HitFilm Express light theme



  • sphrasessphrases Website User Posts: 1

    This is super sad. I have used Hitfilm Express for many years, and cant enable the dark mode on a new install (even if I use my "old" account, which is associated with an express license for a long time...) 

    I find the light theme extremely disorienting. So much, that even old projects confuse the hell out of me... Maybe its time to change the Editing software. 

  • TheBenNorrisTheBenNorris Staff Administrator, Website User, Imerge Beta Tester Posts: 1,479 Staff

    @sphrases you mention you've used HitFilm Express for a long time: have you used express since the 2017 release? As after that version the license changed. All versions prior to that do not share the same license as express. Only the users that previously had this license get dark theme, anything registered before or after that does not work.

  • FilmSenseiFilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,188 Ambassador

    @sphrases Maybe you ought to think about spending the $9. Not only would you get the Dark Theme, but also three other packs...

    • Edit: Starter (Text, Split Screen Masking PiP (Picture-in-Picture), Vertical Video, Action Cam Crop)
    • Color: Starter (Exposure, Vibrance, Shadows & Highlights, Custom Gray, Color Phase, Channel Mixer, 16-Bit Color)
    • VFX: Starter (Shatter, 3D Extrusion, Fire, Blood Spray, Animated Lasers)

    That's a value of $29.97, and $0.90 goes to the Australian Bushfire Emergency Fund (https://www.wwf.org.uk/)

    Better yet, spend $19 and get a value of $84.94 (donating $2.85). You would get everything above plus...

    • Edit: Repair (Denoise, Grain Removal, Rolling Shutter)
    • Color: LUT (LUT, Grading Transfer)
    • Edit: Beautify (Bilateral Blur, Pro Skin Retouch)

    You can't really beat that!

  • Hugo_DuarteHugo_Duarte Website User Posts: 2
    edited February 6

    Well usually dark themes are more pleasant to the eye, specially if you spend a lot of hours in front of a screen which I believe after all that is what FXHome intends to achieve as a company, having quality products and a large user base using them.

    I really have a hard time understanding why would a developer actually comment on this thread, there is nothing wrong with the light theme it is actually very usable, however besides cutting on features which is obviously understandable from a business perspective, you guys decided to cut on something you used to provide for free which obviously leads to poor trust from the past and future user community.

    Even if previous users can still have the dark UI, the new users which some of them are influenced to download you product from product reviews on YouTube or blogs are attracted to it as they show it in those videos and by that I mean a "free software that includes the following features... and has a dark UI". 

    So, it is perfectly understandable that myself and others choose to go with another product instead, since in order to not get strain in my eyes for spending hours learning your product, I will opt not to have to pay $9 for a dark theme, which raises the entry bar for locking us to your product and detract us from future purchases either that being a license or add on features in the future.


  • Hugo_DuarteHugo_Duarte Website User Posts: 2
    edited February 6

    Seems that my comment was removed.... do not understand why as I was quite constructive....

  • TheBenNorrisTheBenNorris Staff Administrator, Website User, Imerge Beta Tester Posts: 1,479 Staff

    @Hugo_Duarte according to the dashboard you removed the comment yourself. The forum is known to sometimes delete comments as they are posted, not entirely sure why. I'll see if I can recover the comment.

  • tddavistddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,024 Moderator

    @HUgo_Durate Yeah, I was going to say that I've had posts suddenly go missing and thought I'd screwed up somehow.  Good to know it might be a forum thing after all.  And just to note, I almost never see comment deleted by the staff unless it's obvious spam, full on tirades full of "off color language" and/or dodgy links, so don't think that it was personal at all.

  • Vagabonding101Vagabonding101 Website User Posts: 50


    A light mode in windows/mac/chrome is not even remotely comparable to that of hitfilm. First off, all of these now have a dark version, which is FREE, unlike hitfilms. Also, no one's going to spend an entire day browsing the web without interruption, whereas I regularly do that in hitfilm. And If I'm sick and I do browse the web and watch tv all day, my eyes will really hurt after. It's how the human eye works, you can't stare at a bright screen for a long time without causing pain.

