Very low quality on exported videos after updating to 2021.2

padieg Posts: 5 Just Starting Out*


As the title says, for some reason now the exported videos have a very low quality (or variable quality) in certain sections after I updated to version 2021.2

On previous versions of Hitfilm I used the Youtube 1080 mp4 preset, which always gave great quality exports. But after this update, the exported videos have artifacts or break on certain parts that have lots of movement, as if it was coming from a low bandwidth stream.

I tried copying the preset and increasing the bit rate (even to 80 mpbs) to see if it improved quality, and it helped but the loss of quality is still there, although it looked better. And of course the file size increased too.

It happens with different projects that previously exported well from previous versions of Htifilm Express.

My specs: win 10 on an i7 11th gen with 32 mb of ram and an RTX 2070 Super with its latest drivers.

Any help will be really appreciated. Thank you in advance



  • padieg
    padieg Posts: 5 Just Starting Out*

    Hi, and thank you for the detailed steps. Unfortunately, this didn't work for me, I still have the same issue with the exported mp4s.

    I tried uninstalling and reinstalling, and again the same issue. Something else I tried was exporting the project as mov (with the GoPro preset) and AVI (with the Uncompressed preset) and they both looked great.

    So adding that to the previous test with the increased bit rate for mp4, maybe it has to do with something with how the files are compressed on export?

  • PetrusFerraz
    PetrusFerraz Posts: 3 Just Starting Out*
    edited October 2

    Same problem here. Right now I´m trying to uninstall and install a previous version. Quite sure it was a problem caused by the update, because before everything was working just fine.

    So, if it does work, I´ll let you know.

    By the way, this update somehow is running terribly in my PC. Since I have a Surface Book 2 in my hands, I´m pretty sure it´s not a configuration problem. Maybe because I started my project in a previous version... Waiting for the download...

  • BrandonReck
    BrandonReck Posts: 18 Just Starting Out*
    edited October 3

    I'm having the same issue too. Any .mp4 export randomly decreases in quality throughout the final product. I tried AVI and MOV files and they looked fine. I don't really have the best storage scenario, so exporting with this isn't sustainable long term. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling, updating drivers, clearing the cache under settings, but still any .mp4 export nukes my final product. Everything appears fine in the viewer panel, too.

    My project file is 1080p, 60 FPS. I have a Ryzen 5 3600, an RTX 2060, 32GB RAM, and I'm on Windows 10. I've attached screenshots as well, one being the viewer (ss 2), and the other being the end product (ss 1).

  • padieg
    padieg Posts: 5 Just Starting Out*

    Thank you. I would try on my notebook, but I still have the previous version of Hitfilm installed there and everything works well.

    Is there a place from where I can download the installer of the previous version? I wasn't able to find it on the downloads section on my account on Hitfilm's site. As I want to keep a copy of it just in case the same error happens on my notebook.

    @Triem23 Apologies I didn't post the details of the videos I am working on: 1920x1080 at 25 fps on a win 10 machine with an i7 11th gen with 32 mb of ram and an RTX 2070 Super with its latest drivers.

    Many thanks

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,096 Moderator

    @padieg The link is at the bottom.of the store page under Express or Pro then Updates:

  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Posts: 2,033 Staff

    If possible, could users please send us examples of the degradation to support?

    Unfortunately, unless users send us details about the issues they are having, we are unable to investigate further - and we really want to be able to get to the bottom of this.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,070 Ambassador

    @padieg does your video happen to be a screen capture? @BrandonReck 's footage is. Underneath the comment I'm about to leave for TheBenNorris is a modified and expanded cut/paste from BrandonReck's other thread about his issue it's relevant info.

    @TheBenNorris TL/DR version, Brandon's footage is obviously a screen capture, I suspect Padieg's is too, and, with most screen recorders cramming a 1.4gbps file into 3-5mbps, Hitfilm - really the Microsoft codecs Express uses - can't efficiently compress the already crap footage. Dunno if allowing more control over AVC settings like GOP, and/or B/P frames in the Export settings would help. Otherwise, I think there's some Garbage In/Garbage Out going on here. The rest of this comment is the much longer, more detailed version of this paragraph. Getting the project files and media will confirm this, probably. Ben, stop reading here and have a great rest of your day!

