Help! Trouble with .MOV files | Hitfilm 3 Express

edited November 2016 in Express Support

Hi guys

So I am very new to the whole editing thing so bear with me. I just downloaded hitfilm 3 express and I keep having problems with all my files in .mov format. At first it said it wasn't supported when I tried to import it. I managed to fix it by updating quicktime and it was able to import just fine. However, when I imported a video clip I took with my Nikon 5100 I previewed the clip it was playing as if it were in slow motion. The footage was slow and laggy and so was the audio. Even when I placed the clip in the timeline it played back all choppy and laggy. I decided to export just one .mov clip to see if it would turn out slow and laggy like the preview but it actually turned out fine with no lag. But now comes the issue with editing because I wont be able to preview or playback my clips with out it lagging or looking choppy. This only happens with .mov files. All the .mp4 files seem to work perfectly such as the ones used for tutorials like for portal combat. I'm not sure if it's just because of the .mov formated files or maybe my laptop or hitfilm its self. I really want to avoid having to convert ALL my footage to .mp4. Is there anyway I can fix this problem?

Thanks, Jennelle


  • In this specific case, you can convert your footage to .mp4 by simply changing the .mov file extension to .mp4 in the file names. That being said, You should still convert your footage properly.

    Your Nikon doesn't record footage in a format designed for editing, and by converting it once, you can drastically reduce the load on your computer's processor every time the footage is used. This means that even for footage that plays back smoothly to begin with, you can add even more effects to it and still preview it in real-time. By converting your footage, you get better performance and better quality retention. And, since your footage has to be copied from your camera;s memory onto your harddrive anyway, convert it at the same time, and you don't even gain an extra step.

    If you would like more info, check out this article:

  • How do I convert my files? Do I need a specific program installed?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Jennellio, you can try downloading MPEG Streamclip or Handbrake (which are both free). FxHome Staff usually recommends transcoding to Avid's DNxHD codec (which is also free.)

    It's been brought to my attention that AVCHD files don't properly convert in MPEG Streamclip, but if you're shooting on a Nikkon, your camera isn't shooting AVCHD. That said, there are also paid options for transcoding, like Borosoft or Pavtube, both of which are highly recommended by other members of this forum. I'd still say try the free options first.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    Cliptoolz Convert is a very good free option for transcoding to DNxHD or ProRes 

  • So I used one of the programs you guys suggested and converted the .mov file to an .mp4 but not much has changed. It is still laggy and slow but not as bad  as before when it was in .mov format. So I'm not sure what else to do now. Are there certain tweaks I need to make when converting? How can I fix this?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Yup---as noted above you should convert to DNxHD. Axel linked an article above that covers the whys of this, but the end result in h.264 (mp4) is just not designed as an editing codec. DNxHD IS designed as an editing codec. You'll have lerger files, but they'll respond much better in Hitfilm.

  • Yeah I realized none of the options were intra-frame formats. I used ClipToolz and I set it to ProRes but after I processed it the file was only audio. Is there a reason why it's not a video anymore?

  • Is raw .mov file natively supported by Hitfilm 3 Express? I'm not sure about that, but I prefer mpeg for importing and editing into hitfilm 3 express.

  • edited July 2015

    @Jennellio, what are you trying to play it through? What are your computer specs? I once tried to play DNxHD footage in Windows Media Player, and it couldn't handle playing it back, so I got no video. When I use something like VLC media player, I had no problem. Beyond that, the DNxHD video played perfectly smooth in Adobe Premiere even with warp stabilizer, denoiser, and some LUT effects applied (those being pretty cpu heavy).  Import it into Hitfilm Express and see if you see video there. 

    EDIT: I have no experience with ProRes so this could be way off base. I just know that if you are using Windows, WMP has problems with video playback and I never use it.

  • @emma24xia - .mov is the file extension for all Quicktime video files. As long as Quicktime is installed, then .mov files are supported in HitFilm. Pretty much all varieties of MPEG are designed for final delivery, and aren't well suited to editing. Quicktime .mov files can store video in a huge range of codecs, including MPEG and good editing codecs like DNxHD or ProRes.

