HitFilm Pro

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4.3 out of 5 stars

A unique mix of video editing, visual effects and 3D compositing for filmmakers and professional motion artists.

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HitFilm Pro review by James P.
James P.
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"Professional video editing software with a high-level video effects compositor."

What do you like best?

HitFilm Pro is an all-in-one video editor, compositor, and VFX software designed for professional video editors. HitFilm Pro comes with over 600 visual effects and various presets you can use to create effects like flashes, lights, and explosions for your movie clip. This also comes with a powerful audio editing tools. Most essential feature is the audio mixer, which enables you to tune the sound of your video projects.

What do you dislike?

I'm not pleased with the lack of options with exporting formats including YouTube and H.264. It also doesn't support JKL keyboard shortcuts, which has really thrown me for a loop since most other editing tools support that.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Hitfilm Pro would be a perfect choice for you if you are looking for a filmmaker or professional video editor for creating amazing graphics seen in movies without switching between editing and compositing programs.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

With HitFilm Pro, doing video and audio editing is simple and quick. I can edit my videos without any interruptions because of its powerful

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HitFilm Pro review by Michael M.
Michael M.
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"Fantasic VFX, OK editng, far better than previous versions."

What do you like best?

Hitfilm 4 Pro provides a unique combination of Editing, Compositing, VFX and 3D Animation tools, as well as a suite of about 150 Plug-ins for other NLEs (including Vegas, FCPX, Avid, Premiere, AE and Resolve, among others), Mocha planar tracking for roto and 3D camera solves, and the 3D Objects Module from Boris Continuum, all with a three computer installation license for under $400.

As a VFX/Compositing program, Hitfilm is first-rate. Whether one needs basic chroma/luma keying of actors over backgrounds, integration of 3D models and particle systems with camera solved footage, advanced color grading, or one wishes to create motion graphics and complex procedural animations, Hitfilm has a lot to offer. While not offering all the raw power of After Effects, Hitfilm 4 Pro is often faster to use and easier to set up that AE. Unlike AE, a Hitfilm purchase is a BUY, not a RENT. No monthly subscription holding your projects library hostage! Additionally, AE would require VideoCoPilot's Element 3D add-on and Red Giant's Trapcode Particular add-on to perform things Hitfilm has built-in.

In the hands of a skilled artist, Hitfilm is capable of stunning results that certainly meet standards for current television production. I've seen shots from skilled Hitfilm artists that could even hold up in a feature film!

Hitfilm's layout and workflow is fast an intuitive, especially if one is already familiar with any other layer-based compositor.

As an editor, Hitfilm provides all the basic tools needed to cut a narrative project from start to finish.

What do you dislike?

Hitfilm currently lacks expressions or scripting--most of the time this isn't a big deal (honestly, most AE expressions serve to automate things that can be keyframe animated), but it would be nice.

Hitfilm's editor is very basic. One could cut a narrative film project well enough, but event video editors will find the lack of multi-cam a deal breaker.

That said, Sony Vegas is my preferred NLE (Premiere as second choice), and Hitfilm works wonderfully as a shot creator. Hitfilm projects are then output for re-import into my primary editor.

Hitfilm currently has substandard audio tools--limited mixing and monitoring abilities and no real way to add in audio envelopes. However, Hitfilm 4 improves over prior versions with a new selection of audio effects. The Doppler Shift plug-in is the standout here, since the Doppler can be connected to a point or asset layer moving in 3D space.

Hitfilm is particularly sluggish when working with any h.264 video. Considering most DSLRs or Prosumer cameras kick out h.264 this can be a moderate issue. FxHome recommends converting h.264 to ProRes (Mac) or DNxHD (Windows).

Hitfilm lacks any kind of XML support, so Hitfilm is unable to transfer EDL data between programs.

Hitfilm's export options are limited: On PC you have h.264, direct Youtube upload, 8-bit PNG Image Sequences, 16-bit Open EXR Image Sequences and uncompressed AVI. Mac users get Quicktime instead of AVI. Basically you have your high-quality master output or your low-resolution preview output, but nothing for intermediate codecs or online/offline work.

No network rendering

Recommendations to others considering the product

Think of Hitfilm more as VFX software than an editor. For VFX it's fantastic, for editing, less so.

If you need layer-based compositing, advanced VFX, 3D particle systems and 3D model compositing--especially in the same project--then Hitfilm is a compelling choice.

If you are a one-man-band or small company, Hitfilm is probably your best choice. It's a beautiful video "Swiss Army Knife."