    Padieg and Brandon, here's what I think is going on - mp4 is a LOSSY format. Mp4 throws away detail via pixelation. Brandon, your source screen capture was mp4 and your export format is mp4. You're starting with damaged data and exporting more severely damaged data.

    The data rate of uncompressed 1920x1080 30fps footage is 1424 megabits per second. The average screen recorder records at about 3-7 megabits/sec. This is a compression ratio of 203:1 to 473:1. If your source footage is higher resolution or higher framerate, the compression problem is worse.

    By the time you've compressed mp4 footage by over 100:1 it's getting pretty damaged, and you don't have much room to play. (The 1080p YouTube export preset is about 90:1, so pretty close to the edge). Since you're likely starting with footage compressed over 200:1, it's a problem. Raising the mp4 export bitrate should help. It might not. To be blunt the footage you're starting with from a screen recorder in default settings is utter crap.

    Padieg the Cineform codec (the MOV you're exporting) doesn't damage footage in the same way as mp4. Part of the reason is that the files are so much larger. Cineform tends to compress at about a 5:1 to 10:1 ratio. Obviously footage crammed into 1/10th the space is less damaged than footage crammed into 1/200th or 1/400th the space.

    Another option is to export Cineform then use a third party encoder, like Handbrake, to convert the Cineform to mp4. Handbrake uses a different mp4 encoder than HF (Hitfilm PRO uses Main Concept, Hitfilm EXPRESS uses whatever Microsoft gave you, Handbrake uses x264), and Handbrake offers more control than Hitfilm over encode settings.

    You'll want to look at your screen capture settings. If you can raise them from the default (probably 3.5, 5 or 7mbps) to about 15mbps and maintain smooth game play, that will make a huge difference. You'll be giving Hitfilm less damaged footage to start with.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,070 Ambassador

    @PetrusFerraz "Surface Book 2" doesn't tell us enough. We need full CPU/GPU/RAM/Storage specs. There are five basic configurations of the Surface Book 2 (not counting installed RAM). Three of them are underpowered for video editing.

    Hitfilm 16+ (anything after December 2020) raised the minimum specs for Hitfilm and the three configurations of Surface Book 2 that rely on an Intel UHD 620 as a GPU are barely above minimum specs to run Hitfilm. Especially if you have a mere 8GB of RAM. The configurations with the Nvidia 1050 or 1060 are much better suited for video work.

    Also, with HF Express 16+ the codecs used on Export are those provided by Microsoft, not the better third party (licensed/paid) codecs used in Hitfilm Pro.

    If your footage is a screen recording, read my comment above this one.

  • padieg
    padieg Posts: 5 Just Starting Out*
    edited October 5

    Thank you everyone

    My source video is usually a PNG sequence at 1920x1080 @25 fps from an animation made in Unreal Engine, not mp4s. I then add lower-thirds, and other effects using Hitfilm and export the final mp4 file from it, also at 1920x1080 and at 25 fps.

    Here are a couple of example frames from an explainer video I finished some time ago. The ones that look good were exported as an mp4 using the Youtube 1080 preset, and now as a test, I exported the same project with 2021.2 also using the same Youtube preset. Even though I went for a stylised cartoony look in Unreal, the crispiness of the ones exported with a previous version is visible when compared to the new ones.

    As someone mentioned above, the general quality of the video is degraded using the same settings, but there are specific sections where everything comes extremely garbled when there is more on-screen movement. Reminds me of the old extremely compressed mpeg2 videos where the codec couldn't cope with the action on-screen and a lot of artifacts showed up.

    @TheBenNorris I will post these same images at support. Many thanks

    Edit: I just noticed that the degradation also happens on the lower thirds, which were generated in Hitfilm as composites (just a couple of simple planes and text and PNG for the logo). So I am not completely sure the issue has something to do with the source material

  • fxhomer86861
    fxhomer86861 Posts: 3 Just Starting Out*
    @TheBenNorris : I have the same degradation of video quality after last upgrade in 2021.2. I am using preset youtube 1080p for export with same source file.
    I have reported my problem with images for comparison between the 2 versions to another support staff member (Phil).
    Hope those reports will help you to find a solution since it is quite impacting for us.
  • ireosl
    ireosl Posts: 5 Just Starting Out*
    edited October 5

    I have the same problem. Went back to 2021-1 - problem solved. 😀 . I will stay at 2021-1 until a fix is released - or an workaround is established. I have also reported the problem.

