HitFilm vs Vegas Pro

ShawnharrisShawnharris Website User Posts: 9
edited February 2015 in Post-production techniques

I'm an absolute novice to video manipulation, I purchased Vegas Pro only a few months ago, and I am yet to understand its full potential, I only purchased Hitfilm  yesterday because it was bundled with a bargain offer from Sony, but what is the difference between the two programs?

I have one other question also.  On the first video tutorial on Hitfilm 'first steps' project one, the part where Axon Wilkinson has edited separately the piece of the wall to break away as the bullet hits it - is this something that Vegas or Hitfilm has the potential to edit, or how was it done, what software was used?  



  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,275 Ambassador

    In brief, Vegas is primarily an editor that has some basic keying and layering features and a selection of effects for color correction and creative tools like blurs and 2d effects. Hitfilm is an advanced effects and compositing program that can create a wide range of complicated animation and effects work impossible in Vegas, as well as basic editing tools. 

    For assembling media clips into full projects Vegas is far faster for assembling timelines, setting up transitions and fades. It's audio tools are the best of any NLE, and it has tools for multicam production Hitfilm doesn't have. 

    For shots where you need to composite elements together, track movement, animate models, and, in general make a VFX extravaganza, it's all about the Hitfilm. 

    But it's not about Hitfilm VS Vegas, it's Hitfilm WITH Vegas. Vegas can rwad the editor timeline of a Hitfilm project as a media clip and send video to Hitfilm for effects work and automatically replace the video with the Hitfilm project. The Hitfillm Plug-Ins bring a lot of Hitfilm's features directly into Vegas (I prefer the Vegas Color Curves, but the Hitfilm Chroma Key is superior). So, you can use both programs together. 

    Editing has a lot of "personal choice" to how you go about working and which programs/features are best/easiest/quickest for you, but I basically use Hitfilm as a shot-creator but do my scene assembly and all my audio in Vegas. As you get more comfortable with both programs you'll figure out your own workflow. 

    Can't answer the second question. Sorry. 

  • ShawnharrisShawnharris Website User Posts: 9

    Thanks for your response, I'm gradually getting an understanding of some of the terms used in this field of art.  Once I understand both programs better I hope to use my video camera outdoors down the coast, some wildlife scenes, perhaps some abstract aspects in town.  I'm actually studying music composition and so I should be able to create my own music to add in as the audio.

    In relation to my second question above, I wonder if Hitfilm has the capability to edit video like that scene shown in project one?

  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast

    FXhome if you are looking at features to include... Triem hits the nail on the head.  Clone the editor of Sony Vegas please:)... just not the bugs.

  • WhiteCranePhotoWhiteCranePhoto Website User Posts: 896 Enthusiast

    They added ProRes support in the latest version of Vegas? If they'd had that when I was starting this edit, I could probably have done the whole thing in Vegas instead of Edius (which I have to admit, is a very nice NLE... makes Premiere look very amateurish).

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,275 Ambassador
    edited February 2015

    Vegas Pro has supported ProRes for four years and three versions, along with DNDNxHD. Windows QT, being 32-bit means DNxHD AVI is still better to use on Windows.



    It's some of the new flavors of 4K, XDCAM and Panasonic AVC-Intra that are the newly supported codecs in 12 and 13. (No longer needing RAYLIGHT for Panny P2 footage was nice for me.)

     MichaelJames I wouldn't say *clone* Vegas as the way Vegas does certain things wouldn't work as well in Hitfilm's strengths (for example the Vegas Pan/Crop window would be counterintuitive alongside a Transform widget), but there's certainly a lot Vegas's editing workflow could teach Hitfilm's (overlapping clips transition. Graphic pulls for opacity/fades come to mind. For Fade/opacity duplicate the data as keyframes in the Transform properties... Any decent audio mixing...) 

  • aarondcaarondc Website User Posts: 264

    It would be pretty darn weird to see HF, who had their software bundled with Vegas, develop their software further  in order to compete with Vegas...

  • ShawnharrisShawnharris Website User Posts: 9

    It seems there are some interesting opinions about the two software's, unfortunately i don't know much about them to draw a comparison or give any opinion, but considering what WhiteCranePhoto and Triem23 mention about add-ons and stuff, can I assume it is possible in HF to edit a piece of video footage to the extent of the scene in the project one tutorial 'Getting started', where  the presenter creates a shatter in the wall where the bullet hits, or would I need to purchase a different software to have this capability?  The only reason I ask is because the presenter mentions during the tutorial that he edited that scene in a different way?

