Learning HitFilm: tutorials from basics to advanced

SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator

NOTE: This is a work-in-progress post! Feedback welcome.

Below you will find a comprehensive list of HitFilm video tutorials, organised into a useful learning order. This list contains almost ALL tutorials, including very old tutorials for previous versions of HitFilm. If you'd like a tidier listing, check out the main video tutorials page.

These tutorials are a mix of official FXHOME tutorials and creations from our superb community.

Editing & workflow

Project One: editing & VFX basics
Introducing the HitFilm workflow
The Two Timelines
Editing essentials
Using transitions
Time travel with the history panel
Speed up your workflow with proxies & RAM preview

Compositing techniques

Introducing the compositor

2D & 3D compositing explained
Creating animated masks
Motion track
Creating animation with keyframes

Working with layers

2D & 3D compositing basics
Compositing concepts
Create layered compositions
Embedding composite shots
Parenting in HitFilm
The clone stamp effect
Travelling matte technique


Transforming layers in HitFilm
Automated motion blur
Creating animation rigs
Reflections, animation rigs & 3D particles

Green screen

Green screen basics
Using chroma key for high quality green screen
Man of Steel superman flying

Motion tracking

Simple tracking
2D motion tracking basics
Hologram project from an iPhone
Motion tracking in action
Demon face make-up

3D scenes

Introducing 3D compositing
Navigating in 3D
3D cameras
Link 2D effects to 3D cameras
Depth of field simulation
Light and shadow
3D lights part 1
3D lights part 2
3D camera tracking data in HitFilm
Create a 3D city background
Quick 3D reflections
Creating a wrap-around 3D environment

mocha HitFilm

Introducing mocha HitFilm
Understanding planar tracking in mocha HitFilm
Planar tracking basics in mocha HitFilm
Tracking long pans in mocha HitFilm
Planar tracking in mocha: understanding motion types
Energy ball part 1: procedural creation
Energy ball part 2: tracking moving objects in mocha HitFilm
Energy ball part 3: final compositing
Aligning the camera

Motion graphics

Designing templates in HF2U
Text in HitFilm
3D extrusion & 3D text
Texturing 3D text
Using the fire effect with text
An introduction to atomic
Atomic particles continued
Create exciting titles with atomic particles
Shattering layers
Adding parallax maps to flat layers
Procedural fractal wipe
Procedural radar scanner

3D models

3D models in an NLE & compositor
3D model import in
Realistic compositing of 3D models
Glowing lights on 3D models + 3D starfields
Aircraft flying through clouds

Exploring visual effects

The effects library

Camera projection

Part 1: from 2D images to 3D sets
Part 2: placing 2D effects on 3D surfaces
Part 3: object removal


Heat distortion
Light wrap
Bilateral blur
Crush blacks & whites
White balance
Levels histogram
Leave color
2D tracking & stabilization
Angle blur
Witness protection
Color correction wheels

Particle simulator

Anatomy of a particle simulator
Introducing the new HitFilm 2 texture system
Quick missile smoke
Advanced 3D particle behaviors
Deflector-based 3D particle wave machine
Cyclops energy beam
Atmospheric particle dust
Create Doctor Who-style time tunnel
Iron Man repulsors
Create a 3D title sequence
Teleport effect from PRISM
Harry Potter wand effects
Harry Potter magic goo
Raindrops on lens
Create dripping water
Particle displacement for jet engines
Creating a clone army
Home-made fireworks: part 1
Home-made fireworks part 2
Advanced particle physics: part 1
Advanced particle physics: part 2

Light & lens effects

Light flares
Auto light flares
Mixing practical and CG lighting
CG lens dirt for more realistic shots
CG sun rays
Volumetric lighting in 3D

Genre projects

Portal Combat

Editing pt1
Editing pt2
Portals pt1
Portals pt2
Gunfire pt1
Gunfire pt2

Outer space

Create a 3D space nebula
Procedural starfield techniques
Create planets with the sphere effect
Lighting a 3D asteroid field
Create your own star

Fantasy & science fiction

Create laser bolts
Force lightning
Star Trek transporter
Derez effect from Video Game High School
Invisibility cloak
Tracked & animated crossbow bolt
Magical shield
Creating a fireball

