Hitfilm Pro 2017, Upgrade or not?

edited February 2017 in Filmmaking

So I have about 24 hours to decide. I don't have a income and very limited funds.

Should I upgrade from HF Pro 4 to Pro 5 or use the $189 towards the Mavic Drone? I already have $400 in Best Buy gift cards.

I guess I am looking to see what the upgrades are from 4 to 5.

Also, what are the benefits of the ram increase in 5? Does it only benefit the ram preview length? I currently have a 64gb system.



  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Well, any system will try to take advantage of RAM, but the biggest concrete benefit is RAM preview. You could go from 4GB to 16 or 32GB and have a lot left over for editing.

    In this thread I pretty much list all the differences between 4 Express and Pro 2017, but I think I flagged everything new.

    In some ways in depends what you're doing. If you do a lot of 3D model/particle work the new Depth Matte features give you the auto occlusion of 3D unrolled but the ability to add effects directly to layers still--that's a game changer that makes a workaround technique I've used since Hitfilm 3 obsolete.

    If you ever have to prepare footage for actual TV broadcast, Scopes are a must--and since Hitfilm renders mp4 to 16-35 levels and YouTube expects everything in 16-35 then expands to 0-255, Scopes makes it easy to tune final output for optimal YouTube playback.

    If you do a lot of mograph and text work, Neon Path is one of your new best friends.

    If you work with a lot of different audio tracks, the new audio mixer is a blessing.

    If you record audio external to your camera the new audio synch tools are a massive timesaver.

    If you get into comps with dozens of layers or effects the new filters in Controls and the Layers panels make it a lot faster to find things--I got a Hitfilm Pro 2017 beta during editing of my Ghostbusters Go! short, and just this one new feature made it SO MUCH EASIER to tune all of my multi-segment proton streams.

    If you have two monitors you'll love dual monitor support.

    There are a ton of other tweaks like panel trees staying where you last left them when switching composite shots, new fractal noise types, sphere effect now reacts to scene lighting, etc...

    There's a new preset management system--each effect can now store presets in a drop down. These can be exported and shared. Additionally most effects now ship with several presets built in.

    The new Export Queue lets you set up several composite shots or segments of editor timeline to batch--and now you can save render presets to drag and drop!

    I probably shouldn't type this paragraph, but HFP2017 is going to upgrade the export queue where you'll be able to select layers of composite shots and automatically render each layer to its own file.

    I can't answer the question for you, I can just point out the new features and benefits. For heavy 3D model and particle work I'd say definitely upgrade. For editing films and skits I'd say probably upgrade. For vlogging I'd say maybe upgrade.

  • Scopes, render queue, and native Cineform support make it worth it in my opinion. Cineform performance is outstanding. The render queue makes it easy to schedule renders or transcodes. Other things I know you would use are audio syncing and the audio mixer. Finally HitFilm audio is getting some love. Smart search works everywhere and trees stay expanded!! Together they make things a lot faster.

  • Whatever you decide, do more research on the Mavic Pro.

    The P4P (don't even consider the P4P+, as the screen is tiny, the OS is buggy, even when only running DJI's apps, and it won't allow loading of external apps at all) produces much better quality images and video. Although the Mavic has the portability advantage and less instant "is that a camera drone?" questions. The remote's a mess, you can only use it with a smallish phone unless you get a 3D printed adapter to allow you to put a small tablet on it.

    As usual, DJI are using their customers as unpaid Beta testers, so I'd leave both until the Summer, when some of the bugs are ironed out and there is better compatibility with other apps, such as Litchi.

  • Just curious how many of you have upgraded to 2017 Pro from a previous version, and if you find the new features worth the upgrade. I'm still running 4 Pro and am on the fence.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited February 2017

     @Bluecatz I merged your thread with this one, because it's basically the same discussion this thread had a couple of days ago. I do that sometimes--keeps the forum tidy, keeps people from repeating themselves. :-)

    I've upgraded to 2017, of course.

    In my posts in this thread, above, I give my two cents on the varied new features, and how they are used, and if one should upgrade, as well as a link to another thread that's more or less the list of what's new in HFP 2017, and comparing it to Express.

