come up with the longest list of reasons why it can never work. 


  • djfrodo
    djfrodo Posts: 68 Just Starting Out*
    edited March 2018

    Just adding my 2 cents here, and this is a little ranty but - I think newbies are the most important segment of Hitfilm's user base.

    I've only been using it for about 8 months (Express 2017) but what drew me to it was pretty simple - I wanted to make a short film. I have an older maxed out Macbook Pro (i5, SSD, 16GB of ram), and nothing free (Shotcut, Openshot, etc.) would work without stuttering while editing. I had deleted iMovie (can't remember why) and due to me using the same computer for web development I didn't want to upgrade my version of Macos.

    I installed Express 2017 - it worked, and continues to work very well.

    As I learned how to edit and what Hitfilm could do I started buying expansion packs. So, instead of paying $30 a month for Premiere while learning how to edit, I got to learn how to edit for free and learned what I needed to buy, and why I needed it.

    I've spent $145 on expansion packs, which may seem like a lot, but it's really not. 

    That's $18 a month - but I own it. But every month I use it that cost goes down while I still get to learn how to edit.

    Instead of $300 for Hitfilm pro as an initial investment I got to slowly work my way up. That's $145 FXhome wouldn't have gotten if they didn't a) offer Hitfilm Express 2017 for free, b) write their software to run on older macs, and c) offered users the ability to add functionality piecemeal.

    Because of all of the above I'm now a Hitfilm user.

    I just wanted to make a short film and spent way more money on camera/lens rental, props, sd cards, tripods, lights, etc. and time on writing a script than I did on an editor - in fact the money I spent on Hitfilm expansion packs is about 1/10th of the money I spent on making my short.

    If I can use a web dev analogy - over time the new "hotness" in web dev has changed dramatically. Microsoft used to own the segment (90s) but it was expensive, now it's almost free. It's the time and mindshare that are the most expensive parts of process. When everything is now basically free it's finding good developers that's the biggest cost, and those developers learned how to develop using specific technologies.

    Editing is no different. Every newbie expands the user base and the possibility for revenue. Instead of going with Adobe and spending $30 every month Hitfilm allows users to spend very little, but it gains mindshare. 

    If a high school kid asked me today what they should use to edit video, I'd say Hitfilm Express and the starter, colorist, and repair packs as the way to go ($85 total). FXhome gets a bit of money, the kid learns the basics of editing using a good product, and everyone is happy.

    Will Hitfilm overtake Adobe or Davinci in terms of editing or color correction anytime soon? Probably not. But it doesn't need to. 

    It just needs to gain mindshare.




  • Palacono
    Palacono Posts: 3,423 Enthusiast

    No, you're apparently trying to serve Grandma, using Hitfilm.

    You want shorter answers? Ok, it's a silly idea and the wrong question. It's also a great example of newbies not knowing what they don't know.

    Find a more representative section of people who a) edit and b) want to expand into VFX and find out what they even want before deciding that they're not being served adequately by Hitfilm.

    They're not, but they're not Grandmas.

    Then you'll be able to identify and add to the long list of places where it can function better for those that actively want to use it for the tasks it is ostensibly designed to accomplish. 

  • cluelessnube
    cluelessnube Posts: 522 Enthusiast

    If I say said potato, you'll say potawto.  If I say tomato, you'll say tomawto.  If I was arguing there's no way Hitfilm can serve newbies, you'd be arguing that of course there is.  A fun game, but leading nowhere.

    Read the thread again Palacono.  Observe how everyone on Hitfilm staff says "newbies are worth it".  I see no evidence that they are being insincere.   All I'm doing in the thread is looking for ways to help Hitfilm reach it's publicly stated goal of better serving newbies. 

    The Hitfilm staff has reasonably pointed to some real world constraints which limit the range of our creative thinking.  I accept these limits and am content to work within them.  I've found a solution within those limits already being used within other video communities.  There's no need for me to spell out what that is because the Hitfilm staff has more experience than I do, and they can easily figure this out on their own....

