Before purchasing Hitfilm Pro and Action Pro, questions to you with missing answers

LapisDemonLapisDemon Website User Posts: 26

Hello there, hope you're having a good day :)

Although I don't monetize and don't make any money currently off anything related to my creations in the web anywhere, I thought of purchasing the Hitfilm PRO or even up to STUDIO version in the spring sale, instead of eventually purchasing a few of the addons on top of my Express Basic version for my often relatively effect-heavy videos.

However, 209 or even ~348 € respectively is still quite a price tag for a basically hobby, and I got some questions to either the Hitfilm makers or to Hitfilm Pro or Action Pro or Studio users who will likely also know the answers to a few of my questions I can't seem to find the answers for on the Hitfilm webpage, and I also didn't get the answer after asking FXhome's Twitter account twice about it (only the first question):

  • How much do the updates cost for Hitfilm Pro and Studio after those 12 months included updates?
  • How likely is it to get some notable updates within the next 12 months, in the Pro version(s)?
  • Why is the price in € the same as the price in $?
    ~209 $ Would be atm ~186, that's 23 € less; ~348 € would be atm ~310 €, that's 38 € less.
  • Is there an in-depth video overview of a very recent Hitfilm Pro (/Action Pro) version, detailing about what's in there on top of the Express version?
    I found this Hitfilm Pro features-overview:, but with just written text, and as basically noob who used VirtualDub and Windows Movie Maker for years and doesn't know that many effects and what they do, I'd prefer a visual quick overview about e.g. the effects and anything in the Pro version, in comparison to Express. Furthermore, I don't see mentioned there whether at least a part of what's listed on the Pro features is also contained in the Express version, or if everything on that features page is solely included in the Pro version. An answer to this would be lovely!

Sorry for asking so many things, but as I said, I'm not very versed with editors and their effects and whatnot, and before I spend a good chunk of money for a hobby, I'd love to know if that's a good idea, and you could help me greatly in finding an answer to this if you would be so kind to reply to one or several of my questions, if you can :)

Thank you so much in advance, kind regards,


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,282 Ambassador

    To address these to the best of my knowledge (I am a USA user, so all my prices listed are in $USD):


    • How much do the updates cost for Hitfilm Pro and Studio after those 12 months included updates?
      This is a tough one to answer. Software prices can change from version to version. To stick with Hitfilm, Hitfilm's 1 and 2 were $399. Hitfilm 3 was $299. Hitfilms 4 and 2017 were $399, but included Ignite. Hitfilms 6-12 dropped to $299, but removed Ignite (which isn't needed unless the user also has one of the other NLEs Ignite works with). Future versions of Hitfilm might go up or down in price. As one example, many users have asked for HEVC/h.265 support. License fees for h.265 are about ten times those of h.264/mp4. If Hitfilm were to add h.265 support this would result in an immediate increase in price for Pro and the creation of an expensive add-on for Express. Renewals tend to be about 35% off new purchase. The current base renewal rate is $189, but could change in the future, and can also change based on sales or price changes overall. The current 30% off sale might be the best I can remember seeing (I'm more used to seeing 15-25% sales). If you purchased Pro Studio now, and there happened to be another 30% off sale happening at this time next year you'd get a better price. Note renewals can be added at any time, so, if for some reason FXHOME suddenly ran a 50% off sale in December with renewals down at $129.... You can jump on that and add another 365 days from your original date. The current price is your only reference here.
    • How likely is it to get some notable updates within the next 12 months, in the Pro version(s)?
      100%. Now the question is, "what would you consider a 'notable' update?" Hitfilm's release schedule changed with the release of Hitfilm v6. In general any minor changes - bugfixes and tweaks to existing features - are "point" releases (12.1, 12.2). In general, any changes to core functions and the core engine are "full version" releases (i.e. 6.0, 7.0). Under Hitfilm's prior update model a "full version" release would happen every November, with "point" updates during the year. Under the current update model new features are released as they are finished, rather than waiting for the "yearly update." Hitfilm 6 had a MAJOR change - adding animation keyframing in the Editor timeline. Hitfilm 6 also added Behaviours, and a lot of other new features. Hitfilm 7 had what many users consider a MINOR change - adding graphical widgets for filters. However these widgets were fundamentally new features and did count as a "full version" update. Hitfilm 8 added the Layout panel. Surely an entire new panel with an entire new toolset is notable. Hitfilm 9 re-did the export panel and added background rendering. Both core changes to the software and notable. Hitfilm 10 had a rewrite of the entire text engine and changed how the text tools worked. Hitfilm 11 added a plethora of new filters, most notable being Surface Studio, which combined several tools into an easy interface to speed up creation of text effects and logo. Hitfilm 12 is the most recent version and had the most major changes under the hood - hardware decoding for mp4 media, the all-new publishing system, decoupling the viewer from the interface, color coded labels, etc. The list here: will also show hundreds of other tweaks, changes and bugfixes. So, again, the odds of Hitfilm Pro having a "notable" update in the next year is 100%. However, those notable updates might not be things you're actually that interested in.
    • Why is the price in € the same as the price in $?
      That requires someone on STAFF to answer. Users (and the Moderators aren't FXHOME staff - we're users who help kill spam) wont have any knowledge on how the store is coded or why.
    • Is there an in-depth video overview of a very recent Hitfilm Pro (/Action Pro) version, detailing about what's in there on top of the Express version?
      Probably not. I'm certainly not familiar with one done in the last month, and that's how recent such a video would have to be to actually be current. As listed above Hitfilm's development has been accelerated and the lines between Pro and Express shift every few months.
    • I have some threads on here breaking down the differences between Hitfilms Express and Pro for earlier versions with tons of color coding and notes.

