Media import hangs

First time user of Hitfilm (Express) here. I'm on a MBP running 10.11.6. I've got a screen recording made using the Quicktime Player X app. When I import it into Hitfilm, I get a spinning dots icon over the thumbnail, which never seems to stop. If I right-click on it, the App hangs with a beach ball.


  • What is your CPU, GPU, OS, RAM and Storage? Are you running Antivirus? Are your GPU drivers up to date?

    What is the source media--DSLR, Phone/Tablet footage, Screen Capture, Video Camera? For this I'd recommend downloading Mediainfo (free), loading one of your source videos into it, then copy/pasting a "Tree" view here.

    I'll just leave a video link here for now. There's a roughly 90% chance we'll be referring you back to it once we get the answers to the questions.

  • You forgot the video link, Mike. My hunch is that it's this one:

  • @jsbarrett it is indeed. 

  • edited November 2017

    Thanks for the quick response Triem. No Anti-virus. CUDA is latest: 8.0.90. CPU is 2.6 Ghz Core i7, GPU is Nvidia GT 650M 1GB, OS I already gave but again it's 10.11.6, RAM is 16GB and Storage is a 256GB internal SSD.

    I did also mention that it was a screen recording, not sure why you're asking if it's phone footage.

    Here is the mediaInfo you asked for:



  • Steve your question is so common that the first two paragraphs of my above post are literally tapping my phone's autopredict button after the third word.

    Long story short your footage is both highly compressed into a format unsuitable for editing, and variable frame rate. The video above discusses the details of how video encoding works, the differences between "delivery" and "editing" codecs and why variable frame rate footage is something Hitfilm doesn't like (or any other NLE) and should be transcoded before import to Hitfilm. In fact, if you were to import that video into any other NLE, not only would it be laggy, it would have massive audio drift on export. NLEs MUST work on a "fixed" clock with an even number of frames per second. Your video varies between 15 and 60 frames per second. To put it crudely, that source video is so messed up Hitfilm is sobbing and trying to figure out exactly how the hell it's supposed to parse the frames.

    Additionally you have variable bit rate footage where, somehow, the "maximum" bit rate (768 Kbps) is UNDER the nominal bit rate (3222 Kbps). That's theoretically impossible. 

    The bottom line you need to transcode your footage to a constant framerate  before import into Hitfilm. Several methods are discussed in the above video, but it's PC centric, so, maybe a Mac user can recommend a good transcoder. Although you'll want to take note of the "NormanPCN settings for Handbrake. 

    The best format for Mac users is ProRes. This will be significantly larger files than your original. This is necessary as the compression ratio of screen recording software is ridiculous and won't survive another heavy recompression (all this theory is also covered in the video above). 

    To be clear, the primary issue here is not Hitfilm, but the encoding of your source video. Don't say it plays back fine in Quicktime because the needs of an editor are different from a player (also covered in above video). Any NLE is going to have massive issues dealing with footage that compressed with that variable a frame rate.

  •  Thanks for your lengthy explanation Triem, I appreciate your time. I managed to edit the whole thing in daVinci Resolve without any issues so I'm all good today. In the future I'll either use a different method of screen-capturing with a constant frame rate and/or less compressed codec, or transcode my recordings before I go into the NLE. I still think Hitfilm might ultimately be a better fit for what I need than Resolve, so I'll try again with HitFilm next time. Cheers.

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