For larger studios, especially those that need to integrate projects with other studios, Hitfilm is probably not your best choice right now, solely because of the lack of XML and limited export options means that Hitfilm is kind of it's own thing and not software that "Plays Well with Others." However, the Ignite plug-ins, included in Hitfilm 4 Pro, are available separately for $199 (MSRP), which is a damn good price for a plug-in suite with about 150 effects, compatible with Vegas, Premiere, Avid, FCPX, Motion, Resolve, and, yes, After Effects.

There is a full-featured demo of Hitfilm 4 Pro available on the Hitfilm website. It's only limitations are that output is limited to 30 seconds, uploaded to Youtube, and the Boris/Mocha modules are disabled. Since Boris/Mocha are third-party add ons, I stand by the "fully featured." :-)

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Hitfilm has almost completely replaced After Effects for my VFX and compositing work. I have found Hitfilm to be faster and easier.

Additionally, I just ENJOY Hitfilm more than After Effects--it's an intangible benefit, but, when I play around in Hitfilm I'm playing and having fun. When I'm working in After Effects, I'm slogging through being a bit annoyed. Both programs have fairly similar layouts, so much of this is personal taste.

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HitFilm Pro review by Ben P.
Ben P.
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"Hitfilm Pro is the REAL DEAL! There is not much else that you could ask for in video editing!"

What do you like best?

The work station for composite shots and editing allows you to take your videos to the next level! There is nothing you cannot do with this product! I also love the connection to the online training and community of users who show the amazing side of the capabilities of this program! They are able to do things I cant even imagine doing yet! That allows me to have a great hope of future potential with this program!

What do you dislike?

I would say that there is a fairly steep learning curve for this product if you have never used a full video editing sweet before! The structure is unfamiliar at first for those who have used basic video editing products, but after you learn it, it is a breeze to use!

Recommendations to others considering the product

You can get their free version of Hitfilm4 Express and get a better understanding of how the program works! This will show you the strength of the program before you buy the full version!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

This has made the marketing side of our social media platform a much more professional grade entity. Instead of making videos that anyone could make, we are able to make things that catch the eyes of potential members of our organization!

HitFilm Pro review by Javert V.
Javert V.
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"A continuously evolving, powerful VFX program"

What do you like best?

The amount of things I can do in the software without needing to buy plug-ins is why I continue to use HitFilm as opposed to After Effects. Particle simulation, light flares, 3D model import, and many of the presets for 3D effects are ready to use and customizable.

Having a built in NLE makes putting together a short video easy and convenient, especially when one or more of the shots requires VFX.

In addition, the community and staff that have grown around the program are absolutely fantastic. Everyone is helpful, supportive and friendly.

What do you dislike?

The program does crash noticeably more often than its competitors.

Recommendations to others considering the product

There are 2 versions right now: HitFilm 4 Pro ($350) and HitFilm 3 Express (Free). If you consider yourself a beginner in VFX, start with Express and get a feel for the software by following tutorials on YouTube.

Switching from After Effects to HitFilm is not difficult if you're familiar with the basic concepts of a VFX software program. The HitFilm YouTube channel has numerous tutorials covering the basics of the UI to more advanced techniques.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Creating VFX is what I like to do and HitFilm makes it easy to bring my ideas to life onscreen. I started a YouTube channel (and later a website) for HitFilm tutorials soon after the program came out, and together we have grown both in skill set and audience.

HitFilm Pro review by Rakesh M.
Rakesh M.
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"Great software for standalone film production"

What do you like best?

The user interface and effects in HitFilm are excellent. It's very user friendly, and the effects are powerful and can produce excellent results.It has excellent effects that that can deliver professional quality results, with the usual caveat of learning to use them. Some are very simple, but others are very powerful, and have non-trivial learning curves to go with them.

What do you dislike?

Its workflow integration is non-existent. It doesn't support any intermediate codecs, so the options for rendering are delivery codecs like h.264 and image sequences. It has no support whatsoever for standard formats like Final Cut XML and OMF support, further impeding the already crippled workflow options.

That said, in theory you could do everything from editing to final render in HitFIlm if it worked... which often it simply does not; there's no way to sync audio and video in HitFilm, and HitFilm also fails to support broadcast WAVs with multiple mono tracks.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Get a demo version and test it first. It's great software, but it has some limitations that in some cases are showstoppers; if you plan on using it with a color grade suite or with a ProTools user for audio post, you might be out of luck. If HitFilm loads your footage then you can edit as well as handle VFX there, but it has some strange limitations that require some convoluted workarounds in order to take advantage of HitFilm.

