What is the difference between the particle simulator in Pro and the add-on for Express?

Hi, I just got Express and I love it so far, but some of the effects I want to create require the $49 particle simulator add-on pack and the $49 3D model render pack, Is it more reasonable to just get these packs for $100 or to get Pro for its full price?


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,995 Just Starting Out

    There should not be any differences between the two. The big difference in the past was that it wasn't even available as an add-on in previous versions of HitFilm Express.

    Something worth noting is that for each add-on pack you purchase, you drop the price of HitFilm Pro should you want to upgrade later down the line. Furthermore, add-on packs carry over from one version of HitFilm Express to another.

    I'm not sure if there are features that are available (effects wise) in HitFilm Pro that are not available in HitFilm Express anymore. Someone else would have to answer that for us. :D

  • Thomett
    Thomett Website User Posts: 4

    Hey, thanks for the response, that's very helpful!

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,815 Ambassador
    edited September 2018

    In general the 3D model and particle packs for Express are 99.9% identical to those in Pro. The only difference actually has nothing directly to do with the add-ons, but the core engine. Express, out of the box, calculates color with 8-bits/channel. Several add-ons unlock 16-bit/channel color (3D models unlocks 16-bit color, Particles does not) . Hitfilm Pro can work in 32-bits/channel. This can make gradients and glows a bit smoother on output. 

    This is so nitpicky I should just say "they're the same."

    Buying add-ons vs Pro? Tricky call. As @CNK says, you do get a discount on Pro based on Express add-ons purchased (roughly half of the add-on cost, I think), but one can spend more on add-ons than on Pro. My general opinion is if one plans on spending more than about $150 on add-ons consider saving up for Pro, but this depends on an individual's budget and income.

    Otherwise, in this thread you can download a document I prepped with the different add-ons vs Pro. I checked this with the Devs before uploading and it is currently accurate (next time Pro gets new filters before Express I'll have to update). 


    You'll see there aren't that many "Pro-Only" features anymore (this is newish--before Express v8 was released there were dozens of Pro-only features), but you'll spend a lot more money if you bought all add-ons. 

    The two main Pro-only features are 32-bit color and support for 3rd party OFX plug-ins. Otherwise Pro can also read/write OpenEXR, and there are two or three Pro-only filters and a few other minor differences.

    EDIT: ok, there are functions in Pro called "Depth Matte" and "Depth Layer." Depth Matte is a function that creates a grayscale depth map for use with other compositing tools/filters, while Depth Layer is a special compositing tool (I can tell Model A to use Particle Sim B as it's Depth Layer and the particles correctly wrap Model A without needing to use 3D Unrolled mode).

    Depth Matte and Depth Layer are for use with models and particles, and are not available in Express. Knew there was something I was forgetting! Good thing I reviewed my own chart! 

  • silar
    silar Website User Posts: 67 Just Starting Out

    I kinda did the same.  Was using Express and had bought the addons that I needed but then found a few more that would be useful... then there was a sale for so much % off so I decided to bite the bullet and just purchase Hitfilm Pro instead of just buying the addons.