HitFilm Express 12 is a free video editing program that you can get just for sharing the program’s website on social media. It’s designed for beginners, but even experienced editors will find a lot of utility out of this free program. It is infinitely superior to other free video editing programs such as VideoPad by NCH Software and Microsoft Movie Maker. It even blows away Apple’s iMovie - it’s not even a contest.
If you used video editing software before, the default layout and workflow looks very familiar. It’s reminiscent of Adobe Premiere Pro CC. So, it’s not only easy to make your way around, but also serves as a good training ground for that professional-level program.
While it’s easier for those familiar with video editing, newcomers will have to spend a few hours getting to know the software and watch a tutorial or two.
HitFilm Express 12 also includes a wide array of video and audio effect tools. Effects run the gamut from simple blurs, slow motion to color correction and transforming 360-degree video. Also has about a dozen video and audio transitions. All great tools to start out with.
The compositing tools are some of the most advanced you’ll find in consumer-level video editing software. You’ll use the compositing module to create visual effects, titles, motion tracking and more. Compositing is a skill unto itself when it comes to video editing. If you’re a more advanced user, you’ll find great utility in the compositing array. And if you’re newer, it’s a great place to learn this valuable skill.
Ease of Use
HitFilm Express was designed with beginner editors and filmmakers in mind. But it is a pretty hefty program. If you’ve never edited video before, it can be confusing at first. However, the creator of the program, FXhome has gone to great lengths to make sure you know how to use the software.
There’s also a link to the user guide on the home page. It’s a good idea to download that and read the entire thing at least once so you have a functional knowledge of all the programs tools and features.
In the corner of every window is a question mark icon. When you click on it, a web page opens that explains exactly what the tools in that widows are, what they do and how to use them. This is invaluable for new video editors.
Export & Production
When you’re done with your project, You can export your files in the MP4 and MOV formats. These are two of the most common formats and will suit most of your purposes. But it would me nice to have more options such as WMV and MKV.
HitFilm will export your videos in resolutions ranging from 720p HD all the way to the ultra-high definition 2160p. You won’t find the ability to export videos in this high of quality from any other free video editing program. Its preset options allow you to make a file that’s optimized for playback on specific devices such as an iPhone or iPad.
These presets are useful because they take the guesswork out of export settings. But if you know exactly what they need out of a finished video that doesn’t fall into the presets, you can make your own. HitFilm allows you to customize your exported video’s dimensions, frame rate, aspect ratio, bitrate and more.
HitFilm Express is a free, fully functional video editing program - not a free trial. It’s hard to beat that price. To get the program for free, all the company asks you to do is share the HitFilm Express link to one of your social media profiles. There are no other strings attached.
The app makes money by offering in-app purchases of extra tools. For example, if you can buy the chroma-key (green-screen) tool for $20. It also offers bundles such as the Composite: Tool Pack. Which gives you the ability to remove wires and duplicate on-screen elements like soldiers to create the illusion of a large army.
For free software, HitFilm Express is hard to beat. It makes other free programs seem inferior and antiqued by comparison - and for Apple users, it’s a massive step-up from iMovie. It’s filled with both basic and advanced tools, it’s easy enough to learn if you put in the time.
New video editors and filmmakers will find this to be an invaluable tool to cut their teeth with. And even veteran editors will find a lot to like about what this program offers. And given its price, there’s really no reason not to have it.