I'm hoping that FXHome will work on these, to enable more workflows to use HitFilm.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Its effects have come in handy for a few shots and for some finishing effects.

HitFilm Pro review by Aaron H.
Aaron H.
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"Allthough it is a free product I would rank it with software like Adobe After-Effects"

What do you like best?

Along with the fact that this product is free (Hit Film 3 express) It has a similar interface to products like Adobe After Effects and Sony Vegas. Also it comes with a massive library of effects to your disposal. For my uses the compositing interface allows for the creation of animated video intros/ outros with ease. Also the option to immediately upload the video to your YouTube account makes the entire process a lot more simple. If there is ever a question about the product, the company has a great customer support center where they are able to get back to you within a day or two.

What do you dislike?

Although I have very few hold-ups about the product my only complaint would be that a few of the features rely upon hotkeys unknown to me at this point and I have not been able to find a complete list anywhere on what those hotkeys are.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Make sure to try the product out with their Hit film 3 express before you buy the full versions.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Before this point If I were to need video editing done to my videos I would first have to upload all the raw video clips to YouTube which took a long time without having any converting capabilities which this product does offer. After I uploaded those clips I would have to use YouTube's editor which was not allowing me to reach my full potential.

HitFilm Pro review by Phil N.
Phil N.
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"Fantastic with some slight flaws"

What do you like best?

What I love about HitFilm is first the price. But then I also love how it combines editing with with compositing in one program and both are almost exactly like their Adobe counterparts.

What do you dislike?

I don't like That it feels very similar to After Effects and premiere but can't use any of the third party plugins that are a big part of those programs. Also at least in HitFilm Express the number of video formats it will accept is very small. I often have to convert a video to MP4 just so that i can edit it.

Recommendations to others considering the product

if you are used to Adobe products you will pick this up very quickly since the interface is so similar.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Business wise HitFIlm allows me to do my editing and compositing without spending a boatload of money.

HitFilm Pro review by Ben A.
Ben A.
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"Powerful, accessible software with unparalleled customer service and support"

What do you like best?

HitFilm is a powerful, accessible tool that gives users the freedom to create their visions with considerably little time cost. The software is a robust, turnkey solution to post-production; and is easily approached by users new and experienced alike.

Moreover, the HitFilm community and company support system are unparalleled. The team over in Norwich is dedicated to its users, and is constantly producing new support materials and finding solutions for the userbase.

What do you dislike?

HitFilm's system, while flexible, may have a few drawbacks. The graphics user interface, similar to Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, or other NLEs, has slightly larger graphical tabs and increased point size on typefaces in-program. Users of other software may find these small details unfamiliar at first blush, but they quickly become innocuous differences.

Recommendations to others considering the product

HitFilm is a company that has grown from a real care and concern for the user. They are very in touch with the needs of narrative and commercial filmmakers, and their products reflect that. The software is easy-to-use without being rudimentary: on the contrary, HitFilm software affords its users endless freedom to create whatever their vision may be, and make quick work of post-production deliverables.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

As a production house, we are constantly turning out work -- both commercial and narrative -- that requires fast, high-powered post-production solutions. HitFilm folds perfectly into our suite of resources; giving us the freedom and flexibility to produce effects of color grading 'looks' on a whim to meet client needs.

HitFilm Pro review by User
User
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"Pretty good for filmmakers. Fun to play and experiment, but not my favorite"

What do you like best?

It is always fun to explore a new software just to see what is different from its competitors. I like the idea of different feature packages you can buy in the HitFilm store. I know a lot of people would feel like these are extra added costs but I think it's nice to have the free version or at least low priced software in the case of HitFilm Pro 4 and have the option to pick and choose what you want as opposed to having features you don't use bundled into pricing and feeling like you pay for something you do not use. I did not buy any features, but I watched some user videos to get an idea and I think it is a neat idea. Really, I think the best part is that you can get the full version completely free or even demo the pro version for free as well. This is a great feature to try before you buy or get someone hooked on the free version before upgrading.

What do you dislike?

