HitFilm as an editor. What's missing?

__simon__ Posts: 113 Just Starting Out
In the forum I often read posts where the writer states that they only use HitFilm for composting and use something like Vegas or Final Cut to do the editing. This is a real shame as the HitFilm all-in-one concept is fantastic. I currently just do basic edits and thus the tools in HitFilm are fine, but these posts have gotten me wondering what is HitFilm missing on the editing side?
Audio is an obvious one, especially the fact that playback stops when you adjust the volume, but it has to be more that that which is lacking.


  • GKDantas
    GKDantas Posts: 133
    I use Hitfilm now for editing all the time, and yes the audio its a problem, but I think that an open plugin interface could help a lot since we see things like Colorist, Magic Boolet and other tools that could really help (I know I can do almost the same thing in HF, but you know that they do a lot more easy yet if we could use in Hitfilm).
    But here some ideas that could help:
    1 - Select clips and create a Copmposite shot from those clips (now we only can do that with one by one). I sync all the audio and I really like that I could simple select the synced clips and transform into a Composit shot.
    2 - A mute shortcut for the layer inside Composite shots)
    3 - A way to center or align things in the stage. When creating credits with images and text I need to align things and sometimes its very hard to get a good thing.
    4 - A simple window to edit long lines of text. When creating credits I need to zoom in and out to edit long credits, that overflow the movie area.
    5 - More transitions for audio and video (I really use fades all the time but I think people will use more things)
    6 - More visual tools to work with audio, maybe a normalize options to the whole movie or a volume option per layer. Now I use Acoustica Standard to adjust volumes, remove noire and equalize the audio, thats what almost I do with audio.
    Thats it!
  • GKDantas
    GKDantas Posts: 133
    More things that could help also:
    1 - Group audio and video layers. Its just something visual so we can work with many layers without have to scroll all the tiome up and down.
    2 - Collapse audio and video layers. When working in audio (adding foley and effects) its a good ide to collapse the video layers so we can have more room to work only looking the audio layers
    3 - Clip duration in the timeline even when we cut a Composit shot, so we can have the stimated time for the scene more easy. Sometimes we have so much clips in the timeline that is very hard to get the right duration of one clip, so a visual add could do this more easy.
    4 - A control for every layer and clip: when we click in a layer that the navegation get limited to that clip. This way when you need to cut another clip you know right where it start and end, just hitting a button that will move your cursor to the start or end of that clip, this is really a must to edit very well.
    I am editing a web serie now with about 10 episodes, so I will use a lot more HF for editing, isnt a good thing to start in a software, export, bring to another, and things like that.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,279 Power User
    edited February 2014
    I won't go too much into a Hitfilm wishlist, but, as I'm one of those you've seen say I use Hitfilm primarily for VFX and continue to edit in Vegas, I figured I should give some insight:
    The main thing here is that programs specialize to a large degree. Hitfilm, After Effects, Photoshop, Blender, Nuke, Fusion, Boris, etc... All of them have functions for editing video--but you don't think of Photoshop, and Blender and After Effects for video editing because it's just not the prime focus of those software packages.
    Every package will have it's thing it's best at, a few things it's great at, a few things it's ok at, some it's functional it, and others it can't do at all. Period. The "all in one package." doesn't exist, and probably never will, just because the interface and complexity required just boggles the mind!
    I'm pretty certain Hitfilm's current prime design functionality is to provide aspiring filmmakers with a set of high-quality visual effects, (slanted towards action/fantasy/sci-fi--C'mon, muzzle flash and blood spatter?) and compositing tools to create amazing shots, and basic functionality to assemble those shots. Heck, it's in the name! And Hitfilm is fantastic at it's job.
    Now I'm a Vegas editor, and my bread and butter work is a lot of multicamera event work, which means I need to synchronize several cameras for two-hour continuous sequences, then select my takes, color match my cameras, grade, then lower thirds and credit rolls. This type of edit job is completely different from how Hitfilm is set up to work, and that's fine. Toolsets and software evolve and change.
    Another reason I like Vegas is that it ignores the "virtual tape" model of most other NLE's, where you load clips to a trimmer window, set in/out points, move to an edit track, then, for transitions, using two tracks of media with a transition track between them. Vegas started as an audio editor, then added video, but still treats it's video clips like audio--so, Vegas lets you overlap media on the same track, and that's automatically a dissolve. And, since I'm doing event work, where I'm basically doing cuts and dissolves between three or four cameras, the way Vegas works makes me four to ten times faster than I am in Avid or Premiere.
    But, out of Avid, Premiere and Vegas, Vegas is the least powerful of the three NLE's. (Final Cut X is sad. Sorry, FCP fans, but, yeah, it's sad.) Vegas has ok effects, some good transitions, nice masking and some minimal 3D capability (you can move layers in 3D space around a fixed camera with no lighting--you can parent and group and get some good animations that way with practice, but it's limited). Avid and Premiere have some better quality color tools if you really want to utterly refine a scene for features, but Vegas is just the fastest for slapping a bunch of footage together with transitions. Vegas has the best audio tools of all NLE's--but, again, that's because Vegas is an audio editor that added video, not a video editor that added audio.
    And much of that is that Vegas works best for how *I* cut, and for the kind of event edits I do. I'm freelance, so, if I have to put together a 2.5 hour, four camera concert, plus DVD/Blu-Ray authoring and the frickin box and disc art, upload for client review, then do my notes-passes in... a week, then I'm going to use the tools I'm fastest at. Vegas and Hitfilm.
    Hitfilm has replaced AE in my workflow, unless there's something I NEED AE for I can't do in Hitfilm, at all, because Hitfilm is faster, easier and more fun to work in. For me. Yeah, so, last night I went into AE for the first time in a year because I needed it's point tracker to solve something mocha couldn't handle--and my first thing after that was to start trying to see if/how to move the AE data into a Maya format so I could bring it into Hitfilm--because in Hitfilm, I import tracker data and drop elements directly into 3D space. In AE I have to fine three tracked points to define a plane, then attach elements to that plane---works great, but it's extra steps and takes longer. I'd rather try to export the AE data to Hitfilm.
    I guess the point there was that, even in programs of the same basic type (editor/compositor/modeler, etc), there's different tools and workflows.
    Oh, yeah, I mentioned Avid and Premiere having better color correct tools than Vegas if you wanted to do a feature? Feature film guys aren't color correcting in Avid or Premiere, they're using Da Vinci Resolve. Once again, we're back to using different tools to do different things.
    All that said, Hitfilm's take on the "all in one" toolset is fantastic, and it's certainly well designed to do what it's designed to do--allow aspiring (also read as young, inexperienced and/or lacking in a huge budget) film makers to put together a good-looking shot, cut shots into a short film and upload it to YouTube. FxHome has managed to also create a product capable of being a viable tool for working professionals as part of a larger workflow. It's not an After Effects killer yet, but a couple more revisions and AE will be glancing nervously Hitfilm's way...
    Simon, you've indicated that the editing tools in Hitfilm are good enough for what you need right now, so the great thing is, you're already set up! If and when you decide to invest in a dedicated NLE package, your Hitfilm experience is going to help you learn the new tools faster, so it's all good.
    Anyway, if you want to see 44 pages of what other users have already added to the official Hitfilm Wishlist thread, it's right here: http://community.hitfilm.com/index.php?/topic/4432-the-wishlist-feature-requests-and-suggestions/
  • I'd just add a simple one:
    markers for the timeline and clips (unless they already are there and I missed them)
  • Dewr
    Dewr Posts: 146 Enthusiast
    I like FCPX, but then again..  I've used it for a while..    
  • A multicam function and a simple audio peaking indicator would be all I want. And I don't even need the multicam, it would just be nice to have.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,279 Power User
    I like FCPX, but then again..  I've used it for a while..    

