How to use HitFilm Express

In this guide, you are going to be shown some of the basics of using the video-editing software, HitFilm Express.


Setting up a project

  1. Open HitFilm Express, and you will see its home workspace.
  2. On the left, you can see a list of all your projects, as well as several effects that are available to buy.
  3. Click to New to start a new project.
  4. Choose either video settings template or custom settings by picking your video width, height, frame rate, aspect ratio, and audio sample rate.
  5. Press OK and your new project will open on the editing workspace.

Importing media

  1. You can add media files by dragging and dropping them into the media panel on the left.
  2. Alternatively, go to File and import media. Then choose which media files you would like to import.

Editing on the timeline 

  1. Drag media from the media panel onto the main editor timeline. Video will automatically appear on a video track identified by its blue colour. Audio will appear on a gree audio track.
  2. Drag the media to move it along different points along your timeline.
  3. Use the player to play back your edit in real-time.
  4. Click and drag your media clips to move them around the timeline or onto different tracks. If you drag a clip onto another clip, it will automatically overwrite that portion.
  5. You can unlink video and audio which is linked together by right-clicking and choosing Unlink. You will now be able to move the video and audio separately.
  6. To adjust the duration of any clip, just click and drag from its edges.
  7. Use the slice tool to split media into independent clips. If you want to go back to your original cursor, click on the selection tool again.

On Windows, use Control + Z to undo any changes you make. On Mac, use Command + Z.

Adjusting audio 

  1. You can adjust the audio volume level by clicking and dragging the white line in the green audio bar.
  2. Hold down the Control key to add key frame points to shape the audio level over a duration of time.

Adjusting video controls

  1. Select the clip you want to adjust and use the control panel on the left to adjust properties like position, scale, rotation, and opacity.
  2. On audio clips, you can use the control panel to adjust the volume.

Adjusting effects and transitions 

  1. Use the effects panel to browse for your desired effect.
  2. Drag and drop it on your clip to apply it.
  3. You can then adjust the effect by going into the control panel, where you will now see the effect.
  4. Enable and disable each effect by clicking on the checkmark next to its name.
  5. Add transitions by dragging dropping from the effects panel onto the edges of a media clip.
  6. Change the duration of the transition by clicking and dragging on the playback bar.
  7. Adjust the properties of the transition by selecting it and using the control panel.