    After reading this entire thread, I have to say I'm extremely disappointed in the fx home staff. I've only been using hitfilm for about two years now, and just in that time, I've noticed a big shift in the staff attitude. They used to simply receive the advice, and quite often make a change based on it. Now it just seems they try to tell somebody why they're wrong. In just this thread I've seen the staff mention that past users will still be able to use dark mode quite a few times, although that is true, it's already been mentioned and it's not going to help new users. 

    I understand that they need to make money, and I understand it's not easy, but the staff does not seep to help much on the forums anymore.

  • TheBenNorrisTheBenNorris Staff Administrator, Website User, Imerge Beta Tester Posts: 1,479 Staff
    edited February 6

    @Vagabonding101 I'm sorry if you feel like the staff are not being helpful, but we are trying to provide support wherever we can. The forum is hopefully on the way to changing substantially to allow us to take on user suggestions, improvements and feedback in a better way, but for now I can assure you that almost every concern, question or suggestion that is raised is then brought up and discussed formally in the office.

  • KirstieTKirstieT Staff Administrator, Moderator, Website User Posts: 1,048 Staff
    edited February 6

    @Vagabonding101 Let me jump in here too and say that we are, though a small team, committed to helping our users wherever we can. As the community has grown (by millions since you came on board two years ago, due to our free software), we have extended our customer support from the internal system to our forums, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where we do our best to respond to absolutely everything. This customer support is still offered to our Express users, as well as the software, completely free. 

    As @TheBenNorris rightly pointed out, every single issue that we come across is discussed internally by the team and if there is a true case and we have made a mistake or feel that a fair compromise can be reached, we come back to suggest it. We also take a note of every feature request and the development team have weekly meetings to determine the importance of fixing a feature based on a few things i.e. how much it will affect the whole userbase (i.e. is it popular), how much resource it will take etc. We aim to be transparent in absolutely every case. We are also doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes to work out ways that the forum can function better, bring on third party solutions for user feedback as we move forwards, and how we can bring on more moderators and ambassadors so that the staff has more support. 

    Our team is passionate to the core about interacting with everyone - supporting and raising up those who are using our software to make amazing things. I'm really proud of what our team is achieving here, even while the userbase grows massively. I am very sorry that you feel that the staff presence has worsened over the last two years, and I won't tell you that you're wrong if that is the experience you've had. I do hope though that you can see the balance of this small but vocal thread compared to the other 4.8 million satisfied users we have. We are trying to do right by as many people as we can. 

  • FilmSenseiFilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,188 Ambassador

    @Vagabonding101 I am afraid that I have to strongly disagree with you on your statement that the FXhome staff has negatively shifted their attitude in a big way. I don't think that's the case at all! In fact, if anything, the FXhome staff has become more sincere, transparent, and engaging over the past two years. They announce more things that are coming up, they deal with issues as they happen, they admit mea culpa as necessary, and they do it in a professional and courteous manner. The staff is always working the forums, and even their social media is showing more of the office, the work environment, and the behind the scenes stuff that is going on. They constantly interact with the customer base. Have they made mistakes? Yes. Have they made judgements of error? Absolutely, but we all do! That's just being a normal human. I think that the staff has done a wonderful job of building the HitFilm brand, and part of that is they have taken bold risks along the way. They have done things that no one else has done. They obviously do not want to be like everyone else, and if you want to be better than your competition, then you must be different. I applaud the bold moves that FXhome are making. A ship is always safest when it's in the harbor, but that's not what ships were made for.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 17,991 Ambassador

     @FilmSensei Jay, agreed, and very calmly expressed. Much better than what I was thinking. I bow, Sensei. 

  • eMeNForcereMeNForcer Website User Posts: 4
    edited March 13

    I had Hit film express before and when I got the update, I cant change from the white..

  • TheBenNorrisTheBenNorris Staff Administrator, Website User, Imerge Beta Tester Posts: 1,479 Staff

    @eMeNForcer unfortunately your express license was never updated from an old version, and you only have express 4 licensed. Only licenses after Hitfilm Express 2017 were eligible for dark theme.

  • Andy001zAndy001z Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,843 Ambassador

    Why the love over dark themes, it's like it's all the fashion, next office will have a dark mode. Frankly it's all poppycock.

  • eMeNForcereMeNForcer Website User Posts: 4

     @andy001z , Simply, Just better on the eyes.