    If they care to.  Do they care to?  I don't know.  Perhaps this is an experiment to help them figure out if they care to.

    What this thread hopes to accomplish is to help Hitfilm staff better understand what their relationship with newbies really is.  It's clear that they have good intentions and a sincere desire to have more newbie users.  Is that desire strong enough to consider doing things other than what they are already doing?  I don't know.  I suspect they don't either.

    What I'm hearing so far is that Hitfilm has a relationship with newbies that is similar to my relationship with Diane Lane.  I'm sincere in wishing to date Diane Lane,  but I've never actually worked out any specific plan to try to make that happen.  It's a nice dream, and requires no work, so I've been content to leave it there.   Of course Diane Lane is quite disappointed by how this turned out, but that can't be helped.  :-)


  • Palacono
    Palacono Posts: 3,423 Enthusiast
    edited March 2018

    I read the thread and yes, of course all FXHome staff would say "we want newbies" as that's the business model: where they hope some will buy addon packs and/or upgrade. To say otherwise would be financial suicide. 

    Doesn't mean you've made your argument though, because your question is too vague.

    They, and more importantly you, still need to specify what flavour of Newbie is not currently being served well by the current system. And it sure as **** ain't Grandmas.

     I understand your enthusiasm, and agree with it, and I also thought FXHome could do a better job at getting the word out there and helping people ease up onto that first, pretty big, step on the ladder. But I have the dents in the wall and bruises on my forehead to show: it's a very slow process. Very slow. Glacial even.

    One thing someone could do (as I mentioned ooh, about 2 years ago) would be to go through and add a full set of keyword tags of everything that is mentioned, or just referred to in an aside, in all Tutorial videos on YouTube, so they come up in broader searches more often.  Also go back and rename some of the early ones where they have a title like: "Creating animated masks".  Especially when there isn't a more recent one that replaces it. The video itself is informative and well made (it's Axel, so expect no less), one will find it by chance, only if they happen to go through all the videos on the Hitfilm channel.  So Hitfilm are only preaching to the already converted.

    I'd tag all Hitfilm YouTube videos with 'AE' and 'After Effects', so they come up in searches for techniques that can be done in both and try and capture some of that "Wants AE, can't afford it, so will likely pirate it" market who might jump ship to Hitfilm Express and actually spend a little money on Addons, perhaps even upgrade to Pro.

    That's aiming at a specific type of Newbie. New to Hitfilm, not necessarily new to VFX, or editing. That's an easier, and more sensible, market to appeal to than Grandmas.

  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Posts: 2,481 Enthusiast

    @Palacono & @PhilTanny I'm not wading in to take sides on this one but given the subject matter I have to tell you both a little bit about my mother. She'll be 78 soon, is a not just a grandma but a great grandma, owns a windows desktop, a Windows tablet, an android tablet, a smartphone, a Canon T3i, an Xbox One X (she was playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for the second time through when I saw her today), various generations of Nooks and Kindles, an Amazon Echo and is slowly adding and changing things around the house to be 'smart' to work with Alexa. She just got a new car and testing out how well her phone worked with the car played as big a part as any in deciding what car to buy.

    She has no problems making simple slideshows from pictures she takes on garden club and other senior field trips that she shares on Facebook with her friends. Her tools of choice are Corel Paintshop Pro, Project Dogwaffle Particle 9, and HitFilm Express and no, I did not get her started with HitFilm. She found it on her own and for the most part, figured it out on her own before I even knew she was using it. 

  • Palacono
    Palacono Posts: 3,423 Enthusiast

    Great, there will always be outliers. The mistake is in assuming they're representative of the whole. ;)

  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Posts: 2,481 Enthusiast

    @Palacono You'd be surprised. Most of her friends have most of the same things except maybe the Xbox.

  • Palacono
    Palacono Posts: 3,423 Enthusiast

    Great, you've cracked it. FXHomes's target audience is that huge, untapped market of 70+ year old Grandmas who are into VFX and beating their grandkids at video games. :)