If I'm being honest, I've been on the lookout for an alternative to Premiere Pro for quite some time. Considering that my living isn't made in post-production work, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for me to pay for the software on a month-by-month subscription basis (which I've been doing since Creative Cloud was announced several years ago). Though DaVinci Resolve is the clear favorite to take over, I'm also intrigued by HitFilm 4 Pro, a software that aims to be an all-in-one solution for editing, visual effects, and 3D compositing.

First up, here's a quick overview of the HitFilm Pro workflow. This video is demonstrated in HitFilm 3 Pro, so some of the functionality might have changed slightly (for the better) with the release of version 4.

Here's a more in-depth video that shows off the editing capabilities in HitFilm. Again, this comes from HitFilm 3, but as far as I can tell, the editing interface and functionality haven't changed much.

And here's an overview of some of the VFX and 3D compositing features that have been added in HitFilm 4 Pro:

And here's an in-depth list of the various features and abilities of HitFilm 4 Pro:

Editing & audio effects

  • Editing tools: trim, ripple, roll, slice, roll, slip, slide
  • Rate stretch for retiming
  • Clip & playhead snapping
  • Insert & overlay edits
  • Separate video & audio for J and L cuts
  • Transitions: dissolves, push, slide, split, wipe, zoom, fade, iris
  • Audio meters with peaking monitor
  • Audio effects: reverse, cathedral, channel levels, echo, equaliser, large/medium/small room, pitch, shortwave radio, telephone, tone
  • Mix formats, resolutions & frame rates
  • Upload direct to YouTube
  • Pre-built Vimeo & Instagram templates
  • and more...


  • 2D layer compositing
  • 3D compositing with cameras & lights
  • Includes mocha HitFilm (worth $59.95)
  • Broadcast quality chroma key
  • Spill simulation for perfect lighting match between layers
  • Matte cleaning & transferring
  • Import .ma camera tracking data (Boujou, SynthEyes, PFTrack etc)
  • Live rendering of 3D models
  • Video stabilization
  • Bezier controls for spatial interpolation
  • Multiple camera, perspective & orthographic views
  • Multiple blend modes
  • Ambient occlusion casting & receiving between layers
  • and more...

HitFilm 4 Pro Editing

Realistic 3D objects

  • Multiple light types: directional, spotlight, point, ambient
  • Texture slots: diffuse, specular, normal, bump
  • Real-time reflections & environment maps
  • Multiple 3D cameras with motion blur & depth of field
  • Wireframe rendering
  • Use 3D models as particle textures
  • Generate wraparound 3D environments from panoramas
  • Animation of individual model groups
  • Unified 3D space, enabling easy compositing with other 3D layers
  • and more...


  • World class 3D particle engines

    HitFilm 4 Pro Logo

  • Texture options: static image, animated sequence, 3D model
  • Physics-powered: adjustable bounce, friction & mass
  • Full integration with 3D cameras, lights & shadow casting
  • Global & local physics forces: direction, attractor, detractor & turbulence
  • Generate sub-emitters - perfect for complex behavior such as fireworks
  • Particle simulator exists in unified 3D space, enabling easy compositing with other 3D layers
  • Form-based particles can be created from grid or 3D model shape
  • and more...

Effects library

  • Gunfire
  • Fire
  • Heat distortion
  • Blurs: Angle, bilateral, diffuse, lens bokeh, motion, radial, zoom
  • Sci-fi: Animated lasers
  • Lightswords
  • Lens dirt
  • Shake
  • Blood spray
  • Lightning & electricity
  • Rain on glass
  • and more...

HitFilm 4 Pro


  • Quick fixes: Auto color/contrast/levels
  • Color correction wheels
  • Curves
  • Levels histogram
  • Grading: Color cycle, color map, color phase, color vibrance, duo tone, hue colorize, hue
  • shift, invert, shadows & highlights, vibrance, vignette, tint
  • Damage simulation: Film damage, TV damage, flicker, jitter, shake, stutter
  • Repair: Sharpen, unsharpen, denoise, rolling shutter, pro skin retouch
  • Essentials: Brightness/contrast, color balance, color temperature, crush blacks & whites,
  • custom gray, exposure, gamma, hotspots & white balance
  • and more...

Animation & mograph

  • Alembic support: Import complex animations from other software
  • Keyframe animation
  • Bezier controls for spatial interpolation
  • Value graph for temporal interpolation
  • Point/null layers for rigging
  • 2D & 3D planes for creating solids
  • Audio-powered visuals: waveform, spectrum & atomic particles
  • Procedural textures: radio waves, caustics, clouds & fractal noise
  • and more...


  • Boris FX 3D Objects (worth $299)
  • 2D & 3D text
  • 3D lighting & cameras
  • 3D extrusion with adjustable bevel & surface materials
  • Material presets (eg chrome, brick, marble, brushed metal)
  • Textured surfaces with bump maps
  • and more...

If you're interested in trying out HitFilm, you can either download the Pro version and start a free trial, or you can get the free HitFilm 3 Express, which was used on a recent Film Riot short, Portal Combat. Head on over to this page to see how it was done. Also, if you're wondering how HitFilm stacks up against After Effects, Caleb Ward at PremiumBeat recently did a great review and side-by-side comparison of the two.

Lastly, if you're interested in buying HitFilm 4 Pro, it comes in at a reasonable $349, and it can be purchased from the HitFilm website. If you guys have used HitFilm, be sure to share your experiences with it down in the comments!

Source: HitFilm 4 Pro