  • fxhomer86861
    fxhomer86861 Posts: 3 Just Starting Out*

    After reporting the case to the support staff, I got the following solution or workaround from them that improves the exported quality for me as I am using preset Youtube 1080p:

    1° You need to create a custom preset based on Youtube 1080p. I cannot say if this woks for other preset

    2° You will increase the target and max bitrate of this new preset up to 30 or more (in my case I raised it up to 60)

    In my case the video quality has been drasticaly improved. I Cannot confirm yet if the video quality equals the previous version but the result is much more presentable.

    Hope that helps

  • Gantarat14
    Gantarat14 Posts: 1 Just Starting Out*

    Same, Hope it get fix soon.

  • padieg
    padieg Posts: 5 Just Starting Out*

    Thanks. Yes, I tried that and went to 80 and the quality was great. Of course the file size skyrocketed.

    So as a workaround, export the file either with the modified Youtube preset or even better as mov (bigger file size). From there, in my case I open the resulting file in Photoshop and export it as an mp4 in high quality to reduce the file size. Not the best solution, but so far it is a good workaround to get good quality files at a reasonable size.

  • PetrusFerraz
    PetrusFerraz Posts: 3 Just Starting Out*

    Sorry. It´s the first time I´m posting in this forum.

    I´m using the latest version of Hitfilm Express (2021-2, I guess).

    So here it goes:

    Windows 10

    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8650U CPU @ 1.90GHz  2.11 GHz;

    RAM 16,0 GB;

    Video GeForce GTX 1060;

    My project is a 25 min long video, 1920x1080; frame rate 29.97, preset Youtube 1080p Full HD @ 29.97fps; shooted with both a DJI Osmo Action (30fps) and a Nikon D3200 (not sure about the fps).

    It happened with my last 2 projects (same settings both). On the last one I disabled the "Create Timeline Cache in Background" since it´s drastically decreasing the speed in every action I take while using Hitfilm Express. The previous one I went all the way through with this Create Timeline Cache option on, but I also tested with it switched off and the final result was the same (random poor quality).

    Apparently I can´t upload a video file here, so I uploaded a piece (13 seconds) of my final video to Youtube. The very low quality can be seen from 0:02 to 0:07, then through the rest of the video you can see the normal quality.

    Here is the link to the video: (don´t worry, it´s a non-ads video)

    This glitch or whatever we call it happens again throughout the whole video (the whole 25 minutes), at random distances, as far as I get it. For instance, the second glitch happens at 0:58 and the third one starts at 4:03.

    The same glitch happen both on DJI Osmo shootages and also on Nikon D3200 shootages, no matter if it´s a composite shot or the clip itself on the Editor timeline.

    The previous project was 37 min long and the same happened to it.

    By the way, I´ve tried to uninstall and reinstall, but the same glitches happened (exactly at the same time on the video).

    I´ve also tried to delete cache and delete proxies, unsuccesfully.

  • PetrusFerraz
    PetrusFerraz Posts: 3 Just Starting Out*


    @fxhomer86861 said right. That is the solution. Apparently the quality is the same as the older versions.

    Thanks a lot! My audience thanks you too hehehe

  • nonstopeurotrip
    nonstopeurotrip Posts: 1 Just Starting Out*
    edited October 6

    I have sent this to tech support, but see 19 to 23 seconds in this video. Never had this problem before with 100+ videos created in Hitfilm Express: (at 19 to 23 seconds)

    This was rendered with the 'clear cache' fix already done. Same outcome before and after.

    Ryzen 2700X, RTX3060Ti, 32gb 3000mhz Ram, Win 10

  • DiME02
    DiME02 Posts: 1 Just Starting Out*

    This is the exactly same thing that is happening to me, I'm behind schedule with a video I have to upload and Hitfilm won't let me use the older version because the project is saved in the newer one.

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,431 Ambassador

    @DiME02 First of all, you should never update your software in the middle of a project - especially if you have a deadline. At the very least, you should make a protection copy before upgrading in case you need to fall back. And best practice is to make incremental copies of your work as you go. Continually writing over the same file is suicide. If you had a previous version of your project you could uninstall 2021.2 and re-install 2021.1 (as you know) . Sorry I don't have better news.

    But let's see what can be done with the current state. What are your project settings and which export template are you using? More information about your footage would also be helpful.

    In the meantime, you should put in a support ticket with FXHome so they can see and understand the issue in hopes of finding a fix -