HitFilm needs some performance optimizations and improvements...

edited June 2016 in Express Support

I have had Hitfilm since Hitfilm 2 express was announced...

Back then I used my mums MacBook air, and I didn't expect good performance, but surprisingly it was quite decent. Video playback was smooth and effects like lightning and glow would still run smoothly in playback. Then I got a top notch performance laptop god of 2014 from Asus (Currently has a much higher benchmark on 3dmark than the €3,000 Surface pro)


i7 4700HQ - Geforce GTX 850m 4gb - 16gb ram - 1080p LCD display - Standard windows 10

When I got this, I installed Hitfilm 2 express and used it. Video playback was smooth and fine. 2 express didn't have enough effects to take full advantage of my laptops full potential, or I was just too new at VFX to put it to the test. Then Hitfilm 3 pro came along. I bought it... and performance died. I felt slower than my mums MacBook air. And the problem continues with pro 4. Video playback is laggy and stutters and 2d motion graphics playback is (excuse the language) shit.

Other things like 3D effects being laggy I can understand. But small things seem to really be hated by my laptop. And this is all rendering at 1080p. I have tried the after effects trial (pretty buggy) and 2D motion graphics runs like a dream (note: rendering at QHD 2560x1440).

I hope Hitfilm take note of this. I am not hating on Hitfilm but simply want them to do something about this. It is just... slightly inconvenient.

But I may just be wrong and that this is to do with Nvidia's terrible driver support. If anyone knows a way to fix this manually, please help.


    edited June 2016

    Upload a test project to say Google Drive, let us download it, and share your export settings and how long it took to render, and we can see where the bottleneck is. My guess is your GPU, since GPU requirements got higher in HitFilm 4. It can also depend on what files you're using, because H264 doesn't play back as smooth in HitFilm as it does in Adobe's program.

  • edited June 2016

    Asus always seems to have some bottlenecks in their Laptops. For example check out your chipset etc.  And Geforce GTX 850m is rather cheap and useless. Even having gone up to the 860m would have increased performance by a mile, increasing performance around 25-30%.

    The Asus laptop you bought back then, was only good for back then, but will fail for future.

    I used to own one and I vowed to NEVER own an Asus again.

     There are better Laptops from other brands who put together better and faster components, from motherboards to chipsets to graphic cards, that will still perform well into the future when apps and OS's get more demanding.

  • All laptop brands use parts which they didn't make, seems a bit weird to hate a company for something that basically any of the major brands did.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Op is correct, all things considered. Hitfilm is slower than many NLEs at basic playback. Staff have commented on this: partially because Hitfilm's VFX/Composite chain is more resource intensive than a pure NLE. Compared to Adobe, well, Adobe has a sexy custom engine, Hitfilm is Open GL. 

    Staff are aware of this, and have stated optimization is currently high priority. Hitfilm 4's most recent update did have reoptimized code for Nvidia, which has increased speed noticeably for 3D stuff. 

  •  Thanks everyone for the feedback and information.

    @Yeremyah I understand your point, but my laptop still has an amazing benchmark compared to other laptops of late 2015 that cost over double. And that's no excuse to having 10% performance compared to a Macbook air base model.  Otherwise you are right. Asus aren't terrible but my next laptop will definitely not be from them (mostly cuz of all the bloat when booted for the first time)

  • @KevinTheFilmmaker

    Export times aren't necessarily the problem (I know that you might say "then why are you complaining" but listen). It's the performance in live previews and payback. Lag is present in a project in a project 1080p "set to full" with 5 planes with animated masks and motion blur... nothing else. Either the hardware is too old and optimisation isn't supported (I still receive regular updates to my nvidia drivers), or hitfilm just need to step up their game with a good performance update or have it as a marketing weapon for hitfilm pro 5

  • Several people have commented on the speed; they're aware of people's concerns and it's on the list of improvements.

  • Why not have a sticky discussion that has links to a standard project and performance timings for a set of hardware. Then everyone can download run it on there's and report on performance. This might help shape a picture of what architecture is best with Hitfilm and what has performance issues. Just an idea.

  • Never known HF was optimized for Nvidia GPU, I was thinking it's a vendor agnostic package. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Davide445 it is.  The update wasn't CUDA related, but OpenGL optimizing to fix an issue with the Nvidia driver. Still format agnostic. 

  • I just gave HitFilm a huge write up in a Scandinavian business mag (where I have a collumn). Mostly for taking on the future of filmmaking the right way. BUT performance has clear issues. Playback is not as good as in most other NLE:s and HitFilm is going to lag behind AE with the coming performance updates for 2016. As some of you know Adobe is spending huge resources on real time performance.

    I finally bought a license after closely following the development for several years. The Alembic feature was what did it to me. Now, there are a lot of work that has to be done on the Alembic feature. Using it over a few nights I've experiences several instances where HitFilm simply becomes unresponsive probably because it's such a recourse hog. But keep at it. Alembic is a killer feature done right.

  • AdyAdy Staff
    edited June 2016

    TheAbstract - Are you able to upload the footage that you are using that plays back fine in HF2 but not in HF3 or HF4? I'd like to take a look at this ASAP.

    You can PM me the link to the footage if you don't wish to post it to a public forum or send it to support here.


  • @Andy001z

    I was thinking of that but it wouldn't really be a doable comparison. Unless there was a way to measure the framerate of the viewports playback, it wouldn't be easy. Export times isn't the thing I'm complaining about just to make things clearer, it is just the workflow that is worrying. It's like trying to play call of duty blind folded with a Compaq PC running windows 3.1 and has a 512mhz cpu! (not that bad but you can get to what I mean) A laggy viewport is not ideal for efficient working. Especially when all your school friends say "Hey dude, can you edit our video cuz we can't use iMovie(facepalm)" and "dude, add some awesome movingy effect thingys". I think I'll stop giving examples now... But i'm pretty sure I've made my point clear.



    Nice to know that the staff are active on these forums! I will definitely see what I can find, first off I need to reinstall 2 express and then check. But in all honesty I think anyone with an averagely powerful laptop can definitely say that even simple video playback stutters in some cases

  • AdyAdy Staff

    TheAbstract - Any update on this? Would like to get some performance data to the developers if possible. Thanks!

  • edited July 2016

    @Ady why not pick a Hitfilm tutorial project that can be downloaded as the bench mark, then ask for submissions based on a set of requirements, like; Export time, Play back in composite smoothness (i.e any stutter = poor) and the same for editor. Then have people run a System info report (say DirectX diag) and then get submissions to a single thread. Oh and make sure we specify key feature settings like Render quality, and such (i.e High or Ultimate)

    Product Ver: (HF 2U, HF3P, HF4P or HF2 Exp, HF3 Exp, HF4 Exp)



    Export time :=

    Composit play back (1-5 ; 1 being unseable - 5 being no issues)

    Editor playback (1-5)

    Just an idea?

  • edited July 2016

     @Andy001z your idea isn't a bad one at all, I like it...(just remember that cpu, ram and type of memory, e.g. ssd or hd will affect the results)

    @Ady , Sorry for not replying sooner, my laptop is overheating heavily, not allowing me to do any fair performance tests currently. After I get the fans cleaned out and everything checked up I will post a performance test. (the dust accumulated is more than that in my grandparents basement) EDIT: I will use @Andy001z idea for the test

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    The only issue I have with a user selected 1-5 rating is it's subject9. You're going to have someone using an i3 with an Intel HD4000 and 4GB of RAM (i.e. Minimum Spec) giving 1's because some project isn't immediately playing back and rendering in real time. 

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