Explosive action

Muzzle flashes & sparks
Muzzle flashes from PRISM


Anamorphic flares & cine style
Quick pencil sketch style
Color grading: the vibrance effect
Motion tracked grading
Clean up your videos with Denoise

Bonus: Behind the scenes

Creating the HitFilm 2 trailer
Trailer production commentary
Filming the priori incantatem effect
Making of Extraction Protocol
Extraction Protocol VFX breakdown & director's commentary
Making of Knightfall
The making of PRISM: part 1
The making of PRISM: part 2
TDKB VFX breakdown
Fracture: building the set
Fracture: shooting the film
Fracture: on set with actors

Wow, we have a lot of tutorials.



  • Excellent list Simon!  :) 
    For the 3D Models section, would it maybe be possible to also add the one that you did on your own for using the Environment Map Viewer to create immersive scenes with 3D models using large panoramic backplates (you used the flying saucer model in conjunction with a 4K panoramic image)....?
    I'm forever referencing that one and keep going crazy trying to find the link to your tutorial video.....would be great to be able to quickly find it along with these others, all in one place.  :) 
  • Hehe, will add that one now. I also want to add the great community-created tutes from the likes of Majahr, Rody and the gang, but haven't had time just yet.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited January 2014
    Very nice.
    My minor notes.
    I think MOTION GRAPHICS, 3D SCENES and 3D MODELS should come before MOCHA HITFILM. Users need to understand the space and cameras of Hitfilm before jumping to a different interface.
    The "Hidden Features" tutorial should be added to THE HITFILM WORKFLOW.
    EFECTS FOCUS should come before EXPLORING VISUAL EFFECTS. Effects focus tutorials are still basic techniques. Just the in-depth version for one tool. Exploring Visual Effects combine multiple tools in look-specific case studies, and often call back to specific tools.
    Possibly cross-reference EXPLORING VISUAL EFFECTS by concept? Kind of like listing the "prerequisites" for an effect. "Creating a nebula" references""3d pictures from 2D" and "particle sims," "Lightsabers" requires "masking" and "2D compositing", and "Prism Teleport" requires "2D tracking," "particle sim" and "masking." This helps reinforce the creative use of the same basic toolset.
    Make this thread a sticky... In all four forums. . ;-)
    Append this list to the Online Help Manual.
    Possibly include User Tutorials and "Unofficial" tutorials such as Simon's "Particle Clones" or Majahr's "Text to Particles?"
    That's all I have. Again, very nice!
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    @Har. I have a youtube downloader on my Android phone, and many Hitfilm tutorials available at the flick of a finger!
  • Triem - good points, implemented most of them. I think most of the sections could do with a 1-line intro, so that people know what they're getting into.
    I've added my own unofficial and It's A Trap tutorials. WIll add Rody, Majahr et al soon.
  • HarHar
    edited January 2014
    @Triem: good idea, I like the idea of having an immediately available local library of HF tutes!   :)  
    I've seen a number of things like that for PCs, so I'll have to look into getting something like that, being of the (intentionally) smartphone-less personage.  ;)  
    Thanks for adding that in Simon!  :) 
  • edited January 2014
    @Triem: good idea, I like the idea of having an immediately available local library of HF tutes!   :)  
    I've seen a number of things like that for PCs, so I'll have to look into getting something like that, being of the (intentionally) smartphone-less personage.  ;)  
    Thanks for adding that in Simon!  :)

    Har, I use Freemake Video Downloader to keep my Hitfilm Tutorial folder up to date. Besides Hitfilm, there are a few tutorials from the Frugal Filmmaker on DIY equipment and a series by Graham Houghton on the camera I use. There are enough tutorials there now that I need to create some sub-folders to organize them like Simon has here.
    The software works great. Just be sure to pay attention during the install. It's one of those sponsored installation packages that wants to install junk you don't want if you don't do the 'custom' option and turn it all off.
    I'm on a laptop, and don't always have the internet available. It's nice being able to go look at any of these tutorials if I need a reminder of something (happens a lot!).