  • Just curious how many of you have upgraded to 2017 Pro from a previous version, and if you find the new features worth the upgrade. I'm still running 4 Pro and am on the fence.

    I upgraded from 3 Pro to 2017, and I found it worth the upgrade... then again, from 3 to 4 was a huge bump in features.  IMHO, 4 to 2017, not quite as much.

  •  @SteveKarstensen As always, that depends on what one considers new features. Now, above I did my version of "if you do this, upgrade, if you do this, maybe not so much," But while HFP2017 doesn't have as many "sexy" new features as the HF2 to 3 or HF 3 to 4 upgrades, it's got a lot more, and probably more important features that people are giving HFP 2017 credit for.

    A lot of that new 8k support, RAM preview stuff, more efficient caching, etc involves major overhauls to the core engine. A lot of setup work got done that will make it easier to add in "sexy" upgrades later. I'm not 100% certain about this, but--as the Hitfilm Ignite page specifically mentions great than 4K resolution to those effects--adding 8k support tp Hitfilm means there's a very good chance that almost every single existing effect already in the program got tweaked. There's all kinds of silly things I'm finding changed by accident--Two examples: Users have asked more more types of fractal noise, and for the Sphere effect to react to lights. In Hitfilm 2017, we got both. There's a whole bunch of little things like that.

    Hell, the sphere effect reacting to scene lights? That right there is going to make a huge difference for space scenes! Since 3D models don't support animated textures, I mean....

    Anyway, I see where you're coming from--HFP 2017 didn't have a standout super-killer new feature like HFP3 (3D models in particle sim) or HFP4 (Manual Beziers and Auto-align layers), but the more I dig into 2017, the more I realize that it's not marketing talk when Josh called their biggest update yet. :-)

     Should one upgrade? I stick with this:

    For heavy 3D model and particle work or mograph I'd say definitely upgrade. For editing films and skits I'd say probably upgrade. For vlogging I'd say maybe upgrade.

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited February 2017

    Scopes, 2nd Monitor Preview, Audio tools, CineForm codec support, support for 8K, Extended RAM preview, Boris 3D Titles, improved 3D render, etc

    Yeah, I'd say upgrade.

    (did I say scopes?)

  •  @Stargazer54 you forgot scopes!

  • edited February 2017

    @Triem23 there's also the fact that the bulk of those features are completely useless to me, with the possible exception of the RAM preview enhancements.  I'll probably have use for the 3D modeling enhancements added to 4 sometime in the future, and I'm always up for new effects (hello, displacement!), but 8K?  Scopes?  Not even remotely on my radar.

    For me, the mindset was "I can finally get all the stuff I liked in 4, plus whatever bonus stuff 2017 offers, for about the same price as upgrading to 4 would have cost".  If there hadn't been a sale, I'd have passed.

    So far, my favorite enhancement has been the improved performance in the Trimmer.  Shows you where I'm coming from, really.  I'm definitely not Hitfilm's apparent target market, but even I found it worth upgrading.

  • @SteveKarstensen Oh, I see where you're coming from. You're doing mostly machinima as far as I know, so most of these new features don't do much for you, although I'd think you'd appreciate the audio mixing panel, since that will make it easier to do rough cut audio. :-) I have given my personal breakdown twice in this thread, and didn't say to any group YOU MUST UPGRADE, but ranged from "Probably upgrade" to "probably not upgrade." :-)

    On the other hand, I'm one of the guys who's been asking for Scopes since version 2--then I got them. Too bad the TV stations and I parted ways last year. Scopes would have made my work a lot easier in 2013-2016, though...

    Export Queue is actually very useful. More than most have realized yet.

    To be pedantic, Displacement goes back to at least HF2U. Maybe you'd overlooked it? There's a lot of filters in Hitfilm!

    BUT, core engine refinements needed to be done to open the door for sexy new features. That's been done. And I think some sexy new refinements are in the pipeline for HFP 2017, and I know some new utility features are coming in.