    In the last year the changes have come quickly. It's actually faster/easier at this point to simply do a text list of what's unique in Pro. So, here it is:

    • Hitfilm Pro can be installed on three machines. Express can be installed on one.
    • Hitfilm Pro can use OpenFX compliant third party effects from companies like NewBlue, Re:Vision, Red Giant, Boris FX and others. Express cannot (the Mocha and BCC unit sold in the store being the only exception)
    • Hitfilm Pro can work in 32-bit/channel color. Express maxes out at 16-bit/channel color with the proper add-on.
    • Hitfilm Pro can import and export 32-bit OpenEXR files. Express cannot import/export OpenEXR.
    • Hitfilm Express has none of the new effects added in Hitfilm 11 or 12. I assume at some point new add-on packs will be made available? Under the old update model Express was updated to a "new" (full-number) version about six months after Pro. Under the new model Express and Pro update on the same day, but I assume add-on packs for Express based on new effects in Pro will still delay by about six months. That's just a guess, but it's a good guess.
    • Hitfilm Express has an add-on pack for behaviors. Pro has three additional behaviors unavailable in Express... Acceleration, Gravity and Throw.
    • Hitfilm Pro 12 added several dozen "Animation" effects. None of these are available for Express. Yet. Eventually there will be an add-on.
    • Hitfilm Express doesn't have "Depth Layers." This is a quite specific subset of the 3D functionality, and, unless you're already doing work with complex 3D model/particle setups, we don't need to talk about that now.
    • That's pretty much it. Every other function in Pro can be purchased in Express with add-ons.
    • PRICE! Base Express is free. Base Express is pretty darn powerful. Base Express has add-ons... But, (this is all based on NON-SALE pricing) Hitfilm Pro is $299 where all Hitfilm Express add-ons would cost about $750. This isn't taking into account future add-ons (like Animations or Surface Studio).

    All of the above has only discussed HITFILM. We haven't gotten into the "Studio Bundle" yet.

    OK, so, the studio bundle. Ignite Pro adds Hitfilm filters to other NLEs/compositors like DaVinci Resolve, Ae, Premiere, Vegas Pro, FCPX, Avid, EDIUS, Sony Catylist Edit, and Nuke. If you do not have any of these other listed programs, then you have no need for Ignite and should NOT buy the Studio Bundles, unless you already have plans to add one of the programs to your studio. Since you are a self-described hobbyist, the chances are the only one of those programs you might add is DaVinci Resolve (free)., as all those other programs are hundreds of dollars, and most are pricier than Hitfilm. You'd be better off just buying Hitfilm and Action Pro seperately.

    Action Pro. OK, here's where we've moving out of my areas of experience. On paper, Action Pro is a tool to generate complex motion curves to import into Hitfilm. Sounds pretty neat, but the best features require VR controllers (Leap Motion), which I don't have, and (soon) a companion app for iProduct... I'm an Android guy. Action Pro is probably a great tool for creating complex animation curves, but, for what I do, keyframing in Hitfilm works fine. Maybe someone else who's used Action Pro more can have better input? Another thing of note is Action Pro was in "beta" for a year with the Action Pro 1 release happening in February of this year. Any Action Pro videos you might find online that predate Feb, 2019 are obsolete, and possibly wrong.

