HitFilm 4 Express Overview

The latest update to the HitFilm line brings some of the powerful features introduced in 4 Pro to the newly released HitFilm 4 Express.

The popular HitFilm Express software, first released in July of 2015, brought users an affordable (free if you chose) tool for indie filmmaking. The option to buy effects in packs was a unique and successful innovation that provided the ability to customize the program to fit your needs. Today, FXHOME brings the Express codebase up to date with that of 4 Pro, which launched at the end of last year.

The home screen for the program reveals that some of the packs have been consolidated: Damage and Destruction are now one as well as Pro Light Flares and Atmospheric. The Particle Simulator pack and the 3D Models Toolkit have been removed completely; both had previously been available for $99 each. If you purchased these packs for HitFilm 3 Express, they will carry over and you’ll still have that functionality. This applies to any of the other packs you might have bought.

New keyframe controls in the viewer and timeline make it easier to fine tune your animations. The Bezier curve can be adjusted in the Viewer or set to automatic, and the Value Graph gives a visualization of the XYZ movement.

Value Graph

The Rate Stretch tool makes it easy to adjust the speed of your footage in the timeline. JKL playback controls were also added: pressing J plays your clip backwards, K pauses, and L moves it forward.

Some of the HF4 audio effects have made their way into Express. They can be found in the Effects panel under the Audio folder, and include several sound space presets including:

  • Cathedral
  • Echo
  • Small/Medium/Large Room
  • Telephone

…as well as Balance, Pitch, and Reverse.

The last feature mentioned in the video is the new Camera Alignment tools. You can select which Layer the Camera will automatically follow under “Layer Properties”. This saves a lot of time when animating a camera, as you could also have it follow a Point layer instead of keyframing the XYZ rotation.

And that’s HitFilm 4 Express, you can download it now for free from the HitFilm website. Be sure to check out the Iron Man themed sketch and tutorials being released alongside the software. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

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