Hitfilm3 Express "could not play frame"; seems unusably slow,

I WANT to like HitFilm3, I really really do. Obviously it works or there wouldn't be a body of work associated with it, so maybe it's something I'm missing or doing wrong.

Windows 7 Pro 64bit; Intel i7 2.8GHz; 12GB memory; Radeon R9 Series 200 video card with 4GB memory.

I've got two issues. First: when trying to play heavily compressed video in the trimmer, I get the message "Could not play frame" or "Could not start playback." If I click off the clip in the media tab then back on it, the frame the head is on shows up. Still won't play though. (Dragged into the timeline, the clip will play after a long delay building the frame previews - I guess.)

The clip is about 32 minutes long, 1920x1080, 29.97fps, MP4, heavily compressed.

Second: HF3E seems unusably slow. I started with MTS files just off the camera, and anytime I would move the playback head on the timeline, click on a different clip, do something in the trimmer, HF3E would freeze for a good five minutes before whatever it was I'd done would register. 

I tried creating proxy files - all I'm doing is editing, no effects or anything - but the process never stopped, not even after waiting overnight. 

I then created low-res proxies using another program, and plugged those into the project (figuring I'd replace them with hi-res at render time), which resulted in the errors described in the first half of this post. 

I want HF3 to work. Please help!

Bill in Kansas City, Missouri, USA


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

    @MapsEdgeInKC First a couple of informative links:

    Save Yourself Frustration: Use “Editing” Formats When Editing

    Why you should use Avid DNxHD and Apple ProRes

    Next another link to a forum post that lists the common intermediate codecs with links on where to get them and links to some tools that will help you transcode to an intermediate codec.

    The Intermediate Codec Thread

    Basically it's just never a good idea to edit with MP4 based files and the more compressed the file is the worse your problems will be. The MTS files from your camera are probably AVCHD which is just another flavor of MP4 so the same rule applies and you should be aware that HitFilm does not like interlaced footage. If your footage is interlaced there is a deinterlace effect but if you're going to be transcoding anyway you probably want to deinterlace then and be done with it.

  • MapsEdgeInKCMapsEdgeInKC Website User Posts: 11
    edited August 2015

    @Aladdin4d It's a great day when I learn something new! Call me a dedicated amateur; this is a piece of information that I never knew about. You were spot on with the AVCHD, all my smaller cameras use it. I still have a tape-based JVC that I use for ECUs because of its weight, and the capture software there outputs M2V.

    I'll start experimenting and see what I can come up with. Thank you!

  • HitFilmer84784HitFilmer84784 Website User Posts: 1

    I'm having the same "Could not start playback" issue in HF3 Express but with a WAV file and only that one out of several WAV files loaded into my project.

  • RallasterRallaster Website User Posts: 2

    I have no idea what happened, before HF3E was letting me edit my .mov files fine, now even files I have worked on before get the message "Could not start playback"

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