    My ultimate recommendation is that you probably only need to think about upgrading to Hitfilm Pro. 30% off is the best sale price I can recall seeing (I've been a Hitfilm user for just over six years). Again, unless you have one of the ten listed hosts for Ignite, you just don't need it, so save the money and skip Studio. Consider Action Pro, but see if any other users with more AP experience weigh in.

    Hope this helps.


  • LapisDemonLapisDemon Website User Posts: 26
    edited April 2019

    Hello triem, as always, you're such a sweetheart <3, thank you so much for your detailed reply, that really helped :)) Especially the overview what Hitfilm Pro currently has on top of Hitfilm Express!
    (And I love your YT videos, but I already told you that sometime ago ;))

    I'll try to highlight a few things in my reply to you, so it's maybe a bit easier to know rightaway about what I specifically reply to:

    Yes, I'm definitely just a hobbyist (and noob on top of that, as I just can't dedicate much time to test stuff out and search for all the info I'd love to have, e.g. about what each effect does etc.), but I just love to use effects in the majority of my videos, which is why Hitfilm generally is so matching to me, and I also incidentally create 3D model animations, which is why Action Pro seems very tempting to me, too! (I'll have to see if I can find a tutorial video about those "Depth Layers" in Hitfilm Pro you mentioned, considering I use 3D models, maybe it's something cool for me.)

    I already fiddled with the keyframing in Hitfilm, but I'm not very good at it (no time and maybe also lack in skills to really "master" it), and thus rarely use it, but Action Pro seems to make it so much easier, from what I saw and read in the Action Pro subforum!

    I only used VirtualDub and Windows Movie Maker for ~4.5 years before Hitfilm Express (since ~2017), but I relatively recently bought Vegas 14 in a comparably cheaply-priced HumbleBundle, haven't used it yet though, as I'd prefer to learn Hitfilm. So unless Vegas 14 would have something so spectacular that the current Hitfilm Pro in combination with Action Pro doesn't have, I think I can safely dismiss purchasing the Studio Bundle, and rather buy Action Pro on top of Hitfilm Pro, thank you for making this clear to me! :)

    Do you know by any chance if, when I'd opt out renewing Hitfilm Pro for 2020 (e.g. I wouldn't need the updates made in 2020 for the Pro version for my video projects), but would love to upgrade to the 2021 version: Can I do that at all, and if so, to which price?

    I currently assume I'd have to pay the full price for the future (e.g. 2021) version instead
    , basically as if I'd buy Hitfilm Pro as a new customer. Hard to think of a different, fair (to existing and always-renewing Pro users) and "cheaper" solution (except some e.g. 30% or more off sale like currently), even more so considering the assumed good amount of additional work put into a Hitfilm Pro version ~2 years from now.

    You wrote this: "Note renewals can be added at any time, so, if for some reason FXHOME suddenly ran a 50% off sale in December with renewals down at $129.... You can jump on that and add another 365 days from your original date."

    So let's say I'd purchase Hitfilm Pro on April 10th 2019, afterwards (during those 12 months license) Hitfilm offers a Hitfilm Pro renewal for xx% off which I'd buy as well.
    Then this means that my Hitfilm Pro would prolong not until April 9th 2020, but until April 9th 2021, correct?

    Well that sounds cool, I'd be surely more likely to renew with a good % off renewal costs, even if I wouldn't really always need all updates of a year. But I'd know I'd support this project, and it's still reasonably-priced for also a hobbyist who likes to share some creativity.

    Adobe subscription model costs currently 23.79/month for 1 application, all Adobe applications in a bundle currently cost 35,69/month, so technically 1 Adobe application only would be monetary-wise the same as Hitfilm, but I've heard that Adobe Premiere is "the" video editing software, so that gets me into thinking..

