HitFilm Ultimate not responding (computer below spec?)

edited April 2015 in Express Support

 am really new to this editing thing. I don't know how to speak the computer editor hitfilm language. All I know is I have been trying to edit a video and every time I click on something it stops responding and I have to wait 2-3 minutes and then I click again and it does the same thing again. Now they say I have to download some sort of Avid DNxHD Codec. What is that, where does it download to, how does it work, where do I put it, and how do I use it? If you have to speak the computer editor hitfilm language please be really detailed about it. Thank you.



  • @Elsey, check the video that I put on this thread. http://hitfilm.com/forum/discussion/6297/hitfilm-very-slow-when-editing-stops-responding-often#latest

    Is your problem similar to mine?

  • @AramM no, its more like when I click something then a message pops up saying "Hitfilm Ultimate has become unresponsive If you choose to close this window your work maybe lost. Please choose: Close Window or Wait until widow responds." Then I choose to wait and I get the wait symbol where the curser is and I can't do anything at all until the window responds. Then I click again after it has responded and the process happens again.

  • Can you give us the specs for your computer please, @Elsey? The first thing to do is make sure it meets the requirements for HitFilm.

    Operating System:
    Graphics Card:


  • edited March 2015

    @AxelWilkinson Operating system: Windows 7 home premium 64 bit operating system

    Processor: Pentium(R) duel-core CPU E6700 @3.20Hz 3.20 GHz

    Installed memory (RAM) 6.00GB

    Graphics card name: NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT

  • Thanks. Can you please make sure you have these latest drivers for your graphics card installed:  http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/82467/en-us

    Then see if the problem persists?

  • I downloaded the GeForce 341.44 Driver and the Avid codec. I opened HitFilm and it did the same thing again.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Doing a little bit of research here indicates that your CPU and GPU are six years old (Spring 2009 releases) 

    Your CPU predates the introduction of of the i3/5/7 processor lines and is below minimum recommended specs for Hitfilm. 

    Your GPU has 512MB of RAM which is the bare minimum for Hitfilm, but, again, your GPU may be old enough to be below minimum spec. 

    In short, you are probably going to need to upgrade your hardware.  

  • edited March 2015

      @Triem23  I bought the  computer and the hardware brand new from Dell in 2012. I've got about $100 to spend.  What do you suggest?

    @AxelWilkinson I did the things you asked but they did not fix the problem.

  • Your hardware upgrade options will depend greatly on your Dell motherboard. Any idea what model it is? Or maybe the specific model of the Dell computer?

    Modern processors are unfortunately likely to require a more modern motherboard, so your options may be quite limited for the CPU. The GPU is likely to be easier, as long as your case has enough space for a modern graphics card.

    Here's an article that might help you get started: http://hitfilm.com/forum/discussion/457/hardware-buying-tips-for-running-hitfilm/p1

    I also blogged my recent home computer upgrade, which may or may not be relevant to your own needs: http://simonkjones.com/tag/diy-gaming/

  • @SimonKJones I quickly ran through your diy-gaming link, but must have missed seeing what you settled on for GPU.  What did you wind up with?

  • @Stargazer54 - good point. Looks like I forgot to blog when I got the GPU (which I did after building the rest). I ended up with an NVIDIA 970, which seems to be the best power-to-price balance at the moment. It flies through everything I throw at it.

  • @SimonKJones Thanks for the come back on the 970.  

  • edited March 2015

    I'm having the same problem but with 10s hangs rather than minutes.
    CPU 3,07Ghz Intel Core i7 950
    MB: ASUSTeK  P6X58D-E,  6Gb Ram
    NVIDIA GTX660 with driver 347.88

    I can't find a thread I once read about changing some settings to have Hitfilm use the GPU, even though it's (automatically detected and ) set in the preferences.

    Could it come from my .MTS video files ( so h264/ AVC) ?
    I was reading in another thread that it's best to convert the MTS to mpeg with DNxHD codec , is that correct ? could it be it ?

  • @Chris2014 - I know there is a thread too, but don't see it right off hand. However, you don't tell HF to use a GPU, you tell your OS which GPU HF should use, so you won't find it in HF options.

    On my system, I right click on the desktop and click on 'NVIDIA Control Panel'.  Under 'Manage 3D settings', under the 'Program Settings' tab, you can select/add programs and tell it which GPU to use.

  • edited March 2015

    @rgbii ah OK, found it, once I've added Hitfilm to the list, there are tons of parameters, should I leave them by default ? thanks!

     I tried , thought it was all good now, but as soon as I developp a track that shows some keyframes, it hangs, zooming in the time bar hangs aswell.

