Software freezes when I use the horizontal scrollbar on the editor timelime

Hi all!

I've been using Hit Film 4 Express for two months or so... I love the software. Easy to use and it's free.

But there's something that is driving me crazy. It happens repeatedly on every project I work. I usually work with two tracks, one for the video and one for the audio. My basic workflow is slicing both tracks to make the audio and video tell a meaningful story. So I always do a lot of slicing on a single project. I don't use many effects, only basic video transitions. 

Thus, I need to keep moving back and forth, and I use the horizontal scrollbar a lot. Ok, but once or twice when I am editing a project, when I try to move the horizontal scrollbar to the left, the software freezes. As I use a Mac computer, I always see that annoying spinning beachball of death. So, to avoid losing everything, I need to hit save after each slice command. That's tedious!

I've tried to look for a way to reproduce the problem, but it doesn't happen all the time. So, I don't know what is causing it, or what I am doing to generate the behavior.

Below you'll have some info about my system and hardware.

Model Name: Mac mini (Late 2012)

Processor Name: Intel Core i5

Processor Speed: 2,5 GHz

Number of Processors: 1

Total Number of Cores: 2

Memory: 4 GB

Chipset Model: Intel HD Graphics 4000

Type: GPU

VRAM (Dynamic, Max): 1536 MB

I'm using SSD (59 GB available of 127 GB) on a Mac with macOS Sierra.

Thank you, guys!


  • First, I strongly suggest upgrading to HitFilm Express 2017, which is the most recent Express version.  It has many improvements over 4.

    Second, just a pointer that your system is on the low-end of the Mac compatibility range when it comes to RAM.  If you can afford to double your RAM to 8GB (which, admittedly, is no easy task for a Mac Mini, but I believe it's doable), then definitely do it.  That will smooth out some usability bumps, and not just in HitFilm.

    Next, have you transcoded your footage into an editing-friendly format and codec?  If you're not familiar with transcoding, the video below is a must-watch.  I'm also on a Mac, and used to have frequent crashes in HitFilm as well, some in situations that sound much like yours.  Once I started transcoding before editing, my crashes pretty much vanished.  I use MPEG Streamclip and transcode everything to Apple ProRes 422.  It's not the only option, of course, but it's one of the best for Mac users.

  • Intel HD Graphics 4000 is also the absolute minimum card that HitFilm supports.

  •  Hi, folks!

    Thank you very much for your help. Jsbarrett, I'll definitely try Streamclip with the settings you mentioned. 

    This video tutorial is quite interesting. There are a lot of things I haven't heard before and that will help me a lot. At the moment I am converting my first video and I'll try to edit on HitFilm. I'll let you know about the results.

    Thank you very much indeed!

  • Well, I see the problem is maybe caused by me trying to edit an MP4 format file, which is not an editing-friendly format.

    I tried to convert it to Apple ProRes 422 using Streamclip, but the final file is too large. Is there any other editing format I may be using?


  • How large is the ProRes file?  For that matter, how large (and how long) is the original file you're converting?  Some large videos might need to be transcoded into multiple smaller ones.

  • I'm doing some tests here. For an original MP4 file with 1 minute and 10,3 MB, the output is a new .mov file with 1,12 GB. I think that's too much.

    Also I can't find a way to tweak the configurations for the output file on Streamclip. I think I'll try another software too.


  •  The NormanAVC settings for Handbrake will work just fine for a Mac too.

  • @MarceloXavierVieira That output size sounds about right.  Apple ProRes files are definitely large, but HitFilm can use them just fine.  When I'm editing my QuickTip videos, I convert my single raw screen capture footage into several ProRes files, each one ending up between 3 and 5 GB. My largest project so far (the smooth zoom tutorial) had five such files, totaling between 17 and 18GB.   It may sound like a lot for HitFilm to choke down, especially considering that I've only got 8GB of RAM, but editing that project was a breeze.  That's partly because HitFilm doesn't literally load the entire thing into memory all at once.  HitFilm's more tech-savvy users can correct me if I'm not describing this accurately, but my understanding is that it does on-the-fly decoding and frame extraction from the file on the hard drive, only loading what's absolutely necessary into memory.  That's why having an efficient editing format and codec is so vital.

    So while a 1.12GB file might seem like a lot for your 4GB system, I'm confident that you'll actually have fewer problems with that than with your original 10.3MB source.

Sign in to comment

Leave a Comment