Hitfilm 3 Express Performance

Guys, for your info: been running some simple tests (not sure how valid but still). I downloaded and installed HF 3 Express and it loads up fine, and all seems to be in working order - good start. Next I wanted to see how some existing Hitfilm 2 Express files worked in the new version. First off yes I guess some of the features didn't work without buying into the packs, but I did find that one of my recent project files did work off the bat. The difference is in editor / comp render performance. If I hit the play in HF3 Express it is very choppy, if I load the same file in HF2 Express it plays smooth. Even down at a simple comp layer it plays better in HF2 than HF3. Something seems to have degraded in the render engine performance, in my very humble observation.

My only other comment is I personally think the HF2 look of the interface is cleaner and more professional looking (I know change is hard), but HF2 just feels clearer and crisper than the new interface, that seems to use a lot of black. Anyway, what should I care it's free right so I'll manage.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    To weigh in here:

    This speed slowdown debate happened when Pro came out. Some users reported improvement, others reported slowdown. Basically, owners of new/sexy/best reported improvement, owners of old/slow/busted slowdown. I am not a dev for Hitfilm or anyone else, but, based on tech info I have gleaned from the forums, I think both are true for several reasons:

    Hitfilm is based around Open GL code, and is optimized for gaming cards. Hitfilm doesn't use anything proprietary about a GPU (no CUDA), and does not make use of dual GPUs. This is done for maximum compatibility with the widest range of machines. This does make Hitfilm slower at certain tasks than other products, but Hitfilm's power/price ratio is better than pretty much anything else... And that's Pro! Poking around Express, it's unbeatable. 

    That said, Hitfilm 2 is faster on my machine than 3 (all versions). My GPU is 4 years old and is not only slower, it's a core-generation old. Depending on which libraries 2 and 3 are based on, it may be my GPU just isn't running things in the newer code it doesn't know.  3's render engine is far more complicated than 2. Amd Express's core engine has to be the same as Pro's to have the add-ons work. Trust me, there's a hell of a lot more going on backstage  now. 

    I also liked the look of 2 better, (but debate "professional" as a meaningless adjective in ui design: ultimately every NLE/Compositor is a bunch of grey boxes. It's just colors, fonts and button placements that vary). Once you get usee to it, you'll see it's functionality identical. 

  • AdyAdy Staff

    Andy001z - Interested to know what was inside your HF2 Project & is there any chance of you uploading the Project for us to test here?

  • Sure, I'll have to think of somewhere to upload it too? I'll have to look into that.

  • @Triem23 Good point on the driver of my GPU, maybe it does need an update. GULP that's generally when things go wrong... time to HIT the backup.

  • @Ady I have uploaded to my webspace. Please click or enter the following URL and hopefully it should allow you to download. I have included all the files from the project and the project file saved in Hitfilm 2 Express format.


  • AdyAdy Staff

    Andy001z - Sorry for the delay in replying, I didn't get notified that you had!  But thanks for the upload, I'll be taking a look at this today. 

  • Have you got the file, can I delete?


  • AdyAdy Staff


    Yes I have the file, you can delete it now, thanks.

  • Thanks, any results your end yet? Did it perform the same as mine? I did have a think about this issue and wondered if it was related to the way HITFILM does local caching (I assume there is something like that?). What if in HF 2 Express it has all my files nicely cached and hence runs smooth, where as the imported HF3 Express version is seeking for the files as new and hence the results are more poor in performance? Long shot I know but an idea none the less.

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