Not production ready on Mac

TroyRTroyR Website User Posts: 4 Just Starting Out

I really like Hitfilm (Pro) quite a bit. The idea of editing and animation in the same tool seems like a winner.

I work on Macs, using the latest Hitfilm Pro.

So, after creating a few short projects successfully in Hitfilm - like 90 seconds or less, I decided to give it some real work to do. A 15+ minute piece with multiple cameras, 3D titling using CamTrackAR, graphics overlays, and comps with FX, etc.

And... well, Hitfilm completely choked, let me down hugely, and ultimately I had to recreate the project using other software. Hitfilm could not handle a timeline with (4) 1080p video channels. It took it at least 5 seconds to display a frame if I jumped to different points in the timeline. It couldn't pre-render comps... well, maybe it could, if I were willing to wait days or weeks. It couldn't preview anything successfully. Attempting to RAM preview anything choked. "Realtime preview" ran at about 3 seconds a frame, and of course who could tell if the audio was sync'd?

I'm used to AfterEffects. It can handle absolutely anything. HUGE projects, many, many times bigger than this one, without blinking.

The software which had to step in for Hitfilm was capable of working with the same media IN REAL TIME. I could just hit the spacebar and watch full resolution video, with perfectly sync'd audio and transitions... all this on the same machine that the Hitfilm project was on.

Basically, there is clearly some optimization happening that Hitfilm needs to do.

In the meantime, I can't consider Hitfilm seriously for heavy production.

Beyond that, using it in a heavier project showed some real areas where general usability is just poor...

Issues with Hitfilm in production:

1. No apparent shortcuts to display parameters (position, scale, etc.)

2. To paste keyframes, you have to have the correct parameter selected (which is a hassle because of #1 above)

3. Can’t affect multiple layers when setting parameters

4. Timeline snapping only affect the In/Out points for layers

a. Current time indicator doesn’t snap to keyframes, OR the In/Out of layers

b. Keyframes don’t snap to other keyframes, or anything else

c. Timeline snapping is just weak

5. Timeline filtering is almost useless.

a. Doesn’t support filtering by media type

b. Doesn’t support showing a single attribute for all layers (e.g. position)

6. Performance with multiple HD layers is painful.

7. Pre-rendering is so slow as to be pointless.

8. Final export is horribly slow and completely unusable for lengthy projects

9. NO ability to replace media in the timeline while retaining parameters and keyframes??

Basically, Hitfilm totally failed the production test. I really wanted it to succeed, and tried for 3 days to make it work. On the afternoon of the third day, I recreated the project elsewhere and was done in 4 hours. The only thing I kept from the hitfilm project was about 30 seconds of tracked footage with some titles that I rendered. I brought that stuff into the other software and got the job done... fast.

I'm suspecting that the performance issues are that Hitfilm is poorly optimized for Macs. The software I resorted to seems much more at home on the Mac, working with the media effortlessly, while Hitfilm seems extremely labored.

Hopefully, we'll be able to use Hitfilm in the future, but for now, I've told my staff to steer clear and use other tools. I put this post together because I like the software, and FXHome seems like good folk... and sometimes you need to get real feedback on stuff that just doesn't work.

Comments

  • NormanPCNNormanPCN Website User Posts: 3,945 Enthusiast

    1. No apparent shortcuts to display parameters (position, scale, etc.)

    In Hitfilm you use a filter expression to limit/select shown properties. That is any property of any kind. Not a quick keystroke for a certain specific thing but a bit more general. By your test "position, scale" will show those properties on all applicable layers and effects. "position, rotation" would show position and rotation properties. You can shorten the strings. "pos, rot" is enough for position and rotation. For all layers you do this search in the timeline panel. For a single layer do this is in the controls panel.

    4. Timeline snapping only affect the In/Out points for layers

    a. Current time indicator doesn’t snap to keyframes, OR the In/Out of layers

    b. Keyframes don’t snap to other keyframes, or anything else

    c. Timeline snapping is just weak

    Yup.

    6. Performance with multiple HD layers is painful.

    Yup.

    Interestingly, at least to me, for years improving Hitfilm performance was always about use an "edit codec". Like DNx, Cineform, Prores. This because the typical/common AVC media has high overhead to decode and most have weak CPUs. The interesting thing is that now with hardware decode of AVC this is by far the fastest media for the Hitfilm timeline. The edit codecs are now crap in relation. HW decode implies 8-bit 4:2:0 AVC as that is what the HW decoders support. Some testing shows the HF timeline can make speed with simultaneous media but only with a fast as hell HW decoder. So it seems a/the bottleneck is that which feeds the timeline is a place for FxHome work on.

    Besides readback of course...and readback is not slow because hardware is slow. Others (everyone?) do readback just fine.

    7. Pre-rendering is so slow as to be pointless.

    Yup. Seriously slow but obviously necessary. Actual exports seem faster.

    9. NO ability to replace media in the timeline while retaining parameters and keyframes??

    In Hitfilm you replace media in the media panel. Alt+Drag, Drop. Then all timeline uses of that media panel item are replaced with the new item. I am not sure this has ever been documented.

    -

    Performance is not really a Mac or Windows thing. Think about it. Operating systems do not really do very much. It is really most all app and app library specific code.

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,920 Enthusiast
    edited October 11

    "IN REAL TIME"

    Feel free to tell us your workflow to achieve that in adobe because in my experience HitFilm shouldn't be that far from it? I barely notice a difference going back and forth trying to recreate it.

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