  • yes it really seems that Hitfilm has problems with AVHCD files, as when converted, I don't have the  10sec hanging issues

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited March 2015

    No NLE likes AVCHD files--they're highly-compressed h.264 files with sloppy metadata in a bloated wrapper. And h.264 is a terrible editing format. h.264 was designed to compress footage for final output, and was never intended for capture or edit. Hitfilm, Vegas, FCPX, AVID, Premiere, After Effects, etc all hate h.264.

    AVCHD, AVD, even a lot of MTS and MXF files use h.264 compression, along with MP4 files, and even MOV files! That's a lot of potential camera files in a crappy format.

    In short, h.264 compression saves data by storing a keyframe (in this case a keyframe is the complete picture) maybe only once every 100 or 150 frames. This is one frame every three to five seconds (at 30fps). Every other frame is interpolated from those keyframes. So a keyframe is at frame 0 and frame 149. Let's say you're looking at frame 78. The computer has to look at frame 0 and frame 149 and work forwards and backwards from those two frames to figure out what frame 78 is. This eats up processing power and slows things down. This is called an "inter-frame" codec.

    Editing formats codecs are less compressed, but each frame is a compressed full-frame, not interpolated data.. This lets them respond faster in an NLE at the cost of taking up more drive space. This is called an "intra-frame" codec.

    If you want a longer, more accurate look at edit vs. delivery codecs, check this out: http://telestreamblog.telestream.net/2012/04/save-yourself-frustration-use-editing-formats-when-editing-2/

    As a side note, some of the people shooting 4K are waiting for h.265 support---bad news, 4K folks. h.264 crams 4K data into the same bandwidth of h.264 1080 data. In other words it's four times as compressed as the h.264. Another way of putting it is, you have 4 times the pixels as 1080, but they're crappy pixels. Also, you can't tell the difference between 1080 and 4K at normal TV viewing distances until you get to a 100+ inch screen, or until you're on a 30+ inch monitor at normal computer-use distance, so you're wasting a lot of computer power editing something that no one can really tell is 4K, but that's a different topic.

    You think editing in h.264 is slow? H.265 will be tedium. Just get used to transcoding your footage to a decent format. Period.

  • @Triem23  Actually Vegas chews on  AVCHD (.mts wrapper) pretty well.  Without effects I can get real time editing with 1080p (high bit rate stuff too) on a very old machine,  transcoding to DNxHD does nothing to improve time line speed (with or without effects).  Hitfilm handles them very poorly though.  I always transcode for HF.

  • @Chris2014, you maybe experiencing the same problem I reported in this thread: https://hitfilm.com/forum/discussion/4616/hitfilm-performace-issue-reads-whole-file

    My issue is releated to m2ts but could equally apply to mts. In summary: HitFilm seems to, for no apparent reason, read the whole file from start to finish as fast as it can, and sometimes as soon as it has finished reading the file it'll immediately do it again a second time. This bug pretty much makes it a real P.I.T.A to use m2ts files in HitFilm. You really have two options, change the container to mp4, I use Avidemux to do this but I have seen someone post in another thread a link to an app that sounded like it was designed to change containers, no idea what it was called. Or the second option, transcode to an intermediate/edit codec. My experience with converting to DnxHD has been less than pleasing. The file I originally found this issue with is ~18mins 1080/50p, when converted to DNxHD it takes HitFilm just under 5 minutes to load the project, yes that's a project containing only 1 media file. Am I the only one who thinks this is crappy? I get the feeling most people don't try to load large files into HitFilm.

    There maybe a third option, you could try creating a proxy, I haven't tried this with m2ts files, maybe simply having the m2ts file in the project is enough to cause the bug, but I'd hope having a proxy would mean that HitFilm effectively ignores the m2ts file.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    @__simon__  I'm not sure what thread you mentioned but there is a program called Video Container Changer I use this and Avidemux. If I'm only going to change one clip I'll use Avidemux but if I need to batch process I'll use Video Container Changer. One other thing about Video Container Changer is it can successfully change the container even when it can't recognize the codec used

  • edited March 2015

    @Triem23 as dancerchris points out Vegas is extremely fast at reading mts files.
    Thanks for that link about intermediate codecs, will dig in!

    @_simon_ ; yes thanks! I read your other thread, and that explains why it hangs more or less depending on the size of the files, if it's reading them entirely everytime you want to do something to it.  I gave up working with HF2 last year as I had several mts videos composited, and it was impossible to work at all.
    I have the same issues whether they're mts or m2ts files -don't know why the extensions are different depending on how I import them on my PC from my Sony A65, if I use just the regular windows folder interface it's mts, if I use the program Sony installed, the files are m2ts.
    Anyway I see in the other thread that you reported this issue with HF2, Ady acknowledged it, but I confirm the issue is still there on HF3 with mts at least.

