Worth Upgrading to Current Version?

karma17 Posts: 45 Just Starting Out*

I have been away from HitFilm for a while and just recently started looking at the program again for some projects I'd like to do. I currently have HF 2017 and see it costs about $240 to upgrade to the current version of HF.

Since I've been gone, how much of a difference is there between 2017 and current version in terms of features and performance? If I'm just doing run-of-the-mill effects, is it worth the upgrade? It looks like you only get about a $60 discount for upgrading vs just buying the full version. Does FX Home ever run upgrade specials around Black Friday time?

Any guidance appreciated. 


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,275 Power User

    FXHOME tends to run about three big sales per year. Typically one is about July 4th, so I'm guessing there will be a big sale soon. 

    HF Pro 2017 was, IMHO, one of the most significant for Hitfilm. That's when Keyframes got added to the Editor. Since then a lot of new effects have been added  but the workflow and edit sides have gotten love. There are onscreen widgets to allow faster effects tuning, there's a whole new preset system (called" Publishing") which makes it much easier to quickly reuse library elements like lower thirds. A lot of improvements that help basic editing - like layers are now color coded by type. Josh stated in a live broadcast that layer locking is coming later this year, the Media bin is being revamped, Hitfilm is getting the Foundry's Camera Tracker for 3D solves, certain Ae plug-ins will run in Hitfilm soon. Hitfilm now has limited hardware decoding, which really speeds up mp4 media. Hitfilm has un-threaded the viewer and timeline. This means you don't change a parameter, wait for the screen to refresh  then change a parameter. You can keep altering things in the controls - yeah, you still have to wait for a redraw at some point  but it speeds up editing. 

    So, you've missed significant stuff. Since your purchase gives you the next 365 days of updates a July sale would be a great time to jump on.

    Hitfilm 2017 was v5. Changelogs for every version from 6 to current can be found here:


    I just hit the big workflow stuff, but a lot of the added effects bring new looks not possible in prior versions and make a lot of tasks easier. Surface Studio is a good example. It's like layering up four parallax/caustics effects on a single effect for reality detailed textures. 

  • Hictor
    Hictor Posts: 380 Enthusiast


    The current version's batch of changes is focused on facilitating the software as an Editor.
    The performance is leagues better then in the previous versions.

    The Publisher feature relieves you  from a lot of workflow gymnastics you needed to do with basic alterations in compositions and thanks to the new engine, its impeccably fast.  Speeding Up footage on this software is insanely buttery smooth now because of the engine'soverhaul and how it utilizes GPU.

    That being said, its not half away there.

    As an editing software, Hitfilm is great for Social Media requirements.

    But when you consider projects where you require a broad range of audio syncing/editing and multi-cam editing, Hitfilm remains a composite first software.

    That being said (again), i would advise that you buy it when third sales is up (likely this november, I would guess).
    It still comes in handy, and as a compositing software.

    I pretty much dumped AE after the engine overhaul. Scarcely use it, since I"m not always in need of importing PSD.

  • DannyDev
    DannyDev Staff Posts: 337 Staff


    Bug fixes asside, here are some of the highlights:


    • Animation tools for the editor.
    • Geometry and behavior effects.
    • 360 viewer panel.


    • New effect controls in the viewer.


    • Layout panel.
    • Improvements to masking tools.


    • Improved export screen and background export.


    • Improvements to fonts and non English text rendering.


    • Surface Studio


    • Intel and Nvidia hardware decoding (Windows only)
    • Threaded rendering
    • Revamped interface
    • Text tools on the editor
    • Animation effects
    • Composite Shot templates.
    • Publishing
    • Color labels

    Please download the demo version and give it a spin.

  • karma17
    karma17 Posts: 45 Just Starting Out*
    edited June 2019

    This is very helpful info.  Thank you!

    I will keep an eye out for any sale.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,275 Power User

    Danny Dev posted an important correction - keyframing in the Editor added in v6, not your v5 (2017).

    Definitely upgrade on the next sale. Keyframing in the Editor, threaded rendering,  color coded layers, hardware acceleration, text in Editor, Animation presets, Behaviors, Publishing and the new Export Queue... Most of this list counts as workflow improvements and they'll all speed up the way you use Hitfilm - especially if it's your primary EDITOR!

    And, yeah, a whole bunch of new effects.

    Add in the features coming later this year that have been discussed in livestreams - new camera tracker,  Ae plug ins, updated Media Bin, layer locking, etc, and you've got some awesome new features coming your way.

    Let's talk about the current sale model. Hitfilm 1-5 (2017) were under a straight "buy this version" model. The "big" Hitfilm release of the year - the "full version upgrade" was always in November, and the "full version upgrade" was where one had to pay to upgrade. The problem was, say you bought in a July sale and the next version released in November. So you'd pay for five months then would need to pay to upgrade. The current model is a year of upgrades  period. Any new version during your year  you get. Then you "version lock" if you choose to not buy another year of upgrades.

    This is more fair to the users, and it's accelerated Hitfilm development. See, a "full version" release is core changes - like new panels or adding color coded layers... Things altered in the fundamental code. Bug fixes and new effects are "point releases." New effects (plug ins), minor tweaks, etc are point releases. By no longer doing a "yearly full version" the devs can release new updates as they're ready, rather than sit on them till November. 

    You may have noticed Danny Dev listed Hitfilm 6-12? Yeah, that's a lot of core changes in a year and a half. Since the current version is 12.3 and 12.3 came out a couple months ago  it's a solid guess the next update will be Hitfilm 13. A Hitfilm 13 or 14 would be a good guess for when the new camera tracker, or Ae plug in compatibility will release.