  • @rtrowbridge - thanks for the tip!  :)  I'm also a fan of Frugal Filmmaker as well as Graham Houghton (I use a Panasonic FZ200 that he has a lot of excellent tutorials on), and both of those would indeed be valuable to have offline considering how often I hit their channels.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    @Har. I use "Easy Youtube Video Downloader 7.0" on my PC. That's a Firefox extension, not a program. I do prefer the smartphone (Which I know you don't have) because that way I don't have to tab out of Hitfilm if I review a tut while working. I can just call it up on the phone. But I do like having the tutorials stored locally. :-)
    @Simon. Yes, I see you've added and changed things, and, yes, WOW you guys have a lot of tutorials! And more to come!
  • Thanks Simon this is awsome, I've been working my way through loads of them over the months such a great resource from the hitfilm team and community.  I've done the same have download folder locally for quick reference! 
  • This is truly great! Thanks for all the time you take to help us out!
  • This is a good start to help new users (like myself), so first thank you very much for both making the videos and organizing them in this way.  I have watched most of them, in various orders,  and am now watching them in the order listed again. With that said, I cannot stress enough the value of time and clear progression in regard to the comprehension of a new software tool.  Although your videos are presented with the intent to truly help the new users, they suffer from the following problems.
    1) They are incomplete on the title subject
    2) They are random with no clear training progression for an unskilled student.
    3) They gloss over important points as the instructor "clicks" without description, leaving much guess work, making it hard to follow and understand.
    4) They too often refer to a future video that may or may not exist, or simple say find out more in the manual.
    5) Overall, they do not allow a new user to feel empowered to use the software professionally, but only for fun, as in amateur YouTube videos.
    6) I could not train an employee with them, making the software unusable for scaling my production needs.
    I completely understand what free means, so please understand these comments are only for the benefit of the long term value of your software. If you truly want to get your software in the hands of students, schools, etc (unskilled users to compositing) as your marketing material indicates (that's why I jumped in), you should strongly consider developing a professional training product or products that teach new users to use your software in a traditional formatted way, with comprehensive lessons that concisely progress the student in a expert manner, and not require them to watch random YouTube videos.
    I know a large majority of forum posters are against a paid training product being offered by the publisher because they feel training should be free, yet there is no one else to train on new products since the product is not well known to garner third party training providers. There are many types of users, some who want something for free and others who are willing to add value to the publisher and buy training products because they see the value in it with the time savings.
    I made a post to promote a kickstarter, and that is why this thread was created, so thank you for a great response, yet I still remain convicted to help your product to the next level by supporting a more thorough training product, even though by the time it is completed I will have either moved on to AE or roughed it out learning this product.
    I've owned and operated a computer service company for 26 years and now am moving into making video productions (kids shows) and would very much like to buy additional licenses for employees and approach your product for professional use, but feel at a loss since there is no training solution other than hard knocks and snippets, which isn't something I can pay an hourly employee for, and there is no skilled Hitfilm employee pool to hire from in my area. So I am left with AE due to training options. So perhaps my problem is a common model you will face.
    Anyhow, I would be happy to pre buy any training product you some up with, if you decide to expand in this manner.
    Best wishes and thanks for reading my short story.
  • I think the problem is that FXhome is a smaller company, so if they dedicated their time to making a professional tutorial series they would not have time to improve and add features to the software itself. 