    Upgrade was totally worth it for me. For a lot of people there's no need to move off Express for any reason. :-)

  • It's all worth it when you can do a lot more, easier and faster.

    I personally like the 8K texture support, PBR Materials if you know what you're doing, Increased Ram Preview,Scopes, Render Queue, Export options, Tool panels remember to stay open till you collapse them, Haven't had that much time to use the Particle Simulator till yesterday but, everything about the PS  is Awesome especially for 3D model work. Dual Monitor support, and a bunch of other stuff.

    HFP 2017 makes it way, way easier and faster to set things up in your Comp, yeah it depends on what those things are but, it's still very easy and convenient to do something cool with a lot fewer clicks than in HF4.

    I have for example, a Comp in HFP 2017

    3D Model with 09 x 8K Textures

    3D Model with 09 x 4K Textures

    3D Model with 09 x 2K Textures

    3D Model with 09 x 1K Textures, Spawned 1600 sprites with Particle Simulator.

    Way faster setting this up in HFP 2017.

  • @Triem23  the thing that really got me to upgrade from hitfilm pro to 2017, the 3d compatability with different formats.  And of course, the scopes.  The scopes allowed me to accurately color correct my scenes without just "eye balling" it.  Now Hitfilm just needs is the ability to lock your layers.  

  • And to solo layers.

  • @Palacono  you kinda can solo by hiding the layers, but I do agree .

  •  I ended up not updating during the sale as I can't really justify the price expenditure right now. As the sale is over, I'm far less tempted. Perhaps I'll jump to 2018 when it's released in the fall.

  • edited February 2017

    Something worth considering for the students out there.

    The HitFilm upgrade is $189, there will be another in 12 months. Thus, 189/12 =15.75 per month. Adobe Suite is $15 per month for students.

    Not trying to undermine, but my goal is to help others make decisions based on my experience. Do what you will with this information.

  • edited February 2017

    @Andersen01498 wouldn't even take much effort.

    Right Click on the eyeball would solo a layer instead of Left Click hiding it. About 10 minutes work, including a coffee break in the middle. ;)

    But having recently discovered  the coders apparently fix bugs by browsing through the code and hoping the bugs will wave at them: explains why any progress is so glacial.

  • I'd think you'd appreciate the audio mixing panel, since that will make it easier to do rough cut audio. :-)

    I do, although I haven't had to use it yet.  It will definitely come in handy for my next project when my audio tracks aren't so haphazardly thrown all over the place.

    To be pedantic, Displacement goes back to at least HF2U. Maybe you'd overlooked it?

    Maybe I meant Distortion?  The new heat/water/energy effects.

  •  Do any of you use the Adobe applications as well, or just HitFilm?


  • edited February 2017

    @Palacono  I do agree with the slow needed updates... do they  ever look at the forums to hear people's complaints about the bugs.   Here is another example with the glacier slow speed, I was asking about the workflow of mocha... there  response" Copy to clipboard has been in the list of things we want to add for a long time, we have just been busy with other things."  

  • edited February 2017

    do they  ever look at the forums to hear people's complaints about the bugs.

    Absolutely.  I personally reported a bug to the team here on the forums and it was logged and fixed in the next update.  Some things are quicker/easier to do than others, but they do listen.  If there's a feature that "everyone" wants but still hasn't made it into the software, they're not just sitting on it to spite you.

  • @Anderson01498 Copy to clipboard has never worked well for anything except AE and right now even that's buggy with the Mocha 5 plugin. Granted the workaround is easy but it's still buggy.



  • @Aladdin4d  is there an easier way then going into the blue plane where the tracking data is and copying it to our main source?

  • edited February 2017

    But having recently discovered  the coders apparently fix bugs by browsing through the code and hoping the bugs will wave at them: explains why any progress is so glacial. - @Palacono

    Beg your pardon? What makes you say that? To be honest I find this comment borderline insulting. Just because we don't fix every bug or implement every feature that you report doesn't mean that we don't fix anything. Having a look at the changelog for HFP 2017 Update 2, there are a lot of fixes that got reported here on the forums.