  • RobinRobin Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 1,671 Enthusiast
    edited February 2015

    @Shawnharris I'm not quite sure what part of the video you're talking about, skimming the video I didn't find anything that Axel did outside HitFilm. I think you might refer to the camera tracking which Axel has already done at about the 2:47 mark, which is not covered in the tutorial - it is also a functionality of HitFilm, but was just skipped in the tutorials because there are other tutorials that cover this very well.

    In general, everything you see in the video can completely be done with HitFilm.

  • AxelWilkinsonAxelWilkinson Staff Administrator, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 5,242 Staff

    @ShawnHarris - I believe you are talking about the bit at 5:20, where I mention that  used an image editor to create the PNG image for the damage? I did indeed use an image editor, as the tutorial says. I used the Export Frame option in HitFilm to create a still image of a single frame, then opened that frame in Photoshop to paint in some damage. Of course you don't need Photoshop, you can use GIMP or Paint Shop Pro or whatever image editor you prefer.

  • WhiteCranePhotoWhiteCranePhoto Website User Posts: 896 Enthusiast


    One of my friends has been editing in Vegas, and couldn't get ProRes to work in it... I tried an eval version of 12 before trying Edius, and it refused to import the UHD ProRes HQ clip I was experimenting with, so I gave up. While I'm not a fan of ProRes because of its apple heritage, my Pocket cinema cameras don't give me a choice, and not realizing how much trouble it would be to work with ProRes in Windows in anything but Resolve (which could be a solid editor, if it had decent audio support and reasonable playback performance), I would have switched sooner.

    Hopefully, Atomos will get DNxHR support on the Shogun soon... sigh.

    In the mean time, how do you import a HitFilm timeline into Vegas? Or would I have to rebuild the composite that I made in HitFilm in Vegas using the plugins? 

  • EricZodiacEricZodiac Website User Posts: 10

    Since I upgraded to HF 3 I have lost the ability to send my vegas clips directly from Vegas into HF 3.. this is a problem.. why was it removed? or how do you do it now? its not in the right click menu as it used to be

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,275 Ambassador

    White Crane perhaps Vegas only supports HD ProRes and not 4K UHD ProRes? 

    You should be  able to import a Hitfilm project into Vegas by dropping on a timeline like any other media. Remember, Vegas only tries to read the Hitfilm Editor Timeline, not any Composite Shots. 

    Eric Zodiac nothing should have changed in Vegas integration with Vegas 13 and HFP3. I do know you should install Vegas before Hitfilm. Maybe try uninstalling and reinstalling both programs? That's worked for others. 

  • chibichibi Website User Posts: 257 Just Starting Out

    aarondc if they don't try to develop further or try to improve the editor, they will have to compete with the free combo of fusion and davinci.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    @WhiteCranePhoto How are you getting UHD out of a Pocket Cinema Camera?  I'm pretty sure the only Blackmagic cameras that give you UHD or 4k are the Production, Studio and URSA.  

    Anyway Vegas uses Quicktime components to open Quicktime files so sometimes even if you already have Quicktime installed you might also need the ProRes Decoder for Windows to get everything to work right. 


    Except for that I've never had any problems with ProRes files in Vegas. Now CinemaDNG is a little different story....................

  • WhiteCranePhotoWhiteCranePhoto Website User Posts: 896 Enthusiast
    edited February 2015

    If you shoot in raw with sharp enough lenses and good technique, you can render UHD... and since on that shoot we used the Pocket for close ups with relatively shallow depth of field, it works nicely alongside the 2.5 K footage from the BMCC rendered in UHD. It's a common trick... I figured I'd give it a try to see how it looked, and I was pleasantly surprised. :)

    Anyway, I tried Vegas 13 a couple of days ago, and it opened the ProRes files just fine. Maybe just due to being  a newer version?

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    WhiteCranePhoto Ahhhhh I get it now! Thanks for the info......it just makes me kick myself that much more for not having picked up a BMPCC when they were half price a while back. 

    If had to guess I'd say there was a configuration issue between Quicktime and Vegas that the Vegas installer didn't catch or fix but the Edius installer did fixing the issue system wide. I had a similar problem and the ProRes decoder I linked to earlier fixed it for me.

  • WhiteCranePhotoWhiteCranePhoto Website User Posts: 896 Enthusiast

    No idea... it was one of those things that I tried on a lark, and it worked, so... there you go. :)

    Vegas doesn't want to import the HitFilm projects, though. I can access the ChromaKey filter from HitFilm in Vegas, but I haven't gotten it to import the timeline from the edit I made with the composite clip in it. Is that because the only thing in the timeline is the composite? If I could get the uncompressed AVI to open in Edius I can render it to HQX there... a clumsy but usable workaround, admittedly, but it would in the long run save time since I could do the rest of the composites in HitFilm which requires a lot less twiddling than BorisFX to pull a clean key.

