Viewer playback stops when doing anything.

Hi guys, absolute Hitfilm n00b here so please be gentle. I am trialling Hitfilm Express 12 with a view to purchasing Pro after happily using a very amateur-in-comparison but now-obsolete video editor for many years. To say there is a learning curve between the two (in both use and feature set) would be an understatement! Overall I am blown away with the power of this software, especially for the money (either the free or paid versions).

However, one thing that bugs me a lot is that when previewing/playback of my edited/created video, if I click anywhere on the interface, playback stops. Am I missing an option/preference somewhere that keeps playback going while I tweak different aspects of it? Having to restart playback multiple times when adjusting something is a real pain. In my quest to find my next go-to editor, I've tried just about every editor available for trial download, and very few exhibit this behaviour. This is especially problematic for me when editing audio or adding audio effects; I do a lot of music stuff, so for example having the sound stop when I'm trying to adjust EQ, echo or other audio properties is counter-intuitive to me and literally kills my workflow.

I understand there could be rendering reasons to stop everything while some adjustments are made but if this is the case, it could be a deal-breaker for this potential buyer. Is this a feature for Pro users perhaps?

Thanks for the opportunity to use Hitfilm, I appreciate it.



  • You're not missing anything. It always does it. No one likes it. We've been told it will not be changing.

  • OK, thanks for the fast response. Appreciate it.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    To expand on what Palacono writes. The devs have decided to stop playback when making changes to controls (or when Hitfilm isn't the active app) for "safety" reasons. It is possible to be adjusting things that could possibly crash Hitfilm if playback were still happening - as an example, let's say I delete an embedded composite shot, but said embedded comp is being used as a Set Matte source on Layer 1, and a Displacement Map source on Layer 2. Deleting that embedded comp during playback suddenly radically changes what Hitfilm is computing in between frames. Heck, that embedded comp might have its own embedded comp, or a nesting happening three or more iterations deep (it happens). Maybe I delete a media file from the bin that happens to be in a "media holder" comp that is embedded in another comp for some effects, which is embedded and duplicated in a third comp, which is then embedded in the "final comp." Deleting that media file just rippled through four composite shots. Let's add another possible wrinkle - maybe the embedded comp in my final comp was pre-rendered.... Deleting that media file from four nests down just invalidated a very large final-quality pre-render. Suddenly our comp we're playing back needs to recalculate multiple effects and re-route a playback from a pre-render to an embedded comp with several layers of nesting mid-frame!

    Yeah, I can see where that might cause a crash.

    If Hitfilm isn't the "on top" app? Perhaps I have a photo I'm wanting to use in a comp and I've opened a photo editor to change it. OK, if Hitfilm is playing back something using that image, I'd be unable to save from the photo app as the photo is currently in use by another program.

    So, personally I feel the devs might have been overly cautious, but they do have clear-cut reasons for the behavior. It's a bit more complex than "no one likes it and they aren't going to change it."

  • I guess I can see the performance benefits too, on top of the "security",
    but it's a real bother :(

  • Yes, I understand all this and appreciate the theories behind it, however to my completely amateur mind, trying to add audio effects when you cannot hear the audio playing is just ridiculous and this (and the complexity of the software) is the main deal-breaker for me.

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