Difference between HF3express and HF3pro?

hey hit film community, I am wondering what the differences are between hitfilm 3 pro and hitfilm 3 express, considering one is free and one cost $300. I own HF3pro and would really appreciate to know the differences.

As always, all comments and suggestions (even though this isn't really a special effect question) are appreciated. Thanks hitfilm community. 


  • All of the core editing and compositing functionality is available in both versions. Its primarily effects creation tools and add-ons like mocha and the HitFilm plug-ins that make up the difference.


    That page has a comparison chart at the bottom, which breaks it down nicely. Plus, if you look at the add-on packs that are available for HitFilm 3 Express (also on that page), you can get a feel for the key differences.

  • Thank you very much for explaining that. I will defiantly recomed it to my film making friends! 

  • That page explains everything well, but what are the new features in HitFilm 3 Express? Could you list those as well? I need more information about that.

  • Compared to HitFilm 2 Express, you mean? The base version of 3 Express has a redesigned UI and extensive improvements to the editor, especially the Trimmer panel.

  • I deinstalled HF3 Express because for me its absolutely useless. No 3d import, no chroma key and no moccha. For what should I use 3 Express? And to buy all the features of the 3 pro it is much more expensive than to buy the 3 Pro. And for me the upgrade price from my beloved hf2 ultimate to hf3 pro is to expensive. Therefor I will stay with my hitfilm 2ultimate and I will definitely not buy hf 3 pro. hf 3 express is a simple and useless teaser offer. Sorry, but thats my opinion.

  • edited July 2015

    @mkkvideo HF3 Express is not meant for people who have HF2 Ultimate and need what Ultimate/Pro has. It is meant for people who just don't have but want a good, basic editor/compositor, and need maybe only one or two features of the pro version, for as little money as possible. If you compare it with other tools which are available for free, it offers an OK editor, a really good compositor, and lots of features in a very user-friendly interface.

    So, sorry to say that, but you might just not be the target group of HitFilm Express. The people at FXHOME put a huge amount of work into HitFilm, and it's amazing they are giving parts of the software away for free, but they still somehow need to get paid. That's what HitFilm Pro is for - it offers the full amount of features, but of course this will cost you something.

  • edited July 2015

    @mkkvideo HF3E is for people, who looks for a basic editor/compositor for no (or little) money. I know people, that will be extremely satisfied with this offer. For free or around 10€ (if you need premium formats support) you have pretty capable editor/compositor!

    As for the pricing- yes, if you want to use most of the pro features, it is better to buy HF3P. But not all people need 3d objects import, 3 licenses. Basic grading plus mocha is well under a half of the HF3P upgrade price! And you can buy features one at a time.

    Anyway, the offer got me thinking very hard, what to do. It was so simple yesterday morning- fill the piggy bank and wait for the upgrade promo. But now I'm thinking really hard what to do :)

  • Then it should be the same price of "hf3 express with all addons" and "hf3 pro". Then I would say "This is a great way to buy a hf 3 pro in instalments" Then I sure would like to use 3 express and buy the addons as soon as i need them.

  • @Marcin When thinking about your "What to do?", keep in mind that you will be able to upgrade from HF3 Express to Ultimate at any time. Depending on the plugins you already bought for Express you'll get a discount for Pro (Not the full price of the plugins though).

  • Oh, i only found the option to upgrade from hf2 ultimate to hf3 pro. Do you have a link for that upgrade from 3 express? thanks :-)

  • edited July 2015

    @Robin: I was not aware of the path. Could someone from FXHome write more about it?

    @mkkvideo: You can always buy a bicycle cheaper than all it's parts separately.

    VFX bundles are cheaper than sum of individual VFXs.

    and so on :)

    The question from me to FXHome team is:

    This time, the Express version stays for good? So the HF4 will come out in both flavours?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    I also wouldn't be suprised if your Express add-ons were factored in as deductions to a Pro upgrade cost... 