  • eMeNForcereMeNForcer Website User Posts: 4
    edited March 16

    Ok, Thanks @TheBenNorris :(  .. Guess Ill just have to use one that has dark mode.


  • FilmSenseiFilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,188 Ambassador

    @Andy001z When it comes to reading, I prefer a "Light Mode." So things like this forum, Word, Notepad, etc... I like the standard look... black letters on a white background.

    However, when it comes to video, I prefer a "Dark Mode." I would find it very hard to watch my TV if I had a bright lights around it shining in my face. One year, my wife decided to hang Christmas lights around my TV. It was distracting enough that I had to take them down. I have my personal YouTube settings in "Dark Mode." It is wonderful... much easier to watch than Youtube's regular look. You should try it!

    I particularly have issues with color grading in Light Mode. If I did not already own Pro, to me it would absolutely be worth it to spend the $9 for the option to use "Dark Mode" in HitFilm Express. My concern would be regarding people who are "checking out" HitFilm for the first time. If they see the interface and dislike it, they might immediately uninstall it without exploring it any further. Then they would miss out on all of the wonderful benefits that HitFilm has to offer, and that would be a real shame.

  • eMeNForcereMeNForcer Website User Posts: 4

    I think it is really a personal preference, but myself prefer anything I'm working  in for extended periods of time, I want Dark Mode. That being said, I have a multi PC set up, so I have multiple monitors glaring at me from all sides. So that glare messes with your vision at times. Then on top of that if I have a normal mode program I am working on, it is just to much. I will work in a HF that has dark till I have the extra $9 or $20 bucks to get the add on.

    With everything going on in the world at the moment I just cant do it So with that said I do agree, it is totally worth the $9.00 for it and everything that comes with that.

    I can also see your point on someone seeing all white and not looking in to it all. Like you said,  they will just uninstall. @andy001z


  • paulch888paulch888 Website User Posts: 2

    My opinion as a potential buying unit.

    I have been looking to switch up from my current video editor and purchase a different, more powerful editor. I have many free demos, and even installed the totally free Davinci Resolve. I heard good things about HitFilm. I watched reviews and output from the software. At that point, I decided to download HitFilm Express for a try to see if it fits my needs.  If your product does what your website says and it fills my needs, I am happy and really desire to purchase HitFilm Pro.

    For myself, my first task after starting the software up was to look extensively through the options to try and find dark mode. After not being able to find it, I searched and found this thread.

    Regardless if you as the creator of this product THINKS that a light interface is OK. I, as a POTENTIAL CUSTOMER, am telling you that it is NOT. It puts additional eye strain on my already weary eyes. Accompany this with the fact that all modern video editors come with the ability to go into dark mode (even the free Davinci Resolve has dark mode right out of the box).

    In addition, I cannot even easily find where I can BUY the dark theme. On another point, for my testing phase, if I buy the dark theme and decide to upgrade to HitFilm Pro, would I get a credit for that theme purchase because I would moving up and not be using Express again.

    From my perspective, let me point out my telltale sign as to your inconsiderate view of me as a potential client. To learn about your software, I have researched and gone extensively through quite a few pages in your online reference manual. I simply point to the fact that all the images that have a view of the interface... They are ALL in dark mode. Let that sink in for your marketing people. You are trying to teach me on something that does not look the same as what I have on my screen… AND you are making me feel that you expect me to pay for the privilege to get the same look as in your own reference manuals!

    I normally would consider this a waste of time to spend typing up this post and would normally just dump and leave, but I am so irritated by this setup and this issue that you say “Hey, just pay $9” for something that practically EVERY OTHER modern editing application has as standard (even free ones). I have taken time from my busy day to let you know my displeasure. Send this next statement to your marketing team: “I am just one person that complained. For every one of me, there are many, many, many hundreds or even thousands that will just not care and delete and not look at your product again.”

    You may have a great product, but currently I will not find out. Unless there is some resolution, I will need to say “Sorry, I’m not even going to give you a shot at my money.”

  • alaska_vfx_filmeralaska_vfx_filmer Website User Posts: 443 Enthusiast
    edited March 19

    paulch888, I understand your complaint, but I would like to point out Hitfilm Express is FREE, The current version has only been out a couple months, they have probably have not updated user manual yet. 

    "let me point out my telltale sign as to your inconsiderate view of me as a potential client"

    "Sorry, I’m not even going to give you a shot at my money.” 

