Editing .MP4's in HitFilm

Explain to me why supposedly lesser products such as Adobe Premiere Elements run a trillion times faster than HitFilm.
I mean it has come to the point where the software is virtually unusable. I am editing with MP4 videos, and I understand that apparently that codec is difficult to edit with, but come on guys really?
The most popular video codec runs slow on such an 'advanced' software such. Idk maybe its my computer, but still, very annoying.

Comments

  • .mp4 is not the most popular codec for editing.  It may be popular for delivery, where it works great, but not for editing.
    If the software is freezing, we will need some additional information to get to the underlying cause of that.  It might be best to contact support.  Otherwise, can you give us some specs for your system, and some indication of which tools or functions seem to cause the software to freeze?
    OS:
    CPU:
    Graphics Card:
    RAM:
  • Sorry Axel but I beg to differ. Mp4 is a container, not a codec. An mp4 file could contain data in such formats as XDCAM-EX, AVC, h.264, etc., all of which are vastly different from each other. In Vegas Pro for example, my favorite format for editing is Mp4 XDCAM-EX (and yes, it is quite common/popular to use mp4 files for editing).
    Matt, could you also run MediaInfo on one of your clips to give us more details about the code, bitrate, etc.?
    Peter
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited July 2014
    While  Tech Diver is correct that "mp4" is a container, not a codec, if you are shooting on a DSLR that's writing mp4 files, or most consumer/prosumer video cameras recording mp4 or AVCHD, then your computer IS giving you h.264. And h.264 as a codec is highly compressed inter-frame compression. Which is terrible for editing.
    XDCAM-EX in mp4 is a pretty good edit codec (XDCAM IS an edit codec, not a delivery codec like h.264. However, it's still inter-frame compression) Although I get better results with DNxHD in an .mov container.
    Anyway--here's a page I seem to share the link to on here a couple of times a week--A great discussion of why h.264 is not a good editing codec. Hits the basic technical issues without going so in-depth that it gets confusing. :-)
    http://telestreamblog.telestream.net/2012/04/save-yourself-frustration-use-editing-formats-when-editing-2/
    Besides Axel noting the possibility of other issues, I also note this: I believe the system calls Hitfilm uses for preview rendering are standard Open GL libraries. Abode has it's own custom, proprietary render engine (Mercury), which does a good job. But ANY NLE will show slowdown when working with h.264, from Vegas toe Final Cut to Premiere to Avid. Some NLE's do better with h.264 (Vegas doesn't slow down as much as Hitfilm), but it's still a sub-optimal edit codec.
  • It's also worth noting that I regularly use MP4 video from DSLRs in HitFilm without any performance issues, so this may indeed be linked to computer hardware.
  • edited July 2014
    You are correct, Tech Diver.  I was referencing the OP when I referred to it as a codec, and trying to keep things simple so as not to further confuse the issue.  But yes, its a container, which can be used for editing after some conversion.  It sounded to me like the OP was using .mp4 files straight from a camera, not files converted to XDCAM, so I was addressing his specific situation.  Perhaps I should have been more detailed and specific though.
    But I still don't think .mp4 is the most popular container for editing.
  • edited June 2015

    Understood, no problem Axel. I suppose that if one lives in the Mac world, .mov is probably the most popular file type for editing. Coming from the Vegas world where .mov files have had a history of not always working that well, you will probably find that most folks tend to use something else.
    Peter

  • edited June 2015

    here is a guide to help you do the task at: How to Edit MP4 Video on Mac and Windows?

    • Edit MP4 video like trim, crop, rotate, merge, split, watermark,  subtitle, compress, effect, edit video image, adjust video  bitrates/channel, audio channel, extract audio file from video etc.
    • Besides editing MP4 videos, it also helps to edit AVI, MOV, MKV, DV, VOB, RMVB, FLV, MPEG, AVCHD, etc.
    • Besides editing videos like MP4, it also can edit MP3, M4A, AIFF, AC3, CAF, WAV, WMA, FLAC, Apple Lossless, OGG etc.
    • Aside from editing MP4, it also helps to convert any video or audio  to portable devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod, HTC, Blackberry, PS3,  Android etc.
  • edited June 2015
    Method one: Convert  MP4 flles to Hitfilm more supported video format with iDealshare VideoGo