  • @MatthiasClafin ;

    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3537U CPU @ 2.00GHz 2.50 GHz

    RAM: 8.00 GB (7.89 GB usable)

    Stystem Type: 64-bit Operating System, x64-based processor


  • @AxelWilkinson I have quicktime installed so why are my .mov files acting so slow?  Even with some files I converted to .mp4 are having the same problems. Are they still under inter-frame codecs despite me converting them through the ClipToolz converter? 

  • edited July 2015

    What codec did you convert them to, @Jennellio ? What graphics card do you have installed on your system? What OS are you running?

    .mp4 files are certainly still inter-frame, but .mov files could be either inter- or intra- it depends on the specific codec used.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    @Jennellio Make sure your Quicktime install is up to date and if that still doesn't help you might try installing the Apple ProRes QuickTime Decoder for Windows.  You also need to install the Avid DNx codecs for DNxHD if you haven't done so already. 

  • @AxelWilkinson I tried converting them to ProRes (HD), DNxDH, and MPEG intra but still not getting any results. And I have Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000 installed and 64 bit OS

  • Thanks @Jennellio. I saw your OS is 64-bit, but what OS is it? Windows 7? Windows 8? Mac OSX 10.9?

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    @Jennellio Can you Dropbox a short clip that you converted with ClipToolz? It might help to see if it works on another system. If it doesn't then something is going wrong during transcoding. If it does then that indicates the problem probably isn't HitFilm or ClipToolz related. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Just noting that Jennellio's GPU is at bare minimum standard. It may just be slow GPU. 

  • I used the footage from portal combat tutorial and those clips work perfectly fine and are smooth.  And here is one clip I converted using ClipsToolz. 

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

     @Jennellio I'm sorry I meant a ProRes or DNxHD clip and I should have said that. I ended up converting your mp4 clip to both DNxHD and ProRes with ClipToolz. Both work fine for me so if you want, try them and see if they are better than what you've gotten before.

    As already mentioned, MP4 isn't well suited for editing even under the best of circumstances.

    @MatthiasClaflin  - Even though Windows Media Player can allegedly playback QuickTime files these days that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea as you found out the hard way :) The "native" player for any MOV file will always be QuickTime.

  • Same error - Media file not supported. I have them as MOV files, I have Quicktime already. Still shows an error.

  • so if you have quicktime installed you can use .mov files in hitfilm 3 express

  • If you're having issues with MOV files not being supported, or seeing that error message, first check that Quicktime (and HitFilm) are up to date. If it still persists, some have found that uninstalling & reinstalling Quicktime after you install HitFilm makes a difference.

  • edited December 2015

    Jennellio, when you play one of your .mov file using only the Quicktime Player, does it play smoothly?  Or does it playback slow and jerky?

  • Hello,

    I'm new to Hitfilm, just started playing around with it a couple days ago.  This thread helped me a bunch as footage shot on my Nikon D5100 and brought into Hitfilm 3 Express wouldn't work...I was unaware I needed to have Quicktime and didn't know that I didn't have it to begin with. So thank you all for that.  

    Now on to my question.

    I'm not good with technical stuff, and I especially am not good at understanding codecs ect, as I mentioned above now I can import my footage into Hitfilm 3 Express, it comes in as a .MOV, however it plays back laggy and slow.  I saw that above you guys mentioned to freewares that compress files. If its not too much to ask, could one of you help me by suggesting which is best (in your opinion) and which of the plethora of codecs I should use?

    I edit in Sony Vegas Pro 13 and haven't had to deal with codecs as it has a "make proxy" feature.  I was hoping that when I would send a file to Hitfilm to comp it would send the proxy, I guess it doesn't work that way.  So I will have to use a Codec first...But do I have to decompress the file after I'm done editing?  Before I do my final export?  

    It is all confusing to me and any and all assistance will be greatly appreciated...sorry for the long winded question. Thank you for your time.



  • Right click and click "rename" on your video file

    Where it says ".MOV" erase just the "MOV" not the period

    Then type in "MP4" where the "MOV" was

    The computer will then pop up with a warning saying "file may become unstable, are you sure you want to change this?"

    Click "Yes"

    This will change your file type to MP4 (a type that hitfilm approves) and you should be able to upload it without any loss in quality and no need for a program.

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