Effects panel

effects panel

The Effects panel lists all of HitFilm's available effects.

In HitFilm the term effect is used to describe any of the following:

3D effects (such as particles and gunfire)
Audio effects
2D effects (such as light flares or color correction wheels)
Video transitions
Audio transitions

Effects are organized into different folders according to their type and purpose.

Finding effects

If you're trying to find a specific effect you can use the find box. This will filter the effects listing as you type.

You can click the X icon to clear the find box and return to the unfiltered listing.

List filter

At the top of the Effects panel is a menu which can be used to filter the effects list based on the type of effect.

Using effects

To use an effect in your project you drag it from the Effects panel onto your timeline.

2D effects

2D effects must be added to a clip or layer on the timeline and most can be used on the Editor sequence as well as in composite shots. A clip or layer's 2D effects will be listed in the Controls panel and on the timeline in composite shots.

A layer's 2D effects can be re-ordered by dragging them up and down on the timeline or in the Controls panel.

2D effects cannot be added to 3D effect layers. If you want to add a 2D effect to a 3D effect layer you must first turn the 3D effect layer into a composite shot. See Creating composite shots for more information.

Some 2D effects can only be used in composite shots. These are marked as Layer only in the Effects panel.

3D effects

3D effects can only be used in composite shots. If your composite shot is not already in 3D mode a camera will be automatically added.

When a 3D effect is added to the timeline it creates a new 3D layer.

3D effects cannot be applied to other layers.

2D effects cannot be added directly to 3D effect layers. The 3D effect layer must first be made into an embedded composite shot.


Transitions are a special type of effect that can only be used on the Editor sequence. More information can be found in Adding 2D effects and transitions.


There are 2D and 3D presets.

3D presets are customized versions of the 3D effects with their properties already adjusted. This is particularly useful for the gunfire effect and in HitFilm 2 Ultimate for use with the particle simulator.

2D presets are combinations of 2D effects. This can be a quick way to apply a particular film look to your clips and layers without having to add each effect and set it up manually.

For more information on creating your own presets check out the Presets chapter.

RECAP The Effects panel provides quick and easy access to all of HitFilm's effects, transitions and presets.