HitFilm Express

Please note that HitFilm Express and HitFilm Express add-ons are no longer available on the FXhome store as of May 2022. Check out our new, improved, and more affordable offerings on our pricing page here: fxhome.com/pricing.

Latest Blog Posts

How to edit YouTube videos

Producing videos that look amazing and make an impression is vital for YouTubers. In this guide we explain why HitFilm is the best way to edit YouTube videos worth sharing.

Perfect portraits: Edit TikTok videos in HitFilm

Sharing short form films could make you an online social networking star. In this guide we’ll explore how to edit TikTok videos with HitFilm to achieve greater success.

Since arriving in 2016, TikTok has rapidly become a social media giant.

Boasting an estimated 1 billion active users globally, it has put short-form video sharing on the map. Video posts are fast, snappy and fun with an emphasis on mobile viewing.

Today users can upload longer videos, allowing for much more creativity. HitFilm offers an advanced way to explore that freedom with tools and effects to make an impression.

TIP: Around 43% of TikTok’s global audience is aged between 18 and 24 years old.

Screenshot of the FXhome TikTok channel
@fxhome is the official TikTok home for amazing quick tips on mastering HitFilm.

1. TikTok video specifications

TikTok keeps regular video posts to a pretty set format. This is helpful because it makes sure your videos should fit within fairly simple specifications.

If you’re making video adverts however, there is more emphasis on much shorter durations. You’ll want to deliver a quick brand message to grab attention before a regular video post plays. 

Recommended specifications for TikTok videos:

Aspect ratioDimensions (px)Frame rate (max)DurationFile size (max)
TikTok posts9:161080 x 192030 fps1 second – 10 minutes287.6 Mb
TikTok video ads9:16
1080 x 1920
720 x 1280
640 x 640
30 fps5-16 seconds500 Mb

In terms of supported file types, TikTok allows uploads of MP4 and MOV formats. You can also use .AVI and .GIF formats for ads.

Be sure to visit our guide on How to export videos in HitFilm for more general help here. 

TIP: TikTok stipulates a maximum bitrate of 25 Mbps for videos.

Diagram showing that the most successful TikTok videos are vertical orientation, 1920 x 1080px
TikTok videos should always be vertical (portrait) to best fit mobile phone displays

1.1. Top TikTok video trends

The best TikTok videos are short and sweet. They grab attention quickly and make an impression that makes people want to share them.

So what kinds of videos tend to be popular on TikTok?

  1. Skits – Comedy routines, maybe rehearsed or spontaneous. 
  2. Stunts – Shows of amazing skill or practical pranks. 
  3. Tutorials – Demonstrating how to do something, like a cooking recipe.
  4. Dancing – If in doubt, do a funny dance and you might go viral.
  5. Storytime – Clips telling a life story, either personal or someone else.
  6. Time-lapse – Filming something being made or performed at high-speed.
  7. Day in the life – More like a typical “vlogging” format detailing daily events. 

Whatever you do, telling an engaging story is most important to every kind of video. Stories that are relatable with humor and emotion will always find an audience.  

More specifically, TikTok videos that use trending songs or sounds attract views too. It’s also good practice to follow trending hashtags and include them in video captions.

If you’re still struggling, check out short film ideas for your first filmmaking project to get some direction.

TIP: Watch How to make a lyric video for a great way to combine words and pictures.

2. Why edit a TikTok video in HitFilm?

TikTok is a mobile-first platform. This means that its video features are designed to be simple and accessible for editing on-the-fly, inside the mobile app.

Users generally shoot clips on the phone’s built-in camera, making quick edits before posting. For spontaneous stuff this is great but for anything more ambitious it can be limiting.

HitFilm is desktop software for Mac and PC so the scope of what you can produce is virtually limitless.

Tick icon

As a dedicated editor and VFX software, HitFilm offers considerably more features for creating blockbuster video projects — including those for TikTok.