    One thing that I'm finding is rather nice though, is that BorisFX launches its plugin into its own environment, which though not as user friendly as HitFilm's (slower, also), has the advantage of making it very easy to grab all sorts of BorisFX filters to apply to the clip, rather than doing it all via plugins in the host app. Advantage? You can use the BorisFX tools to make the entire composite

    Hm...maybe that should be a wishlist item for HitFilm :)

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    Somebody with more experience with the Vegas/Hitfilm workflow than I have will have to answer that question. I think you may be right about it being only a composite but that's not an issue I've come across yet.

    Now I might have some suggestions for how to get the uncompressed avi to open in Edius. Unfortunately I'm not on system capable of running Hitfilm or Edius at the moment so bear with me. The first question I have is does a Hitfilm produced AVI open in VirtualDub? If it doesn't, VirtualDub may give some clues as to what the problem is and if it does then VirtualDub can still help pinpoint why other programs aren't opening the file and/or transcode it to Edius HQX (still clunky but hey whatever works). Depending on the results I might have a suggestion or two.


  • EricZodiacEricZodiac Website User Posts: 10

    @Triem23 I have tried that a couple of times and it still does not give me the option.. Very frustrated as it feels most of the functionality is totally lost to me now

  • emma24xiaemma24xia Website User Posts: 85

    Thank you for you guys detailed analysis and I have made up my mind to stick with HF3. much appreciated.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,275 Ambassador

    @WhiteCranePhoto @Aladdin4D Vegas tries to look at a Hitfilm project's EDITOR TIMELINE to read it as media. Composite shots aren't read. If you have a Hitfilm Project that's a single composite shot, you need to put the composite shot on the Editor Timeline before Vegas can read it.

    Interestingly enough, i also have Boris FX on my machine, but, since getting Hitfilm, I pretty much never ever EVER touch it. Boris FX is capable of high quality output, but at this point I only keep it around for the few Final FX plug-ins in that program that aren't in BCC.

    Boris FX's interface and workflow, fo me, are just terrible, slow, clunky, counterintuitve... As I said in another thread last night, first thing I did in Hitfilm was a 2.5D Nebula with some particle clouds and dust to fill it out. In Sony Vegas (which lacks particle sims, so those elements were faked with cloud and noise planes in 3D space) it took me 25 minutes to do this (14 years experience in Vegas at that point). In Hitfilm, it took about 40 minutes. With no experience and having never opened the software before. In Boris FX it took nearly two hours. (And I had three years of Boris FX experience under my belt.) In After Effects (7 years experience) it took me about an hour.

    So doing it faster in Hitfilm than almost any other package, with zer experience in Hitfilm--well, you can see why it became my primary compositor.

  • ShawnharrisShawnharris Website User Posts: 9

    Thanks for the excellent feedback, I'm looking forward to exploring this new art.   I'm sure i will need your knowledge again sometime, chat  then!!

  • WhiteCranePhotoWhiteCranePhoto Website User Posts: 896 Enthusiast

    Triem23  - I put the composite shot in the timeline and tried to import that into Vegas... no dice.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,275 Ambassador
  • WhiteCranePhotoWhiteCranePhoto Website User Posts: 896 Enthusiast

    The composites have been very easy to pull off in HitFilm and they look great... but I can't export the footage in anything but h.264, so I'm stuck going back to the crappy Boris FX compositing tools. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,275 Ambassador

    Have you tried PNG sequences? Those will render faster than the AVI and should go into Eidus. 

  • rgbiirgbii Website User Posts: 965 Just Starting Out

    When you put the composite in the timeline, did you set the In/Out points to match the beginning and end of it?  That is the area I think Vegas see's when you use a HF project as media.

  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    edited February 2015

    Since FXhome has a photo editor/image editor... any thoughts on adding that to hitfilm? 

  • AxelWilkinsonAxelWilkinson Staff Administrator, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 5,242 Staff

    @MichaelJames you mean PhotoKey?  The keying tools from PhotoKey have already been adapted for video and included in HitFilm.  Its not really an image editor as such, its designed for one specific purpose, and everything it offers can already be done in HitFilm.

  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast

    As it happens, PhotoKey originally emerged as a photo version of the tech we'd made for our first compositing software. Subsequently, some of the more advanced chroma key stuff developed for PhotoKey has now ended up back in HitFilm. :)

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