Hitfilm and Vegas Pro

assen Posts: 17 Just Starting Out*

I see that as of the next HitFilm Express update, there will be no more integration with Vegas Pro. That doesn't sound good. With HitFilm Pro, things are worse.

What is the reason for this? Is it a new developer policy? So if I use Vegas Pro and want to continue to take advantage of the integration conveniences, I should forget about versions above 2021.3! If I'm working with Vegas, then the solution is to go to Vegas Post. I don't understand why developers want to lose some users.


  • Andersen01498
    Andersen01498 Posts: 1,185 Enthusiast

    100% what was the reason for that.....That was the closest thing to premiere and AE connection.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,679 Ambassador

    @assen @Andersen01498

    I don't have exact numbers, but, Vegas integration is only useful for the small subset of users who have both Vegas Pro and Hitfilm. I happen to be one of those users and here's some of my personal experience.

    First - Vegas does not read Hitfilm's Pre-renders. Of course when loading a Hitfilm project and/or sending media to Hitfilm from Vegas Vegas has to build the cache files. For something minor - maybe a color correction - this might not take too long, but, at least for the types of complex animations I would do I'd have a lot of time waiting for Vegas to cache. And Vegas was locked during the cache.

    My workflow just became rendering from Hitfilm and actually being able to edit other sections in Vegas in the background at the same time rather than being unable to edit in Vegas while the cache built. I used to run timing tests of integration vs just rendering from Hitfilm and moving the media to Vegas. Rendering from Hitfilm and loading the media was faster every time. There's less value in the integration than one would think.

    Every year changes in both Vegas and Hitfilm require the pipeline to be rebuilt - surely you're both used to the new version of Vegas releasing and waiting for the next Hitfilm update to re-enable integration?

    FXhome also - you may recall - did user surveys over the summer. I think we can assume FXhome discovered the percentage of users using both was really small and determined dev time was better spent on features and improvements that would benefit more users.

    Finally from a business standpoint it helps delineate Hitfilm from Vegas POST. As assen pointed out, Vegas POST is an option, and that also ties users serial codes to the same account through a single vendor (in this case Magix/Vegas handling the licenses) instead of through two sites/vendors. As well as marrying the update cycle, where the entire Vegas POST updates through the same installer rather than staggering different Installers for Vegas, Hitfilm and Imerge.

    I have been told by the devs the Vegas POST integration was faster than the Hitfilm integration. They ARE different pipes - Hitfilm projects read the EDITOR Timeline to Vegas as a media clip while Vegas EFFECTS reads a designated Comp Shot. Besides the product delineation, it still just removes a lot of dev-hours that can be used for other features.

    As far as "losing users," is concerned, yes, a small portion will be annoyed, but, it's not like you can shift to Ae or Resolve and get Vegas integration. You still have Vegas Post as an option, you still have rendering from Hitfilm as an option. This isn't a big deal.

    This also ties into the AE plug ins. Here, the situation is similar. Again, I don't have exact numbers, but I know over 90% of Hitfilm users are on Express and never buy add ons, beyond, maybe, their initial pay what you will. Pro users are under 5% of the user base, and not every Pro user installs AE plug ins.

    Another thing to take into account with both Vegas integration and Ae plug ins is BOTH TEAMS have to code. With Vegas integration you both know you have to install Vegas FIRST, because it's code in the Vegas installer that sets up the pipeline - installing Hitfilm first means you don't even get the option of setting up integration. The Madison team for Vegas has to re-code every year as well - both for the Hitfilm and Vegas POST pipes (remember they're different pipes). Same with the Ae plug ins. Every time there's a major update to those plug ins (to account for changes to Ae) both the Ae coders and the FXhome coders have to re-write. Again, we can assume from FXhome's survey data they've largely determined the resources used to maintain those functions aren't worth the amount of use they get. There are a certain amount of user complaints about "this thing in this AE plug in isn't working right..." Probably most of those require recoding at the plug in end since the plug in was developed for a different core engine. To be very blunt, it's not worth the time for Video Copilot to deal with recoding for 10-to-50 thousand Hitfilm Pro users using the plug in vs the millions of Ae users. It's not worth FXhome time for those thousands of Pro users vs features that improve the software for the other 6 million+ users.