    Method two: Use iDealshare VideoGo to directly edit MP4 videos with the follow gudie at http://www.idealshare.net/video-converter/mp4-editor-mac-windows.html

    This method can easilly help to:
    • Edit MP4 files in the following aspects: cut MP4 files to  capture your favorite clips, crop MP4 to remove the black edges around  your movie video, rotate MP4 video 90 Degrees, 180 Degrees, and 270  Degrees, etc, adjust MP4 video image in brightness, contrast and  saturation, add watermark/subtitle/music to MP4 files, remove/extract  subtitles from MP4 clips, compress big MP4 files to smaller ones, join  several MP4 video into one, split MP4 file, increase or decrease volume  of MP4 movie, adjust bitrate/sample rate/aspect ratio, remove audio from  MP4 media, change audio channel and more for experience;
    • Edit MP4 video as well as keep the source format;
    • Edit MP4 movie as well as convert MP4 to many other video  formats like AVI, MOV, WMV, MKV, FLV, ASF, RM, DV, MXF, WebM, MPG, Apple  ProRes, etc, and audio formats such as MP3, WAV, AAC, AC3, M4A, DTS,  CAF, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, AU, OGG, WMA;
    • Except editing MP4 clips, it supports optimizing many other  video and audio formats, for example, MOV, WMV, MKV, FLV, AVI, AVHCD,  WTV, MXF, WebM, MTS/M2TS, MOD, MP3, WAV, M4B, AIFF, CAF, VOC, OPUS, DTS,  APE;
    • In addition, this wonderful MP4 Editor also works as a Player  with high compatibility and a Downloader which can download video  online;
    • Better still, it has both Mac and Windows version.
  • What I used is Brorsoft Video Converter which can fully support MP4 files with various codecs. Its built-in editing function can help you to so basic editing before conversion. Have a try. Good Luck!

  • Is your MP4 video in HEVC/H.265 codec? Or the common H.265 codec? Either one is not well accepted by Hitfilm. Better transcode the MP4 video to WMV, or MPEG and then importing into HFM.

  • Just to throw in my little bit of practical experience, as a beginner I am still using straight from camera (Canon IXUS) mpeg4 format in Hitfilm2  Express  and even as Axel and others have said it is a delivery codec I have found it I do a short scene with a few effects it still allows preview and is pretty good. That said, I did try a larger movie file with my doctor who titles and found this to be very choppy. Converting it over to an editing format is next on my list of learnings.

  • The reason is that MP4 is a format container with different codecs. If your MP4 file codec isn't compatible with Adobe Premiere Elements, you will be unable to load them to Premiere Elements for editing or import without no sound or no video. Here is the way  editing MP4 files in Premiere Elements.

  • Will converting to a editing friendly format affect the quality of the final video? Or just make it faster and user friendly to edit in HF? 

    Any sugestions on a free converter from MP4 to a good editing format? I have tried handbrake but this converts to a container format MKV of MP4...

     

  • But the question remains I think as he was asking...why then does Adobe Premiere Elements for example run faster than HitFilm?

  • @Yeremyah if you're referring to the OP's question, that was answered long ago. To quote myself: "I believe the system calls Hitfilm uses for preview rendering are standard Open GL libraries. Abode has it's own custom, proprietary render engine (Mercury)."

    Adobe has, literally, tens of thousands more employees than FxHome, and, literally, hundreds more coders per project. Adobe stuff is all wonderfully custom, which is why (for example) third-party plug-in makers always have custom versions of stuff for Adobe.

    Additionally, Hitfilm is a much more capable VFX program than Premiere Elements (PE has a few presets and that's all), and that power comes with more overhead. Hitfilm's just doing a lot more stuff than Premiere Elements.

    With all that said, NormanPCN's done enough testing on his own to show that Hitfilm just isn't the fastest NLE on decode--especially h.264.

    @Xilinx yes and no--it depends on the settings you use to transcode. There are users on here who convert their footage to more highly compressed, smaller file sized formats in the utterly ass-backwards mistaken theory that that improves quality. If you convert to an 'edit-friendly' format, in general you won't degrade your source video, but you'll be ending up with much larger files. That's ALWAYS the tradoff in digital video... File size vs video quality.

