Pros / This program is first-rate at creating special effects and eye-popping visuals.
Cons / It’s targeted toward effects-heavy projects.
Verdict / If you’re an editor who also has a passion for creating high-quality effects and amazing-looking videos, this program is for you.
HitFilm Pro is professional video editing software that marries traditional non-linear editing tools with a high-level video effects compositor. It's a great choice for filmmakers, professional video editors and other visual content producers who want to create those eye-popping graphics seen in Hollywood movies without switching between editing and compositing programs.
At its core, HitFilm is all about graphics. And it excels at creating spectacular 3D models, particle effects and other sophisticated visual goodies that can elevate your video project, movie, TV show or whatever you happen to be working on to a truly amazing level. The compositor, particle simulator, animating engine, color grading kit, chroma key and all rest of the visual tools found in this application are first class. They are as good as or better than their equivalent features in other applications that cost thousands of dollars.
The thing to understand about this application is that if you’re not a trained visual effects designer, then you should pick another professional video editing application. This program is extremely complex and unless you have a background in creating effects or compositing, there really is no point in having this much power in an application that you’re not trained to use.
This program features the familiar timeline workflow that allows you to easily make basic edits like J and L cuts. But it also has more advanced features like a dedicated trimmer, color grading, advanced keyframing, 3D titling and more.
HitFilm comes with thousands of video effects and presets you can use to create effects like lightsabers, muzzle flashes, explosions, energy distortions and particle emitters. And that's just to start; it will take you a while to explore all the effects HitFilm offers.
HitFilm also comes with a full array of audio editing tools. Most important is the audio mixer, which enables you to fine-tune the sound of your video projects. You won't have to switch to another audio editing program like Adobe Audition to get your audio sounding exactly the way you want it to.
One other feature it has is the ability to auto sync audio captured from different sources. For example, if you've captured video on a DSLR and audio on a separate audio recorder, you can load both elements into HitFilm, select the Auto-Sync option, and it will line them up perfectly. This is a great feature that not only saves time but also improves the accuracy of your audio syncing.
This professional video editing software has a learning curve, but that's to be expected with a program that does as much as this one can. Fortunately, HitFilm's YouTube channel has dozens of how-to tutorials that walk you through many of the program's features and tools. Plus, there are dozens of other videos that delve into more advanced tricks and tips so you can get the most out of this professional video editing software.
This program is available for both Windows and Mac, so it’s a good pick for collaborative efforts with editors using different platforms. As such, it a good pick over single-platform programs like EDIUS Pro and VEGAS Pro.
For the budget-conscience, HitFilm offers a free version of the software called HitFilm Express. Naturally, it’s watered down features-wise, but it’s a great place to learn and save a few bucks if your project doesn’t call for professional-level treatments.
If high-power video effects and graphics are what you're looking for, HitFilm Pro has everything you need. It's a non-linear editor and visual effects creator rolled into one application. It eliminates the need to switch between multiple programs to edit video, audio and graphics. It's a great choice for visual effects heavy projects.