    Feature deprecation isn't uncommon. If you look at the last few versions of Vegas you'll find in Vegas Options and Settings an entire submenu of deprecated features, and, by Vegas 19 some of those features that could be re-enabled in, say, Vegas 16 are completely gone. There's a bunch of stuff that's been removed from Ae over the years. Even other software (I have On1 Photo RAW and, two versions ago they completely removed a pretty sweet procedural Lens Flare effect with a much inferior Lens Flare based on photo textures. It's terrible, and now anything I want to add a flare to has to be exported from Photo Raw to Hitfilm) removes features regularly. Plus, good luck opening in Vegas any project that dates back before version 14... Any pre-14 projects opened in Vegas now break because Vegas 14 changed all the calls for handling FX filters.

    Anyways, FXhome doesn't "want to lose users," but it's more or less a time spent vs value added equation.

    Back to Ae plug ins. Only a few worked in Hitfilm, including Saber (technically redundant since Hitfilm has Lightsword and Neon Path), Element 3D (but Hitfilm loads 3D models), the VCP lens Flare plug in (HF just added a new Custom Lens Flare)... Orb is pretty cool, but adding a parallax effect after a Sphere effect can height map, so Orb doesn't actually do anything you can't recreate in Hitfilm. It's entirely possible FXhome will enhance the existing filters and functions in Hitfilm (the main advantage of Element 3D is its awesome materials browser, but other effects in Hitfilm are starting to add browser panels - Custom Flares for one), which would benefit a higher percentage of users than those using plug ins.

    Anyways, when I first saw those functions were to be removed, I kind of thought, "That's not good," but the more thought I put into it the more I'm convinced it's not a big deal.

  • assen
    assen Posts: 17 Just Starting Out*
    edited December 2021

    @Triem23 Thanks for the in-depth explanation. Now everything is quite clear and explainable to me.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,628 Enthusiast
    edited December 2021

    First, Off topic from the OP's post title but more was given as a response to the OP's query. Second, I'm fully aware of FXHome's position on eliminating the AE plugins support. I don't agree with the decision at all and I do think it is a big deal... but such is life.

    I'm just going to interject on a few statement made about E3D;

    a)Element 3D (but Hitfilm loads 3D models)

    b)the main advantage of Element 3D is its awesome materials browser

    These statements do not give credit were credit is due. Krammer and team developed a fantastic plugin over 10 years ago that is still very relevant in the VFX world today.

    Since Element support will be dropped from Hitfilm Pro this is all mute but I wanted to make sure that others understood more clearly that the plugin is much more than one might think. Element is much, much more than a 3D model importer. Much more. It's also super powerful particle replicator. Actually that was the plugins original birth idea and through development 3D model handling was woven into the system.

    Hitfilm Pro can do some of these things.. but only so so ; quality of renders out of Hitfilm are not at the same level as Element; doing motion animation is far more intuitive and easier to accomplish in Element than I've ever seen or been able to do with Hitfilm.

    I dropped link below that describes E3D in detail below:

    No need to respond. Purely an informational post for educational purpose.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,679 Ambassador

    @GrayMotion you are correct - I oversimplified E3D in my prior post.

    I also feel bad for you, because I know your main Hitfilm work is 3D. You're getting hosed on the next update and would understand if you shifted to Ae.

    But, for this discussion I am looking at "big picture," not individual users, and there's a huge difference. While, from the big picture standpoint, I understand why the decision was made, and think it's the right call, my projected 1% of the user base affected is still 60 thousand people. Stats hide individual stories. 60 thousand unhappy users does suck.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,628 Enthusiast
    edited December 2021


    It's all good Mike. I have three machines so I can always work with an older version of Hitfilm on one of my Macs.

    I wish all the best to the FXHome team and I'll still be a loyal user as long as they don't go on a subscription model. That would probably force me to move on BUT will always have a older copy of HF installed. I am not one to throw years of support to the wind at the drop of a dime just because I'm unhappy about certain things. Hitfilm Pro is still very very powerful👍

  • nalmcruto
    nalmcruto Posts: 61 Just Starting Out*

    From the perspective of the vast majority of users, rather than developers, it can be confusing to see software retrogressive as it gets newer.