Newbie workflow question?

Hi all
I'm new to hitfilm and generally more advanced film making (having migrated from imovie), so apologies in advance for total newb question . I would just like to understand a typical workflow for creating video.

My film goals & set up
I'm starting with HF4 Express and will initially just be making videos of family and friends. I have a Nikon D3300. I will be largely sharing to view online and most videos will likely be accompanied by a song and perhaps bits of the audio that's been captured (I'm relying on the in-built camera mic)

Typical workflow?
From what I could gather it might look something like the below, but I'm not entirely sure it's accurate...

1) Organise and import clips
2) Sequence and edit the clips to tell a story
3) Colour correction (i.e. white balance, saturation, etc)
4) Add audio (this confuses me as I would have thought you need to sync the audio and clips at the same time )
5) Color grade - which may involve saving the sequence and exporting to another tool optimised for grading
6) Make final adjustments in the editing tool
7) Save and export to require format

Advice wanted
Any advice of help would be much appreciated.





  • Seems pretty ok to me, Step 1 is critcal subject to the media you are importing and the encoding. Hitfilm struggles with decode and lots of people experience lag when editing their vids. There is load of advice on this forum about using tools to convert to a good editing format and also on YouTube.

    Step 4 Audio, you certainly need this to be after you have all your media, effects and editing timeline locked down, else it can be a pain. Hitfilm will automaticilly bring in audio with any clip that contains it and add this to the editing timeline, you can simply use those and turn them on and off for the bits you don't want. Then add a new track for Audio and dump your music into it. Again using the volume keyframes (they are called something else) you can fade the music up and down as you need.

    Oh and colour grading should be sufficent in Hitfilm. Just add a new video track and apply a grade to this.

  • Hi Andy001z

    That's very useful, thank you! 

    Step 1 is critical subject to the media you are importing and the encoding

    • Seems the Nikon d3300 is using the following format .MOV (Video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC; Audio: Linear PCM), but from having a browse around the forums seems I have to do the following: MOV -> ProRes. Although I have failed to understand which tool to use for this??

    Step 4 Audio, you certainly need this to be after you have all your media, effects and editing timeline locked down, else it can be a pain

    • Ok makes sense. And if I understood correctly I would then just trim/expand the footage accordingly to match the music track (i.e. changing scenes in time with the music)

    Just add a new video track and apply a grade to this.

    • Great tip, thanks.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited May 2017

    This video covers multiple ways to transcode mp4 to other formats, including ProRes. You can use the timecodes in the description to skip around. The beginning covers why Pro Res is usually better than mp4, or you can skip right to transcoding.

  • @Triem23

    Excellent, thank you! 

  • edited May 2017

    BTW, this tip:

    "Just add a new video track and apply a grade to this.

    • Great tip, thanks."

    Only works in a single composite shot.

    You can't put a Grade Layer over the top of all your clips in the Editor and grade them all at once (we've asked, so it's on the list).

    You'll have to Grade one, then copy the Grade layer from that Composite and paste it into all the others. Or create a Preset to apply several Color Effects in one go to a Grade Layer in each composite shot. Essentially the same thing with more key presses, so cut'n'paste would be quickest on shots all requiring the same grade.

  • @Palacono - thanks for clarifying. Sounds like just a little more extra work, but given that this is a free tool... I won't be complaining at all 

  • As an update I tested the Nikon .MOV -> Apple ProRes  transcode (hopefully that's the right term?) with a short clip. I'm a Mac user btw. Took a little time figuring out, but I guess that's half the fun. So as a reference for myself and future novice Hitfilmers, this is what I did:

    • Downloaded MediaInfo (via the app store) to allow me to inspect the  details of any media
    • Downloaded Mpeg Streamclip (Discovered both tools via Triem23's vid above - big thanks!)
    • Streamclip was missing the Apple ProRes codec. So found this useful vid to download ProRes and make it available in the app:
    • Import Nikon . MOV and decoded to ProRes. Happy days!

    Still so many things. options and technical stuff I'm yet to understand, so no doubt I'll be back soon with more questions 

  • If you're using 2nd system audio, I'd recommend syncing it before editing . While it's possible to sync it up after editing, it's a lot more tedious. That way what you're editing and adding after editing is the soundscape. If you're recording audio on camera, then you don't need to worry about that step.

  • Hi everyone, I'm a newbie too and Mac user. From Italy.

    I have some questions about this thread.

    What is suggested in the video (transcoding from camera footage into prores codec) can now be done with hit film express 2017 instead of using another software (i.e. mpeg stream clip)?

    what is the difference between transcoding in prores codec based format and using proxy files?


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator


    Transcoding footage has major advantages. Namely you've converted the footage to an optimized format. This transcoded file can be loaded into multiple projects and backed up across multiple drives. 

    Hitfilm proxies are absolutely not the same. Those are intended as temporary files--if you alter the proxy in any way, you invalidate the proxy and have to render it again. Proxy files are HUGE and eat drive space for lunch. Proxy files are proprietary, encrypted and locked to the project they were created in. You cannot use a proxy in another project and you cannot back it up to another drive. 

    Proxies do NOT fill the same function as a transcode. 

  • thank you Triem23.

    So I'll transcode into Apple ProRes. But why - according to the above tutorial - I have to use Mpeg Streamclip? May I load the h264 mov into hitfilm express and export the timeline using the prores codec?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @gstring on a Mac you can export ProRes. Windows you have to transcode. 

  • Thanks Triem23, for the video I was looking for some thing similar. Its excellent.

  • @Triem23 Exporting as ProRes = transcoding. 


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @WhiteCranePhoto of course, technically. Since NLE output is usually edited I always refer to NLE video as Export. Since Hitfilm has the "Export Queue," I think it helps distinguish using Hitfilm vs a dedicated file transcoder. :) 

  • @Triem23 I'm hoping that one of the things that FXHome is working on is to upgrade the proxy system so that it replaces transcoding. It would make for a longer import process, but if it's set up like Resolve's, it would be extremely user friendly and make a lot of these situations much easier to resolve. No pun intended.


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