  • Or they could grow?  Remember there is always a point where a smaller company transitions to a medium sized company or a medium company becomes a large company.  If they could find a way a way for a new branch of the company to be added that generates revenue separately they could easily grow the company.  Paid for tutorials should and could be a separate part of the business model.  That way it doesn't diminish or take away from the free tutorials side.  Hence why I think the use of contractors who generate the business works best.  No additional employees need to get hired at that point.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    I can certainly say from experience that tutorials and documentation take a lot of time. MichaelJames, here, started a thread back in June(?) 2013 about improving the Hitfilm manual, and a discussion of crowdsourcing that! Well, MichaelJames contributed a couple of things, I contributed a couple of things and then it trickled off. Can't speak for MichaelJames, but I know I would love to help continue crowdsourcing the Manual, but I have to prioritize work (I was severely injured last year, unable to work for 9 months, and am playing catch-up on accured debt) first, and, when I get free time, I admit I would rather build animations than document sliders. I have some tutorials of my own planned, but, again. Time vs money. Lynda.com has a ton of After Effects tutorials, but a huge majority of those aren't from Adobe. They're from users. And After Effects has been around much, much longer and has a bigger user base. At the moment, better Hitfilm documentation and tutorials would be fantastic, but I know how much time it takes.
  • I still have the work saved and organized as a word doc.  Would love to get it going again. 
  • Let me give you a real life example that I think fits this company profile very well.
    Last year I had a client who wanted 2D animation cartoons for their children's therapy business. I did the job making 15 shorts stories using Reallusion's Crazy Talk Animator, but it didn't stop there, as I bought most all the template characters, training and 4 licenses for their software in order to get the job done. My bill was as follows.
    Crazy Talk Animator Pro x 3 = $510. ($170. each)
    Crazy Talk 7 Pro x 2 = $200. ($100. each)
    Template Characters and Scenes from their content stores = $700.
    DVD Training = $30. (It was all they had, but would have bought all of it)
    iClone (just to test it out) $60.
    pop video Convertor = $60. (program is bad)
    I spent over $1500 with them to get this project done quickly. It would have taken me too long to create all the content ourselves, so it was a good business help to just buy content.
    I bought Crazy Talk instead of Toonboom because it was easier to get the product out with our skill level. I basically just installed the product and sat my 3 employees in from of the training DVD and said learn this. They actually did a very fun job and the client loved it.
    Just saying, there is a secondary sales channel for training as well as templates and content for those of us with more money than time. I would have loved to just buy the time savings, but I digress.
  • Simon - you are the Best. Thank you for this study Course.
    Can you take a video about stabilized videos in hitfilm?
  • Thanks for the feedback, guys. All noted. microtogo - I don't disagree. At this point it's a matter of resources more than anything else - with HitFilm's userbase expanding all the time, though, I'm hoping we'll continue to see more and more community tutorials emerging, filling the various requirements of different groups, in addition to our continuing 'official' tutorials.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    In fact, I see on the movie wall several user tutorials added in the last week. I have not viewed them yet, but they're there. I have at least four tutorials of my own planned, one of which will likely be a two-parter if not three.
    (Advanced Particle Cloning with 3D objects, aka the "fancy camera gimble," Glass Text, Cloning with Atomic and Advanced 3D text, aka "Text Beveling.")
  • I noticed a link error on one of the tutorials.
    Compositing techniques/ 3D scenes / 3D lights part 1  has two links.
    "3D lights p"  links to part 1.
    "art 1" links to part 2.
    So depending on the placement of the cursor, they might get part 1 or part 2 :)
  • Odd! Thanks for pointing that out, rgbii!
  • That's a truly epic list Simon, nice one!
  • I look forward to gleaning all I can from the list.  Thank You all for Your Support!
  • Im totally new to all this, so im very thankfull for this list of learning and guides :) thank you so much :)
  • For your Pleasure I created a Youtube-Channel with Playlists to the several Parts Simon defined. I hope, it will help the Community and it's OK for the Hitfilm Crew.
    Greetings from Munich,
    Chris :-) 
  • totally awesome! Big thanks for the list!
  • I believe this topic is the single greatest goldmine of information for Hitfilm users on the forums.  What a fantastic grouping of tutorials!  Thanks to Simon (and everyone else) who put this together!
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    NOTE: This is a work-in-progress post! Feedback welcome.
    Below you will find a comprehensive list of HitFilm video tutorials, organised into a useful learning order. Think of it as an informal training course for learning HitFilm. Go from the top or pick a subject and work your way through the videos.
    These tutorials are a mix of official FXHOME tutorials and creations from our superb community.
    Wow, we have a lot of tutorials.

    And, of course, Grisby created a YouTube page compiling the tutorials into playlists by your subdivisions (He beat FxHome to it, as I expected you guys to do that.)
    That link is here.
    You may or may not want to add that to your initial post in this thread for further easy reference.

  • Done!
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