    And yes I agree that converting to DNxHD makes such big files it's unpractical.

    I'll try avidemux, to change container .

    and @Aladdin4D thanks, I'll give a try to   Video Container Changer although it looks way more complicated than I can handle for now.

  • edited April 2015

    @Triem thanks for that link I just read  http://telestreamblog.telestream.net/2012/04/save-yourself-frustration-use-editing-formats-when-editing-2/
    It explains in detail the problem of highly compressed codecs., They advise against editing using MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 / H.264

    Yet HF runs smoothly with these formats compared to .mts and .m2ts files that yet use h.264. So I guess there's a problem with the mts and m2ts containers that was already there on HF2

  • edited March 2015

    @Aladdin4D ; tried Video Container Changer to change mts to mp4 (much easier to use than I thought) but it fails.
    @_simon_ I tried avidemux,  to simply change container
    Output format : MP4v2 Muxer , is that correct ?
    Did that, and yes HF is ok with the file now that it's not .mts anymore

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    Just some thoughts -

    @Chris2014 - Here's how to calculate the difference between m2ts and mts...... Ahem.......M2TS - MTS = 2. :) The 2 in the file extension is the only difference. For decades Microsoft operating systems have used a three letter extension for typing files so if you use Windows Explorer to import you get a three letter extension, mts. Now three letters isn't always descriptive enough for typing a file so Sony prefers to add a fourth. It gets confusing but the mpeg specs define containers or wrappers in addition to codecs. In this case the M stands for Mpeg as a wrapper not a codec. T stands for Transport and S stands for Stream. Now Mpeg can represent Mpeg 1, Mpeg 2, Mpeg 3 (MP3) or Mpeg 4 (MP4). The wrapper used here is actually from Mpeg 2 so Sony adds the 2 to help differentiate it from the other possible alternatives. 

    Video Container Changer is actually easier than it looks. Add your mts files(s), select the desired container (in your case MP4) and click Transcode. You only have to fool with the other options if you want to like setting a different output folder or renaming files as they are processed.

    Files in any intermediate codec are going to be larger so that's not something specific to DNxHD. A larger file means there's a lot more data to work with which in turn means the footage can withstand a lot more processing and color grading without losing quality. Editing in an intermediate codec is also a lot less taxing on any system because it doesn't have to create frames out of thin air.

    Now I just said a bigger file size is better but there are exceptions! The limiting factors here are what bit rate and color space your camera can encode to.  The a65 can record to AVCHD 1080/60p @ 28 Mbps with YUV4:2:0 8 bit (AVCHD is always 4:2:0 8 bit). So the first step is to try and select an intermediate that natively accepts the color space used. Why? Because if there is a match then the color data won't be affected during transcoding it can be passed straight through. YUV4:2:0 is unfortunately not native to DNxHD so there will be a conversion to a larger color space, YUV4:2:2! At first glance this is a good thing but there's a gotcha. DNxHD is a broadcast codec and expects broadcast legal color. If you recorded at full dynamic range 0-255 (very likely) the range will be truncated to 16 - 235 during the conversion. Oops. I should mention you could go for a full 4:4:4 color space to preserve the range but with DNxHD that results in stupendously large files.

    So to avoid trashing your color you can do some correction first (This is why most pro ingest tools have color correction options BTW) or choose another intermediate. For now let's assume you did some color correction and you're ready to transcode. Time to pick the bit rate. Your footage is 28 Mbps @ 60fps so if we look at what the available options are we find DNxHD 90, 290, 440 and 440x. at 90, 291 and 440 Mbps respectively, Since the lowest one is more than 3 times what your source footage is you have no reason to ever go beyond that. This will give you a much smaller file size than just going for the default settings. If you had recorded @60i you would have to go with DNxHD 100 but you could also de-interlace that and get by with DNxHD 45. 

    If you can't or didn't want to do any color correction you could use MagicYUV as the intermediate. It accepts 4:2:0 full dynamic range natively.

    @Chris2014 and @__simon__  What might be an issue though is DNxHD is in a Quicktime MOV and Quicktime is a limited 32 bit application on Windows so that makes it a potential bottle neck. It really isn't a HitFilm or a Windows issue but rather an Apple issue. 

  • edited April 2015

    @Aladdin4D ; woaw waow,  thanks for all these infos!
    Regarding Video Container Changer, that's what I did but it fails. Tried different containers > fails, except .mov but the resulting movie is not visible on any player.
    Just for info, in france sadly, the Sony A65 only records 25 or 50 fps, no option to change. 60 would have been just for slow motion for me.  I'm filming at 25p, 17Mbps, so DNxHD 36 would be enough I guess.

