Feedback: Hitfilm Express 2017

So I've been using 2017 for a while now, and I have some feedback for the developers.

- The new exporting is pretty annoying and pointless to me. First, it gives you the illusion that you can work on multiple things in parallel, but it really doesn't. My workflow usually is:

1. Open Project
2. Edit some stuff
3. Export it

What would be really worthwhile is the ability to go back and open another instance of Hitfilm, keep working while the previous instance is exporting. Right now, I have to wait on exports to finish before I can start working on my next project.

- Exporting presets should have the option to not have a default. I always bite myself constantly by exporting my timeline, but forgetting to switch away from my default preset. I liked how it was before, where I was prompted for details of how to export my timeline before clicking export. Seeing everything in my face (resolution, FPS, etc) always reminded me to make sure to change that stuff before I export. For example, I have a 720p set to my default preset. But occasionally I'll export something in 480p (because the source is also that resolution). But I keep forgetting to change my preset.

- I find it unintuitive to click buttons in my timeline to move it to be exported. When I'm done working on my timeline, like the old way, I prefer to click the Export tab and have it automatically assume I'm exporting the entire timeline.

I like that parallel exports can be done, but ultimately I liked the interface and behavior of the old export UI. I think too much changed, and there's no real benefit to the user workflow changes. Really when it comes down to it, you guys took existing, working functionality and just shifted buttons around and made it less productive and more confusing for me, especially after I had already gotten comfortable with the old way of doing things, which worked perfectly fine for me.

Really my only complaint is the export process. I'm not an advanced user, so the other stuff stayed mostly the same for me. I still enjoy 2017 but I hope the developers will take my feedback to heart and do a better UI design for the export flow.


  • A few comments and observations. 

    First, it's probably helpful to go ahead and copy/paste your requests to the Hitfilm Wishlist Thread. 

    That thread is regularly reviewed, where this individual thread is much more likely to be buried and lost in the influx.

    Next, it is currently not possible to open multiple Hitfilm instances. Now, Hitfilm's 1 and 2 could, but not 3 and later. What changed in Hitfilm 3? Proxies. Hitfilm's "proxies" are (IMHO) misnamed since they aren't low-res scratch files, but "prerenders," of full resolution, master quality (lossless) files with massive throughput. I'm not certain if it's a cache limitation or performance hit from trying to manage proxies to two instances, but I doubt the devs will try for this anytime soon. 

    That said, from experience with Hitfilm 2 and other software like Vegas or Avid, having instance A rendering and B editing isn't actually wonderful. The performance hit in real life is closer to a 75% drop than 50%. Usually you're better off letting one instance just... Finish... 

    Now, we'll have to agree to disagree on the Export dialog. I truly like the preset list because in my work I often need to set up batch renders of multiple shots/sequences or set up the same sequence to be rendered in multiple formats (as a recent example, the "Sports Defense" demo for the "Defenders-style" titles tutorial was rendered in a 15-second 16:9 for potential Facebook, a 15-second 1:1 for Instagram, a 25-second version for the tutorial intro, and the "full" 55-second version used on the Hitfilm University channel. Before Hitfilm 2017 it was impossible to set up batches, so I would have needed to keep checking on one render to start the second,third, fourth, then manually change to the new settings, for Instagram. Oh, I also needed to render out the tutorial-build. And the Export Queue ALSO lets me set up composite shot and editor timelines from multiple projects, which is nice. Additionally, I can even send individual clips to the Export Queue via right-click menu. Ultimately, the Export Queue in 2017 is more flexible, powerful, and convenient. I very much prefer having my custom settings as a drag and drop instead of needing to manually change settings. 

    Now, I think there's room for improvement. I think the buttons should be larger, and in the same toolbar as Keyframe controls and I'd like to be able to to hide presets I don't use to shorten that list. 

  • Thanks. Even if they keep export the same as it is, the minimum I'd ask for is the ability to have NO default preset, which should force me to pick one manually so I don't forget to change it when I need to.

  • I have to agree with Voidpointer on this. Being able to run 2 instances side by side was but a real help, as would being able to copy a sequence from one and paste it into another. 

    I have been working on a beginning and an ending and wanted to put the two together but found exporting an unnecessary pain. It prolongs the process. 

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