Starting A Project

After starting HitFilm Express you are presented with the Home screen. From here you can quickly access your recent saved projects or create a new project.

Clicking the New button will take you to the Project screen, where you set up your initial project settings:


Templates are provided for most common video formats up to 4k resolution. You can also customize your setup and save your own templates by clicking on the Save icon.


It is advisable to be familiar with the formatting details of the footage you will be editing, before you begin your project. If you know the resolution, frame rate, and aspect ratio of your footage, enter that information here. If you don't know these settings, then don't worry. You can skip them for now, and HitFilm can edit the settings later to match the video files you import.


The project resolution which HitFilm will support is dependent on the amount of video RAM on your GPU.

Less than 1GB of video RAM supports resolutions up to 1920x1088
2GB or more of video RAM will support resolutions up to 3840x2160


Select the sample rate that you wish to use for your project. In general, this should be the same sample rate used by your video files.


The Rendering settings affect the quality at which your project is rendered. In general, higher settings create higher quality results, at the expense of slower performance. You may want to adjust some of these settings periodically while working on a project, using lower settings while working to increase productivity, then switching to higher settings to evaluate quality, or for your final export. You can also set default values for these settings in the General tab of the HitFilm Options (Preferences on Mac).

Antialiasing Mode: Antialiasing is used to reduce 'aliasing' on diagonal lines during rendering. Antialiasing is always used during the final export and can be turned on and off while working inside HitFilm.

HitFilm Express Pro supports multiple antialiasing methods. The number and types of available methods will depend on your computer's video card. The further down the list of available options the bigger the performance impact and the finer the rendering quality.

More information on CSAA (external resource).

More information on MSAA (external resource).

Shadow Map Size: This performs a similar function to the reflection map size, but for rendered 3D shadows. The default shadow resolution of 2048 pixels is suitable for many projects but can be adjusted to suit your specific needs.

A lower resolution, such as 512, will create lower quality shadows with more visible edges. However, performance will be improved so for long distance shots this may be a good trade-off.

Conversely, increasing the shadow map to 4096 pixels will create a higher quality shadow at the expense of performance.

You can change the shadow map at any point during a project, so one approach is to use a small shadow map while working on your project, then increase it to the required resolution prior to final export.

Start Buttons

When starting a new project you have two options for getting started:

Start Compositing: Creates a new composite shot using the project settings. This is useful if you want to immediately start work on a visual effects shot.
Start Editing: Sets up your editor timeline so that you can start importing and editing your clips. Use this option if you are using HitFilm as your main editor.

You can return to the Project screen at any time to update your project settings, by clicking the Project button at the top of the HitFilm interface.