    But as I have no idea what sort of color correction would be needed
    MagicYUV is best for me,

    "Quicktime is a limited 32 bit application on Windows so that makes it a potential bottle neck"
    I see, that could be a problem. In .AVI then

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    @Chris2014 I was writing my post while you posted yours so I didn't see your comment until after I posted mine. I don't know why Video Container Changer isn't working for you I've never had a problem with it so sorry about that.

    MagicYUV works great as an AVI so it can avoid that issue completely but before we get too carried away let's figure out if and how your footage might be affected by limiting the range. Try Cliptoolz Convert for this. You can drag and drop your clips to it. Once your clip is listed you can right click it and select "Send to Video Scopes" This will open the video scopes window. On that window is a "Full Range" button. If your source clip is full range, clicking this should make no difference in the scopes or the thumbnail image. If the range is 16-235 and you click ‘full range’, the scopes will expand to 0-255 and you'll see changes in the scopes, histograms and thumbnail. So if you see changes you're good to go and can go ahead and transcode with Cliptoolz Convert or other program of choice. If you don't see any change let me know and we'll go from there

  • edited March 2015

    @Aladdin4D, again thanks!
    Video Container Changer : you've used it with .mts files succesfully ?

    (side note:)
    Cliptoolz Convert
    installed, crashes at startup, did this:
    "Open a command prompt (Start / run / cmd) and type into the DOS window; lodctr /R ...with a space before /R - and hit enter. It may take a moment to rebuild the performance counters"
    Got another crash log but it opened after that !

    Followed your instructions and full range indeed changed the scope.
    I guess this has to be done once as a test on how my a65 "captures" colors, right ? Not on each files.

    So a 800Mb .mts files becomes a 12Gb files with MagicYUV, and that's better for my computer having to stream tons of data from disk, rather than decompress it in real time from h264, correct ?
    As I'm using several video files of that size composited, isn't that too much strain on the HD ?

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited March 2015

    @Chris2014 Ok  for the crashes you'll have to contact the author. You can do that here

    Full range change - Yep you should only have to do this once. Of course if you change a lot of camera settings for a project I would spot check a clip just to be sure.

    The good news is you noticed a change so you don't have to worry about anything being truncated no matter what intermediate you use. You can safely go to any color space without worry so you can try DNxHD 36 which will be a smaller file.

    MagicYUV files are generally larger because it uses a very different compression scheme. I don't know what you're using to transcode or what settings you used for MagicYUV but making sure you're 4:2:0 all the way through should you a smaller file size. This is easily done with something like VirtualDub although you'll have to add an import filter to get VirtualDub to handle mts files. If you go this route there is a Color Depth option under the Video menu where you can set the color space that gets sent to the encoder then you can set the MagicYUV  options from the compression option under the same Video menu. 

    Finally yes it is better to read large files from hard drive(s) than it is to force your editor to decompress highly compressed video especially when it comes time to render. If you can read from one drive (or even multiple drives) and render to a different one. For a real world example of what can happen when trying to work with any 264 variant video directly read this thread AVI flashes What @Jerry1987 describes is exactly the kind of thing you avoid by using an intermediate.

  • edited April 2015

    @Aladdin4D Sorry to insist, just to find out if it's on my end, did you ever succesfully convert mts to mp4  with Video Container Changer ?

    I'd used Vegas to transcode to magicYUV, left the option to  "as is, no conversion". Now tried with the option to 4:2:0, it gives indeed a smaller 7.7 Gb file

    But just for info I make ( rather try to, for now with HF, I'm with Vegas) music videos, no longer than 4mn, so export time when editing is no problem, but converting a 5 minute .mts to magicYUV takes 17 minutes on my i7 running slightly overclocked for that purpose, considering the number of files I have to transcode I can't consider that option.

    Tried UT video BT601 4:2:0, 800Mb give 10Gb, takes 20 minutes to convert.

    UT Video and MagicYUV are the only 2 from your intermediate codecs page that have the 4:2:0 color space

    But as you say it doesn't matter what color space  I use (yes I only use my A65 as camera) I'll try the codec that goes the fastest to encode

    Virtual Dub would be faster than Vegas to transcode ?

    To think that  when 1920x1080 "replaced" the many interlaced continent-dependant, TV/computer dependant, formats, I thought things were going to be easier... wrong!  :)

  • edited March 2015

    Used DNxHD 36, 800Mb give 1.5Gb in 6 minutes, but visible compression on the image quality. Yet 36 is over 2 x Mbps than my 17Mbps original file

    DNxHD 85  > 4Gb but no image !
    DNxHD 120 >  no quality loss but 4.5Gb

Sign In or Register to comment.