What's the best way to transfer shots between Final Cut Pro and Hitfilm Pro?

HeySiri Posts: 386 Just Starting Out*

I use Final Cut Pro as my editor and Hitfilm Pro as my compositor. My current workflow is making a rough cut in Final Cut Pro, mostly just to get the shots all lined up. Then I take one shot at a time and export them into new individual video files that get put into Hitfilm, I do my compositing, then use the export from Hitfilm in my Final Cut... well, final cut.

This process works, but results in a lot of extra video files (because I still have all the original media, the individual shots as separate clips, and the composited clip). I also use Apple ProRes while editing so it's taking up a lot of space. Again, my process works, but if there's a more storage-effective or efficient way of doing things, or even just anyone else's thoughts, I'm curious to hear!



  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,188 Power User

    Your current workflow really is your best option. Transferring shots/projects between different programs really remains difficult - and always will, since Program >X< will have different capabilities than program >Y<, and project files are in proprietary formats, there just isn't a better way to do this than to render out the clip form program >X< do work in program >Y<, and render to re-import back into program >X<

    (seems using ">X<" turned the above paragraph into a "quote.")

    (Note HF 2022.1 removed AAF import/export. AAF is an interchange format to transfer project edit lists between NLEs. The removal was not a surprise. I tested that when HF 16 was in beta trying to move EDLs between Vegas Pro, Resolve and Hitfilm. Didn't matter which pair of programs I moved between, the AAF Timeline was always messed up. AAF never works well, and, during this testing phase a new version of Vegas Pro came out that removed AAF import/export! Again, because different programs have different features and functions the best one can hope for when transferring projects between NLEs is cuts-only. Now imagine how AAF can't export a Hitfilm Composite Shot - since that's a "virtual clip" nothing else can understand, and the feature removal makes even more sense. Still, I was tickled to get to beta test the feature though. The test log had me listed as the person who had filed the initial feature request.)

    Anyways, only thing I can think of that may or may not be more time efficient, but would be more drive-space efficient is to load the original clip into Hitfilm and trim there before doing VFX, instead of rendering the trimmed clip from FCPX. I think there's a way in FCPX to display the time code of the source clip so you can easily see what frames you need - so you could trim on the HF Timeline and use the time ruler to find the right bits quickly? It's been... 7 or 8 years since I had to use Final Cut.

  • triforcefx
    triforcefx United StatesPosts: 1,614 Moderator

    How long are your projects and what percentage of them need compositing? How many of the clips are “simple” enough to do the work directly in FCP?

    If the majority of your shots need compositing in HitFilm, then I would personally just do the entire project in HitFilm (even if HitFilm isn’t the best out there for editing)

    If you just need HF for a handful of shots, then your workflow is fine, though you might consider using the raw original clips instead of the trimmed clips out of FCP.

    If there are long VFX sequences, consider a hybrid approach where you cut and build your VFX scenes in HitFilm, then export to FCP for the final cut (+audio, grading, etc)

    Alternatively, you could use Apple Motion for as many VFX shots as possible, only going into HitFilm if you want to do something Motion can’t (or is substantially easier in HF)… there’s a reason so many creators prefer integrated editing and VFX solutions like HitFilm, Premiere/AE, Vegas Post, Resolve+Fusion, etc- it’s just so much easier when everything’s integrated!

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,188 Power User