    Considering this is a FREE product (albeit with some slight limitations and drawbacks), It is really an amazing thing that they're not charging for it. It is their right as a company to offer or not offer free features, likewise it is our right as consumers to install for free or buy add-ons, or not. You are entitled to your opinion, but in light of the fact that you/we have paid nothing, and and now own a powerful peace of software for free, I think your criticism is a bit harsh.

  • paulch888paulch888 Website User Posts: 2

    “probably have not updated user manual yet.” Is not a reason, that would be an excuse.

    LiamMcM1 I would refer back to my post and to the fact that I am looking to purchase a new editing system for my company. I have a budget to spend so, I really don’t care that it is FREE. We would have been using the free version to test out the software capabilities up to the point that we needed additional functionality. Then a decision would be made as to whether this system would be appropriate for use.

    I understand and appreciate the Freemium Business Model. I whole-heartedly concur that if I wanted additional FUNCTIONALITY, that I should purchase a-la-cart what I needed or upgrade and purchase the complete package. But a dark theme is a skin and is not additional FUNCTIONALITY.

    I can only present my point of view as a potential customer. I can no longer use a light skin for periods of time without eye discomfort. Even if I did purchase the dark skin, that psychologically, it is not a net positive, but I would be paying for a removal of a negative.

    All the banter of “if you loaded previous to 2017 or version this or that”, FXHome, can you not see that you are creating confusion amongst some of your user base? “A confused mind will not purchase.”

    FXHome can place any limitation they want on their FREE software. I fully respect that. But it does not mean that I shouldn’t express my displeasure. I hope that they can take the criticism and not become purely defensive but make it a learning experience and come up with action items for future iterations to serve and market to their potential customers better.

    For every person that has a complaint, there are many, many more that have the same thought who just stay silent, drop the product, and move onto something different. Is FXHome willing to jeopardize potential Pro sales over the eye comfort of a section of potential users?

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,758 Enthusiast

    Quick history

    When Express 2 launched, it was a paid product. This model was quite good but they opted to start releasing Express for free. Since HitFilms Express free has existed, dark mode has been a fundamental/core theme. What people are getting at is not that they shouldn't be allowed to do as they please with the software they own and self publish. It's the fact they took something as fundamental as a theme, and then paywalled it almost 7 years later, in hopes of getting those $9 sales. It still blows me away this hasn't been remedied yet together with an official apology from Josh.

  • TheArtisticFangirlTheArtisticFangirl Website User Posts: 1
    edited March 24

    I made an account and downloaded Hitfilm Express in August 2019, but I can't find the tab that lets me switch to dark mode.  Jut how new does the account have to be in order for it to be available?  Or am I missing it?  I've gone into the interface bar, but I'm not given the option to switch modes.  I really don't want to have to pay for something I had literally earlier today, before I updated.


    edit: I went to activation and was able to get back my old program

  • TheBenNorrisTheBenNorris Staff Administrator, Website User, Imerge Beta Tester Posts: 1,479 Staff

    @TheArtisticFangirl I would contact support. I can see on your account that you had a version that should provide you with dark theme, although there appears to be two licenses which could be causing problems.

  • DannyDevDannyDev Staff Administrator Posts: 338 Staff
    edited March 25

    EDIT: Corrected by Triem below. Thanks for the clarification.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 17,991 Ambassador
    edited March 25

    @DannyDev your memory is in error here. @CNK is correct. 

    Hitfilm 2 Express launched at a $149 USD price point. At a point before HF 3 was released, HF 2 Express was offered for free for a limited time. It's with Hitfilm 3 Express the software moved to "free with optional add ons" model.

    In fact, here's a C/Net article discussing the limited time offer when Hitfilm 2 Express was free. Article is dated Jan, 2014. The limited time free Express 2 offer ran till early Feb, 2014. Hitfilm 3 was released in November of 2014.

    This isn't a big deal, but I am an anal-retentive pedant, so... 


  • TheBenNorrisTheBenNorris Staff Administrator, Website User, Imerge Beta Tester Posts: 1,479 Staff
    edited March 25

    To keep the discussions isolated and easier for us to manage, I'm closing this thread. Please see the other thread titled "interface" if you want to continue this discussion further.


This discussion has been closed.