    3 Express is an interesting take on the product. Let's face it, FxHome can't GIVE away Mocha. Imagineer wants to be paid, after all. $50 for camera tracking and roto assist? Cheap. Same goes with the codec pack--those are the licenced bits of code. 

    Express 3 isn't an upgrade from Ultimate 2. It's an upgrade from Express 2 or for people who haven't used any FxHome software yet! 

  • The Gunfire effects that were in HF2E are now gone, hence the tutorial showing how to use Stock footage, and are now included in the Destruction Pack.

    Mocha Hitfilm is included and installed in the HF3E download, but with no way to use it, presumably so if you buy it, it's all integrated and ready to go.

    Is the Mocha Hitfilm version (which confusingly says 'Pro' on its icon) any different/better/worse than the one that comes with HF3 Pro, considering the upgrade to it within HF3E is only 1/6th the price of the actual Mocha Pro, or is it the same and Imagineer just couldn't be bothered to do a new icon? 

    Basic 2D Tracking works the same in HF3E as it does in HF 3Pro - rather than in HF2E - in that it's unresponsive to the PAUSE button and carries on way past the point you want it to for several seconds, even going totally outside the image for several frames before it pops up a message that it can't continue.

    Any chance that will ever get addressed?

  • @Triem23 you said "It's an upgrade from Express 2" my impressions so far is it is a nice update but not all the features in Hitfilm Express 2 feature in the base download, to get the same level you will need to £££ on some of the upgrades. However, I also not that it does include some things that HF2 Express does not. So why not download a copy and use both, that's my plan.

  • HitFilm 2 Express was a paid-for product (other than the 2 week special promo we did), so there isn't a direct feature-for-feature route up to 3 Express, despite the name. Of course, HitFilm 2 Express didn't have things like the particle simulator at all, even as an optional add-on.

    @mkkvideo - we don't expect anybody to buy all the add-ons for Express. That's not the point of it - as you say, it'd be a very expensive way to go! And even if you got all the add-ons, it's still not everything that comes with Pro.

    The points of the add-ons is to give people choice, so that if they ONLY need some grading tools, or ONLY need a superb particle engine, then they've got an amazingly good value way of getting that ($99 for a full-on 3D particle engine is pretty great).

    If you're a filmmaker who needs all the features, then that's what HitFilm 3 Pro is for - a product which we still price as competitively as possible.

    We explain the purpose of Express in more detail in this blog post: http://hitfilm.com/blog/hf-3-express-out-now/

  • edited July 2015

    @mkkvideo You can see the upgrade paths possible for you on this page: https://hitfilm.com/store/hitfilm-3-pro?show-upgrades=1

    Hope that helps :)

    @Triem23 I think I remember Simon saying that you won't get the full price of your purchased Add-Ons as discount, because that way, you would basically get Pro for free once you bought about half of the upgrades, which probably isn't the point. You will definitely get a decent deduction though nevertheless.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Robin, I just said deduction, not how much. ;-)

    Seriously, you explained that much better than I. 

  • I really would like HF3 pro but now the US $ has appreciated against my Australian dollar, instead of $299 [ when rate was on a par] it will now cost  me $415 !!!  Any specials coming up for Australia ?????????

    meanwhile express has to do.

  • What is the difference between buy HF3Pro  here or with the Sony Vegas Suite Upgrade?

    Is there any difference in software, plugins, and all other things?

    Will HF3Pro from Sony website work with other NLE?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    The Hitfilm Software that comes with the Vegas Suite upgrade is the same as the software directly from FxHome. Of course the Sony upgrade comes with a few other things, so if Sony's upgrade price is equal to or under the FxHome price, totally buy from Sony. 

    Hitfilm will not directly interface with other NLE's and does not currently support XML exports to transfer EDLs to other software, but you can always render out of Hitfilm and import the media. (Or, as I did last night, render from Vegas to import into Hitfilm.) 

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