    Regarding soloing layers, you can workaround it by selecting all layers and click the eye to make them all disappear then select just the layer you want and press the eye again. Only this layer will be visible, done. Now I'm not saying that a soloing functionality wouldn't be useful, it would, but it's just not our priority at the moment because it's not that hard to workaround.

    Even when it is a priority, things are often not as easy as they seem. There are exceptions of course but in general when working on a medium/large scale software which lifetime is spanning years and has been developed by more than 1 developer, some things that would be trivial to do in a small app end up being a lot more work in the bigger applications.

    To take the soloing layers example, a few questions that come to mind would be "what should it do when reverting (unsoloing) the option? Should it leave layers that were hidden before hidden or should they be shown? What should happen when you save, close HF, reopen the project and unsolo? Would a right click be discoverable enough to new users or would a separate button be better? If a new button is chosen, we need an icon". This is only the first thoughts stage, without even looking at the code. The answers are maybe simple but the questions need answering before working on it. Once finished the feature, the developer needs to make sure that the new feature is ported to every branch (HitFilm 5, 6, etc) and once all this has been done, the testing can start.

    Again, I am not saying that it is impossible or even hard, I'm just saying that this is how we work and things are sometimes not as easy as they seem. If you have insight on a much better workflow with examples to back it up then I would genuinely be interested.

    I am truly sorry that some of you feel that we do not listen but we do our best with the resources that we have.

    We want people to feel like they can talk to us and that we listen. Now we won't be able to implement everything (look at the size of the wishlist!) but we are doing our best to concentrate our efforts on things that we feel have the most impact, are helpful to the most people. We can get it wrong sometimes though, and that's where you guys come in and steer us back in the right direction. As long as it stays friendly and constructive, we welcome criticism. If anything, it shows that you guys care about the software and want it to be the best possible :)

  • " Copy to clipboard has been in the list of things we want to add for a long time, we have just been busy with other things."  

    Then there's also the fact that Hitfilm devs get blamed for issues or wishlist features in non FxHome code.

    Mocha ONLY attempts to offer copy to clipboard functionality for Ae, not Avid, not FCPX, not Resolve, not Vegas, not Hitfilm, not anything else on the planet, and, as Aladdin noted, it doesn't work that well since he posted Imagineer posting a workaround video for Imagineer's own feature in Imagineer's own program.

  • @CedricBonnier @Triem23 @Aladdin4d @SteveKarstensen

    I just first want to apologize for my rudeness on this forum.  It will  never happen again.  Second thank you for clearing  things up.  I totally now understand how behind the scenes of this amazing,spectacular software works.   Finally, thank again.

  • <soapbox>

    I used to hang out on the Lightwave forums for a while, and granted that was a much larger group of users.  All with their own issues or axes to grind about the software.   But it was very rare for the developers to become involved in the conversation.

    Folks, this forum is very unique and special.  Not only to do the devs jump in and answer questions from basic to complex.  They often engage with the rest of us in trivial discussions about movies and effects.   Even the head of the company jumps in from time to time.  The key word here is "engaged".

    If they didn't care, they wouldn't hang around.  Don't take what you have here for granted. 


  • @Andersen01498

    It's all good, man. We're a passionate user group, and we all love the software and want it to continue to improve. Sometimes we get impatient. We just have to remember that the Hitfilm team is ALSO passionate about the software, but don't have the manpower to do things as quickly as we and they would like.

    There was a recent writeup of FxHome in one of the papers more local to Norwich where it happened to mention that FxHome is an 18-person operation. Once you back out people for admin, accounting, marketing and web, then account for the fact that FxHome has two current product lines (and a third in development), then we can guess that there aren't more than maybe 5 people who's primary job is Hitfilm development. Compared to the long-ass list of names credited with development on just After Effects, and we see that the Hitfilm devs really bust ass for us.

    Rudeness happens--I've been a jerk on occasion (Palacono and I, and Norman and I had a couple of epic fights long ago) as well. However, being willing to apologize when one is wrong is a good sign of maturity. :-)

    Still friends. :-)

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