Use hitfilm for beam of light
I got hitilm originally with Vegas pro, I have upgraded but never used it. I have a couple of scenes that use smoke and a beam of light, so imagine a room that has a beam of light from an imaginary window (off camera view) the light terminates and frames a specific object like a holy grail. Doing it practically means using my Fresnel to focus on the object and using aerosol smoke to fill the light beam. I think as a first project would be to use the Fresnel beam as a plate and use hitfilm for a light beam, but really interested in your experience as this will be my initial experience.
The other way I want to use hitfilm is with smoke like a classic Hollywood portrait where the person is smoking a cigarette with wafts of smoke rising or a western gunfighter smoke coming out from the end of a pistol. I have a full version of hitfilm, so looking to your recommendations as to approaching this since I have no experience at all.