Sell me on Imerge Pro

I guess my main confusion is why you can't draw with it? I'm not big into image editing but I've used free programs like Gimp, Krita and Inkscape as well as used my NLE Vegas Pro to create image composites before switching to doing it in hitfilim. I feel like Hitfilm is pretty good at editing images. I will use it to do blending or finishing on 3D renders which is one of my hobbies

I can see somethings can be done easier in imerge, like for instance I believe you can zoom in only up to 400% in hitfilm which might not be enough for really precise masking. So I guess what I'm asking is aside from different value propositions depending on peoples needs and besides having something be done easier in imerge can imerge really do all that much that hitfilm cant?


  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Posts: 2,042 Staff

    @Dimipapa slightly unrelated, but you can zoom up to 6400% in HitFilm.

  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Posts: 427 Enthusiast
  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,201 Enthusiast

    Sell you on it. Not sure what entails but...

    Some basic definitions.

    Imerge is not a paint/draw program. It is an image editing program. The likes of Photoshop/Affinity Photo/Gimp/et al are effectively painting programs but Lightroom/On1/DxO/Capture One/Luminar/etc al are not paint but image editors. Of course source pixels for paint can be an image. Photoshop like apps can also composite. Most image editors do not composite at all or very well. Imerge is designed to composite well, and efficiently.

    Imerge is what I think of as a virtual pixel image editor. The physical pixel layers only exist at runtime. This is kinda a big deal with photos. Take a simple "low rez" 24MP photo (6000x4000). At 16-bit RGBA that is 6000*4000*8 bytes of uncompressed data per full layer. Someone painting tends to not generate a lot of volume. People can take a lot of photos.

    Video editors are by nature virtual pixel image editors.

    Big market for image editors that don't paint. In fact most image editor apps don't paint.


    Why Imerge and not just Hitfilm. This is likely your conundrum.

    Hitfilm is designed for video the and the UI accommodates that. Video is stills. Just a bunch of stills per second. These video UI features are a waste for stills. e.g. Single monitor the Hitfilm preview window is pathetic compared to Imerge and typical image editors. It's subjective but I would argue the Imerge UI is more efficient for a compositing workflow. This UI could never work for video of course. A good UI is not to be overlooked.

    Imerge is color managed. People taking photos tend to want to keep all those colors the camera captures. The color the video world cares about the colors of the display device. The camera captures a space compatible with the intended display device. TV's or cinema projector. Image editors are fully color managed. Videos editors are not. That can be starting to change in Video edit but that is not worth discussing here.

    Of course Imerge supports camera camera raw file stills.

    I've been around here for a while and remember when Imerge first came out. It seemed like a one trick pony. Stills compositor. Overlap with Hitfilm since Imerge was weaker on image edit/retouch features at the time. This past year V6, 7, 8, Imerge has been adding things that are pretty common in the image edit/retouch world. Dare I say standard in some cases. Imerge still has a ways to go for the photo edit world. To just compete and also importantly be more friendly to a photo retouch workflow. Imerge seems to be separating itself from a why not just Hitfilm comparo. Could Hitfilm be beefed up more in some of this regard. Probably, but does it make sense. Image stacking makes no sense for Hitfilm.

    If you just look at Imerge compositing then yes there is a serious overlap with Hitfilm. Import media support excluded. I believe that is ignoring things about Imerge.

    Some things can cross pollinate between Hiitfilm and Imerge needs of course. One thing that comes to mind is an edge/contrast detecting brush mask.

  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Posts: 427 Enthusiast

    @NormanPCN Thank you for the detailed response. I think the argument of being able to use a wrench to hammer a nail is possible but it's better to use a hammer is a good one. Imerge is better suited for certain work. And I gave it for big no thanks as well when it came out, but as it seems to be getting better now I wonder if it would be good for me to get it, I dunno. I think probably not, but I do really like creating 2D graphics and titles in Hitfilm I wonder if imerge would be better suited to that.

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,201 Enthusiast

    There are definitely specialty graphics things that would be nice to see migrate to Imerge from Hitfilm. Something like Surface Studio. But that effect references other layers which I do not think Imerge provides for, and maybe some 3D'ish type things Imerge cannot handle right now.

    Just look at what has happened recently via the update history and watch the updates to see if/when it might interest you.

    For me, I have been playing with it for a couple of weeks now, I've recently commented in the practical photography forum here, harassed (😉) Dibs in support a little, and for me only as of V8, it is worth it for me for photo edits. Imerge warts and all. I was waiting for the sale we have now. I hope the direction of the past years Imerge progress continues. The biggest thing I would like is an edge detecting mask (skylines). Better highlight recovery would be nice, and I was wondering about Imerge dataflow in this regard. That is done in the Exposure effect, and as an effect an arbitrary number of other effect can be between it and the raw mosaic data (content panel). AFAIK Highlight recovery commonly peeks down into the mosaic pixels to get clues about what it can or should do with the saturated channel(s). Hmm.

  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Posts: 427 Enthusiast

    @NormanPCN Sounds like they should have you as a beta tester, if they even have outside beta testers.