Join Simon Jones for an in-depth discussion in this video Starting a new project, part of Learning HitFilm Express.
- [Instructor] When you fire up HitFilm Express, you'll be presented with the home screen. This contains links to tutorials from the developers and the wider community, which often focus heavily on the visual effects possibilities of the software. Once you complete this essentials course, I do highly recommend checking some of them out. Over on the left, you'll see a big list of add-on packs with lots of ominous buy buttons. The good news is that you don't need to get any of those to follow this course, in fact, you don't need any of them to create a professional video project.
All the critical editing tools are including in the free, base version. So, all of these add-on packs are for when you want to take things further or dive deeper into specific visual effects. There's a big blue button, here, to access the user guide. This course is going to teach you all the essentials you need to know but if you ever want to find out more about a particular feature, that's how you access the documentation. Up to the top left, you'll find a list of recent projects, which makes it easy to quickly jump back into one.
If this is the first time you've used the software, this list will likely be empty, of course. The new and open buttons are how you start a new project or open an old one. While right at the top, you'll find the file menu, along with some buttons which we can't access just yet. We can't do anything else without starting an actual project, so hit the new button. This will switch you over to the project screen, which is where you choose the settings for this specific project. If you've used any other video editing software, this should be fairly familiar.
The templates are comprehensive and provide a quick and easy way to set things up based on the kind of project that you're working on. The exercise files provided with this course are 1080p resolution at 23.976 frames per second. So, I'll pick that one from the list. The video and audio settings are self-explanatory, and you'll rarely need to go in to further customize those. Perhaps more unusual are the rendering options down at the bottom.
These are both advanced features that you won't generally have to worry about but let's take a closer look, just so that you know what they are. Antialiasing mode becomes relevant once you start animating clips or adding text, effects, and images. It refers to the technique for avoiding pixelated stepping down the side of images. Increasing the antialiasing quality will produce slightly better exports in some cases, while increasing their overall rendering time.
For most projects, you can just leave it on the default. Shadow map size comes into play once you start working in 3D space. Again, increasing the number will create higher quality results but it will take longer to render. 3D in this context means working in a three-dimensional space inside the software. It does not refer to stereoscopic video. And I should note that we're not going to be getting into 3D in this essentials course. There are two prominent buttons at the bottom.
Start compositing and start editing. If you're working on an animated title or a visual effects shot, or motion graphics, then start compositing is a useful and quick way to jump straight in. If you're going to be editing a project, then start editing is what you want. We'll explore the difference between compositing and editing in HitFilm in more detail later on in the course. After clicking start editing, you'll be taken to the edit screen.
This is where you'll spend most of your time in HitFilm. At the top of the screen, note that you can now switch between the home, project, edit, and export screens at any time. Now that we've started a video project, we've also unlocked some of these buttons up on the top bar. This button marked untitled project is how you can quickly save your new project. It's a good idea to always save your projects frequently because you never know when you're going to have a power cut or some other kind of calamity.
These two arrows are the undo and redo buttons. Currently, they're inactive because we haven't actually done anything, yet, but you'll no doubt find yourself using them a lot once you get stuck into projects. Here we have the workspaces menu, which is used to turn particular interface panels on and off, and switch between different preset layouts. We'll dive into the interface more in the next video.
- Starting a new HitFilm Express project
- Importing and organizing files
- Basic editing and refining
- Audio editing
- Color correction
- Creating titles
- Exporting and sharing your films