    However, what I - as a hobbyist with a busy real life+job who doesn't have time to fiddle with a bajillion different programs and to learn all those programs from scratch - like, is that Hitfilm contains already the Vfx stuff in itself, only 1 program, so that's a great time-saver imo (just assuming, I don't have any real experience with Adobe Premiere/AfterEffects, only with an old Adobe Photoshop version, maybe I'm insanely missing out :))

    As I already said, I love effects in my videos, and would like to add more of it to my future videos while slowly learning how to handle Hitfilm in that regard, so it seems I can still prefer Hitfilm over e.g. Adobe. Aside from that I'd be supporting a still small company who offers such a great software for free to the community, and as a "community person" myself who offers things for free, I very much honour and support what the Hitfilm makers were and are doing :)

    As for Action Pro: I only briefly read about it, I saw importing of CSV files somewhere, don't know if it's already possible to import CSV motion data files or it will be asap, but I do have a few CSV motion data files, thus Action Pro sounds great!

    I won't buy anything VR until they are not only affordable but also "good enough" (for my personal visual standards), so no Leap Motion controller for me, sadly, but I saw a few people in the Action Pro subforum requesting to add the Wii controller, and I got an old one from one of the first Wii's, so that'd be certainly great!

    As for the Action Pro iOS app: I own a ~6 year old iPad, if it could run the app, that'd be cool, but I got no idea how I can link my iPad via Bluetooth which was mentioned with it, to my comparaby old (5 years) Windows 7 desktop computer, or if it would be also possible to link them via a USB-lightning cable, basically paint on my iPad, and it gets recorded/displayed on my Windows desktop computer, but that's a question I'll ask in the according forum asap, after work today or tomorrow.

    Last but not least: I love that you can add Hitfilm Pro up to 3 computers, as I also own a laptop with a slightly better graphics card than my old computer.

    But I planned to change my current SSD on my desktop computer with a new one within the next few months, so how can I make sure that it would also erase the 1 Hitfilm Pro activation on my old SSD, as soon as I would wipe the old SSD's data, when I install my new SSD? Do I simply have Windows deinstall the Hitfilm Pro software before formatting my old SSD?

    Thank you very much again for your detailed reply, I very appreciate it!

  • HitFilmer62296HitFilmer62296 Website User Posts: 5

    I appreciate the detailed comments as well.

    Imo, even if you're a 'hobbyist', this software has so much value/performance...Its really amazing. If VFX/Filmmaking is your main hobby, then 200 is really a small investment no-brainer. I can't stand the Adobe Cloud/Subscription model.  What makes me happy now is that i can break free from Apple. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,282 Ambassador

    Lapis, @Hitfilmer62296 Always glad to help. Let me expand a few points. 

    First, if you're not subbed to one of FXHOME'S social medis feeds - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter - do so... It's only TUESDAY of NAB week and FXHOME has already announced Filmstro now adding Hitfilm as a host, several "popular Ae plug ins" coming to Hitfilm, The Foundry's Camera Tracker (the engine from NUKE) in Hitfilm and a joint venture with Magix: Vegas Post, which will add an FXHOME built 3D compositing engine into Vegas and some of the stills-editing (RAW compositing) features from Imerge. All of those are certainly notable upgrades to Hitfilm or an exciting new product! Wow! 

    Yes, if you buy Hitfilm Pro in Apr, 2019 then add more time in, say, Nov, 2019, your license goes to Apr, 2021.

    If a user skips a year for renewal one could always add back in the following year. I don't know the exact $ amount (prices still subject to change), but I can say that back-to-back renewal is a discounted renewal. Skipping a year is a less-discounted renewal  but less than a new purchase. Beyond that, I can't go into detail. 

    @LapisDemon on your account page on this website you can manage activations. If you change your computer's programs drive you're better to deactivate Hitfilm first, but, if you forget, or have a fatal hardware crash you can deactivate your Hitfilm here, which frees up your activation for another machine.

    Note: Hitfilm can be installed on as many machines as you want  but (Express) can only be ACTIVATED on one. Activation only affects rendering, so a user can put Hitfilm on computer A and B, activate A and cut a project and start a render. You can then edit on B and either transfer the project to A on an external drive ir, deactivate A, activate B and render on B while editing a third project on A.

    I don't think there's a full video on depth layers. I did a short demo, but may have deleted it. 

    In short Hitfilm has multiple ways of dealing with 3D models. "2D" model layers calculate and render immediately - the render becomes a 2D layer which passes to the layers Effects module. 2D model layers occlude in layer order like video layers. 

    "3D" model layers render to a flat plane in 3D space. Generally not useful unless the layer is a screen/window replacement. 

    "3D Unrolled" model (and Particle Sim) layers calculate  but do not render until Hitfilm hits a 2D video/photo/plane/grade layer, or top of stack. This means 3D objects occlude correctly but you can't add layer effects. 