The user interface was not as user-friendly as I had hoped. It has elements similar to other video editing software so there is a sense of familiarity, but I had to reference a few times to find what I was looking for or figure out certain things. I also find this software to serve more for short films or entertaining projects. For example, I think it would be a lot of fun to create student projects and use some of the additional feature packages. For my professional use, HitFilm did not add anything spectacular over other choices, so I was not convinced to make a switch or even to add it to my consideration set at the moment. If anyone does not want to provide their email address, I saw you can also download it from CNET's download.com website.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Search for and watch some videos that people have made using HitFilm. Browse HitFilm's website, read reviews, google comparisons between HitFilm as well as the other major competitors: Premier, Vegas, Final Cut, and even iMovie. It really just comes down to whether it works for you or not. However, Express is free and Pro is even free as a trial, so it never hurts to download it and check it out.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Working with my non-profit team members, we generally use iMovie and occasionally Final Cut. For our types of projects, we generally require simpler editing but sometimes get creative with videos and do things out of our ordinary which HitFilm could maybe have a use for that. Otherwise, I think HitFilm is just not a fit for our usage but it does have its place for filmmakers.

HitFilm Pro review by Administrator in Media Production
Administrator in Media Production
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Verified Current User
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"Hitfilm 4 Pro - A Powerhouse Compositing, Editing and Special FX Software"

What do you like best?

Hitfilm 4 Pro is not only vastly powerful, but it's very user friendly. With comprehensive search features, it is pretty easy to find any particular effect, filter or transition. I love that it combines high-end compositing, chromakey, effects, color grading and match-moving with excellent video editing and export capabilities. It can import 3D objects and 2D and 3D compositing are both supported. It has RAM based preview rendering, includes Boris 3D Titles and Mocha for Hitfilm, which really puts it in a special place in visual effects. Hitfim 4 Pro has some of the most advanced particle effects in the industry and there is almost nothing you can't do. It's lighting capabilities is second to none and animating in general is just plain intuitive and fun! It has all the power and not a very high price tag for all that power and professionalism. Lastly, the community is amazing. Tons of tutorials to help you, amazingly good support from FXHome and an active Forum where you can hang out, learn things, ask questions and have fun.

What do you dislike?

There are very small things that are missing, but I would like FBX import and multi-select, but these are not game changers by any means.

Recommendations to others considering the product

For the price, you simply cannot beat its feature set, power and versatility. It has become a mature, stable product with a massive variety of effects and capabilities. Its compositing is up there with After Effects and its video editing is now powerful enough to work on full projects without having to use any other software save photo editing.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Hitfilm 4 Pro has actually consolidated many of my tasks into one application. I can now shoot video and green screen footage, key them, color grade, add special effects complete with particles, import 3D objects and animate everything with excellent visual support and then edit it all in the same application. I am creating everything from music videos, to video for client projects and even small indie films.

HitFilm Pro review by Adam K.
Adam K.
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"Great overall."

What do you like best?

Hitfilm is a great free editing software that does everything well but doesn't specialize on one thing in particular. It has every tool you will need for making videos starting from simple cutting and pasting, grading and even special effects. That last part is what separates Hitfilm from the rest - it's VFX tools are very easy and quick and give fairly good results. Sure it won't replace an experienced VFX artist with expensive tools but it doesn't even aim that high.

What do you dislike?

Honestly there is not much to dislike about this program other than the fact that it lacks "depth" per se. It does a lot of things but on a simple level. You don't get to tweak and manually adjust many options like in other software. I think GUI and keyboard controls could be improved or reworked. Hitfilm also lacks support from external plugin makers like NeatVideo or FilmConvert. This is what keeps me out of it, however I understand that not much people need these plugins or addons.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It's free - get it, try it, see if it works for you.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Hitfilm provides easy and free but still fairly good tools that are a godsend for beginners. This + also free Davinci Resolve enables young filmmakers to do what they love without having to pirate or spend a lot of money upfront. It also opens doors for those who want to start doing VFX work - it provides templates and assets that help get the results you need.

HitFilm Pro review by Tristan W.
Tristan W.
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Verified Current User
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"HITFILM 4 Review "

What do you like best?

I love being able to import and manipulate 3D models.

What do you dislike?

I dislike the frequent crashes on Mac and not having the 2 point lightsword function in final cut pro.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you are interested in hitfilm, you are probably interested in filmmaking. Check out TriFlix Films on YouTube for filmmaking tips and techniques as well as Film Riot.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I needed a software that cold manipulate 3d models in addition to edit as well as final cut pro. I realized hitfilm fills this need for the most part.

HitFilm Pro review by Matt G.
Matt G.
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"I'd choose this over FCPX any day!"

What do you like best?

This software is developed like a video editing software should be. The price isn't bad and the layout is much better than the current version of Final Cut.

What do you dislike?