    I'll back off the "FCPX is sad" comment, because that's just snippy and rude. I could go into reasons I don't enjoy FCPX, but most of them would be workflow:
    However, here's my legitimate complaint--as I noted above, I do a lot of multicam. I ALSO still get asked for DVD, oddly enough, as final output from the majority of my clients--this allows me to take an HD camera along, set it as a static wide, and pan/crop around in post, which actually looks quite nice. In Vegas, I can import HD footage into an SD timeline and pan/crop around from there. In Final Cut, you can't mix footage of differing resolutions on a timeline, so I have to bounce my HD footage through Compressor first. Yeah, then I can pan/crop--the SD downscaled version. So now I'm taking edit notes, doing another Compressor pass to animate the pan/crop and swapping media files in Final Cut. Final Cut, without that function, just isn't the right editor for me.
    If you get the results you want from Final Cut, that's great! Final Cut is used more in the industry, so that makes you more hireable, as well. :-)

  • __simon__
    __simon__ Posts: 113 Just Starting Out
    Thanks for the responses. I'm a home user/hobbiest and HitFilm seems to have everything I need so this thread was really just my curiosity as to why it wasn't good enough for others, so thanks once again for taking the time to reply.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    It's all about scale and picking the right tool for the job. In fact, that's basically filmmaking summed up in one sentence. :P You occasionally bump into a really fanboyish attitude from online filmmakers who throw statements about 'industry standards' around like confetti. An interesting thing to note is that every professional or semi-professional filmmaker I've encountered has the exact opposite reaction: they're entirely platform and software agnostic, instead choosing whatever makes sense for them on that particular project (and within budgetary allowances, obviously).
    Triem's post really highlights this: he uses Vegas for very, very specific reasons. I've used most editors out there and am comfortable with Vegas, Premiere and Final Cut (old version, at least). But I tend to use HitFilm for my editing these days - not just because I work here but because for the kind of projects I'm doing (short form, heavy VFX) it provides exactly the workflow I need. 
  • GKDantas
    GKDantas Posts: 133
    I really like the way that HF works for editing videos, its pretty simple and easy to insert clips in the middle, drag things around and other meny things that really work in a real nice flow. I have Corel Video Studio Pro X6 and now I only use it to converte when grab things in 60fps and need to get a 30fps project. In the past the whole opening graphics and the lettering was done in Corel, but now I am very confortable to work in HF and everytime things get better.
  • When I was syncing sound, only the camera's audio showed waveforms. So, syncing is rather difficult.