2.1 TikTok video editor vs. HitFilm

How does the TikTok video editor compare with standalone software like HitFilm? Here we’ll identify some important areas to compare and contrast the two.

Key featuresAdvantagesDisadvantages
TikTok video editor (mobile)In-camera effects, clip trimming and sequencing, music/FX selection and post-record filters.Mobile-optimized automatically, licensed pop songs are available and videos can be saved to the device.Editing tools are built into the mobile app and designed to be simple. Options are therefore limited.
HitFilm (desktop)Presets for grading colors plus tools for adding text,  animations and VFX. The Chroma Key effect allows for amazing background green screening.Timeline-based desktop editing allows for many more creative options and a professional-grade finish for more original videos.Not integrated into the TikTok app, so clips must be saved and uploaded. HitFilm does not have the exact same effects/filters.

TIP: Use the Save/Upload options to import video clips between TikTok and HitFilm.

3. How to edit TikTok videos

Here we’ll identify some practical HitFilm techniques for making TikTok videos.

1) Dimensions. TikTok videos are vertically oriented to fit mobile screens. So it’s always important to start by setting HitFilm’s Editor size. Visit Project Settings>Editor and change the width / height properties to 1080 x 1920 pixels.

View the How to export in HitFilm guide and YouTube short for more on Editor and export settings. 

2) Animated Titles. Use the Edge Distortion Effect to add wavy, wobbly text perfect for globe-trotting travel vloggers. You might also try placing video inside titles to introduce sequences more dramatically.

How to add text to a video in HitFilm adds lots more advice here.

3) Applying effects. HitFilm is full of awesome effects to try, including:

4) Adding audio. Music plays a big part of the TikTok experience with songs an important way to soundtrack clips. 

Artlist.io and Motion Array are great sources here for royalty-free music and sound effects. All songs are original and copyright safe to drag into the HitFilm timeline for mixing.

TIP: Stay within HitFilm’s audio levels to avoid distortion when volume peaks too high.

Screenshots of some of the tutorials available on the fxhome TikTok channel
All these techniques and many more for using HitFilm can be found @fxhome.

TikTok video editing FAQs

To conclude, let’s address some frequently asked questions about TikTok editing.

Can you edit a TikTok video after posting?

The TikTok app does not allow edits to already posted videos, but you can re-upload.

For how to edit a TikTok video after posting, visit Share To>Save video to save the old one to the device. Pick Upload instead of recording a new video, re-edit it and delete the original!

Should I make my TikTok video 10 minutes long?

The maximum duration of TikTok videos has changed since launch from 15 seconds to 60 seconds (1 minute) and then from 3 to 10 minutes long.

Many still recommend that 16-60 seconds is the most effective time for maximum views.

How do I add thumbnails to videos?

Thumbnails add a more descriptive preview that people see when they visit the Discover page. Like YouTube thumbnails, these can be hugely helpful for detailing the content and attracting views.

TikTok lets creators add them in Post settings>Select Cover. Here you can pick a frame of video to use, before adding text and an assortment of icons.

TikTok lets users pick a “Cover” thumbnail from the video’s frames during upload.

From TikTok and beyond!

Aside from TikTok video editing, HitFilm is equally ideal for other sharing platforms.

In addition, check out our best video editing apps guide to pick a Best video editing app for TikTok that suits your projects.

For more on how to use HitFilm try visiting the FXhome blog and YouTube channel for essential practical tips.

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Mark Billen

Mark Billen

I'm a freelance artist, musician, and writer based on the south coast. Passionate for video and filmmaking, I'm the former editor of Web Designer magazine and I regularly contribute creative tech articles to iCreate and Broadband Genie. @Mark_Billen www.markbillen.com
Mark Billen

Mark Billen

I'm a freelance artist, musician, and writer based on the south coast. Passionate for video and filmmaking, I'm the former editor of Web Designer magazine and I regularly contribute creative tech articles to iCreate and Broadband Genie. @Mark_Billen www.markbillen.com