    Depth Layer is the newest feature. A Depth Layer tells model/particle sim Layer A to look at model/particle Layer B as it calculates, then renders the layer and passes it to effects. This lets me leave the layers "2D." You can kind of think of Depth Layer as a built in "Set Matte" for models/particles. Depth Layer is found in a model/particle layers' Controls. It's a simple drop-down to pick the layer.

    My quick video demo used two layers-a spaceship and a particle layer for exhaust. The particles are the top layer, but "behind" the ship in 3D space. In "2D" mode the particles had glow but always rendered on top of the model. In "3D Unrolled" the particles are properly in front or behind the ship, depending on rotation, but no glow. By setting depth layers so the ship uses the particles and vice-versa the particles go in front/behind correctly as things rotate  AND I keep my glow.

    Make sense?

    Oh, I'm a Vegas user since it first came out. IMHO, Vegas is a better EDITOR than Hitfilm, but Hitfilm does VFX in its sleep that Vegas 14 can't do at all. If your workflow wants to keep everything in one program and you like VFX keep everything in Hitfilm. If you don't mind some back-and-forth between programs Vegas and Hitfilm are a great team. 

    My primary reason for loving Vegas comes from how it handles transitions. Vegas started as an audio editor and treats video clips as audio. If you overlap two clips in Vegas the overlap area becomes a dissolve. Other transitions can just be dragged into the overlap. Change the overlap and you change transition timing. This is so much easier and faster than how any other editor does transitions that it can save hours of editing time in a dissolve-heavy project. I do a lot of event video, so you can see where, if I'm cutting a two-hour concert with a ton of dissolves, but no VFX how this saves time! Also, Vegas has a dedicated multi-camera edit mode, which also makes event work easier. I would never expect Hitfilm to have Vegas-style transitions (it would change basic Hitfilm workflow and require a huge re-write), but I hope Hitfilm adds a multi-cam module in the future 

    Think that covers everything?

  • LapisDemonLapisDemon Website User Posts: 26

    Hello HitFilmer62296,

    thank you for your input!
    Well, by getting Action Pro, this won't break me off from Apple, it may bond me even closer :)) But my old iPad should suffice hopefulyl for it, inc ase I'd ever think of having to draw a path with my fingers/iPad at all.


    Hello again Triem23,

    my head is spinning from your info about the 2D/3D stuff, I'll have to read that a few times and look around for demonstration videos, to make 100% sense of it :))
    I'd like to use many 3D models than I already did before in my YT videos, but also in combination with still 2D images, and no matter if 2D or 3D,  using a ton of effects on anything, thus I'll really have to try to take the time to fiddle with that at some point, as I want to focus a lot on that in the future. It's really a lot of fun for me.

    Thank you for the hint with managing the activations via my account settings page!
    That's truly very convenient :)

    Also thank you very much for the hint with Vegas regarding transitions:
    That's really a HUGE Hitfilm deficit, like I said before, I came from Windows Movie Maker, and there so many things are "idiot-proof" and pre-made, like e.g. also a bunch of different-looking transitions which I love to use.

    In WMM, I also like that transitions as well as colour-scheme- or effects-related filters (e.g. blur or sepia etc.) always have a visualization, via a still image, as well as, if you hover over it, a preview of your original video with a short sequence incl. that transition or filter.

    I don't mind much that we don't have those kinds of previews (before applying those filters/effects/transitions) in Hitfilm, however, I would really wish there would be more transitions! Way more.

    That's one of the reasons I worked in the beginning with a combination of WMM and HF, because as a noob and with few amount of time, I just couldn't get equally-looking transitions like in WMM also done in HF.

    By now I somewhat got used to it, but to be frank, I currently just can't take the time to create own transitions in HF, and this is a thing HF is seriously lacking in extremely (for me).

    And not only transitions, also such things like lower or upper thirds and such, and anything involving text is a nightmare for me, so I usually create a text graphic with transparent background in my old Photoshop and import that into HF. Way less time spent than if I'd try to create a similar effect in HF (because I simply have no clue, how, really).

    I'll have a look into my Vegas 14 copy and see if I can somehow combine both, without disrupting my workflow much, as time is my major issue due to a busy real life.


    "Think that covers everything?"

    Not completely.. Where can I send you a virtual hug to, for being so kind to reply to my/our questions with detail and patience? ;)

    Kind regards, thank you again,

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