I haven't come across anything I've disliked so far.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Try out the free trial. You're limited to a 30-sec SD YouTube clip, but it will give you an idea for how it fits your needs.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Looking for a video editing solution.

HitFilm Pro review by User in Internet
User in Internet
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"HitFilm - easy way to learn editing"

What do you like best?

HitFilm is one of the newest editing software. It has big potential. Is it comparable to Premier Pro, Final Cut or Avid? Hmm not now but in the futures I'm sure it will be big competitor. HitFilm is simple and complete software for editing and post production. Is has many effects, plugins, presets. This will be enough for many users, especially beginners. It is not hard to learn interface and features. It has everything what that kind of software possibly need. But there is something missing. I like that there is software that can be great solution for amateur filmmaker that can't afford for example Premiere Pro. But there is one advantage HitFilm has over other softwares. It has great implementation of post production add ons. For example for editing and post production you need Premier Pro and After Effects from Adobe. In HitFilm you have combined features of this two programs. This is very good option for beginner users. HitFilm has also Store where you can buy pack of effects. This is great option for many youtubers right now.

What do you dislike?

Besides that HitFilm is good software I don't like system requirements for HitFilm. It has not high requirements but on the older PC and Mac's it runs slowly.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I recommend this product for beginner users. Software has everything and more that beginners need. So it is great solution for them because sometimes they can get HitFilm for free (special promo actions).

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I'm doing videos for online. I have to have simple and solid solutions for doing video quick.

HitFilm Pro review by User in Internet
User in Internet
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"Complex solusion for editors"

What do you like best?

Best thing in HitFilm is that software is complex and have everything you need to edit. Besides edit possibility there are great plugins. Sometimes HitFilm do promo actions where you can get software for free! I get it in last Star Wars promo action :)

What do you dislike?

I don't like in HitFilm that it needs much computer power. For example my footage from Canon 60D is smoothly played in Adobe Premiere or Final Cut but it is freeze the frames in HitFilm. This is one of the biggest weakness of HitFilm.

Recommendations to others considering the product

HitFilm is very good piece of software. Unfortunately you need to have much computer power to run it smoothly. But there are plenty of great plugins and it is verty intuitive. So if you have money on Premier Pro this is great solution.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It helped me to edit videos when I didn't have any other software.

HitFilm Pro review by John S.
John S.
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"Hit Film Review"

What do you like best?

I enjoy using this program for creating special effects certain visual effects for video production

What do you dislike?

The actual editing system is pretty basic and not that useful in comparison to other editing system. I don't think HitFilm stacks up to Final Cut or Adobe Premiere, but is better than a program like iMovie

Recommendations to others considering the product

Work on the editing system. The visual creating features are very helpful and well implemented, but the editing system is too basic.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

No, I do not use this program right now for professional purposes on a daily basis. I did use it for a business promotional video that I edited

HitFilm Pro review by User in Information Services
User in Information Services
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"Great tool for beginners"

What do you like best?

I used HitFilm for few videos. I'm not advanced user and it was first time when I used any software for editing. HitFilm is very friendly and has simple interface. There are many options but the main ones are visible. It has great effects and presets which every beginner will be satisfied. I know more advanced users could do more advanced projects.

What do you dislike?

There is nothing I don't like in HitFilm. Maybe it run slow on my computer, but I don't have powerfull laptop.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I recommend HitFilm for beginner users. Software is really simple to learn and it help you to do video quickly.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I made few simple videos from integration trip of my company. HitFilm helps me do this quick without almost any knowledge of editing programs.

HitFilm Pro review by Cortney C.
Cortney C.
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"Great Experience"

What do you like best?

Very VERY easy to use. The effects are simple and easy to apply. There aren't many menus, and the help button is very useful if you get confused.

What do you dislike?

Basic as far as fonts and different transition patters. Cutting sometimes cut off too soon or too delayed.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are making live videos of installs to show quality workmanship. When you SEE a crew in action, you are easily able to see how they perform.

HitFilm Pro review by User in Gambling & Casinos
User in Gambling & Casinos
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Verified Current User
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"HitFilm is an excellent video/VFX compositor. I have been truly amazed with all you can do with it. "

What do you like best?

I like the ability to do composting and editing in one product. The fact you can change something in your composite shot and it shows up in real time in the editor is sweet.

What do you dislike?

The interface takes a little while to get use too but after you use it for awhile it gets easier to use.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I am editing educational videos for my work. The benefits is being able to do some minor VFX so the videos are not so boring.

Kate from G2 Crowd

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