    MPEG Streamclip is a good, free transcoder that can convert your files to DNxHD (Win) or ProRes (MAC)

    A not-too-technical breakdown of the reasons for using "edit friendly codecs" is here: http://telestreamblog.telestream.net/2012/04/save-yourself-frustration-use-editing-formats-when-editing-2/

  •  @Triem23, thanks for the info. I have installed the MPEG Streamclip, DNxHD was not available, I had to install the AVID codec pack (for info you can find it here  http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/en_US/download/Avid-QuickTime-Codecs-LE ) I did a short test to convert a 100MB file and the result was a 1.4GB file :-) I will do some testing this weekend, lucky I ordered the 500GB SSD and not the 250GBSSD... Just not shure about the options, my source is 1920x1080P 60fps and in the optionsthere is no 60fps only 59.94...

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited December 2016

    @Xilinx are you using Windows? If so MediaInfo will give you all kinds of info on your source clips like are the really a true 60 fps and whether or not they have a constant frame rate or a variable frame rate. 

  • Cheers @Triem23, I understand better now why Adobe is faster than HitFilm.

  • Aladdin4d, this is what i get from info of MediaInfo, it is made with SJCAM SJ5000X Elite:

     

    General
    Format : MPEG-4
    Format profile : Base Media / Version 2
    Codec ID : mp42 (isom/avc1/mp42)
    File size : 197 MiB
    Duration : 54 s 560 ms
    Overall bit rate mode : Variable
    Overall bit rate : 30.3 Mb/s
    Movie_More : DEMO1
    Encoded date : UTC 2016-09-01 08:07:46
    Tagged date : UTC 2016-09-01 08:07:46
    Origin : NVT-IM

    Video
    ID : 1
    Format : AVC
    Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile : High@L5.1
    Format settings, CABAC : Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames : 1 frame
    Format settings, GOP : M=1, N=15
    Codec ID : avc1
    Codec ID/Info : Advanced Video Coding
    Duration : 54 s 500 ms
    Bit rate : 30.1 Mb/s
    Width : 1 920 pixels
    Height : 1 080 pixels
    Display aspect ratio : 16:9
    Frame rate mode : Constant
    Frame rate : 60.000 FPS
    Color space : YUV
    Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
    Bit depth : 8 bits
    Scan type : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.242
    Stream size : 196 MiB (99%)
    Language : English
    Encoded date : UTC 2016-09-01 08:07:46
    Tagged date : UTC 2016-09-01 08:07:46

    Audio
    ID : 2
    Format : AAC
    Format/Info : Advanced Audio Codec
    Format profile : LC
    Codec ID : 40
    Duration : 54 s 560 ms
    Bit rate mode : Variable
    Bit rate : 96.0 kb/s
    Channel(s) : 1 channel
    Channel positions : Front: C
    Sampling rate : 32.0 kHz
    Frame rate : 31.250 FPS (1024 spf)
    Compression mode : Lossy
    Stream size : 639 KiB (0%)
    Language : English
    Encoded date : UTC 2016-09-01 08:07:46
    Tagged date : UTC 2016-09-01 08:07:46

     

  • @Xillinx DNxHD actually does support 1080p @ 60fps but I'm ot sure how to force Mpeg streamclip to do it at the moment.

  • edited December 2016

    I tried MPEG Streamclip for transcoding files from my Sony a6500; but. It wouldn't recognize them. Was able to use a program called Aieesoft videoconverter to get them to DNxHD, so not totally at a loss.... but any thoughts as to why ??? Here is teh mediainfo  output.

    Format : XAVC
    Codec ID : XAVC (XAVC/mp42/iso2)
    File size : 1.14 GiB
    Duration : 3 min 9 s
    Overall bit rate mode : Variable
    Overall bit rate : 51.8 Mb/s
    Encoded date : UTC 2016-12-24 21:44:51
    Tagged date : UTC 2016-12-24 21:44:51

    Video
    ID : 1
    Format : AVC
    Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile : High@L4.2
    Format settings, CABAC : Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames : 2 frames
    Format settings, GOP : M=1, N=15
    Codec ID : avc1
    Codec ID/Info : Advanced Video Coding
    Duration : 3 min 9 s
    Bit rate mode : Variable
    Bit rate : 49.8 Mb/s
    Maximum bit rate : 60.0 Mb/s
    Width : 1 920 pixels
    Height : 1 080 pixels
    Display aspect ratio : 16:9
    Frame rate mode : Constant
    Frame rate : 59.940 (60000/1001) FPS
    Standard : NTSC
    Color space : YUV
    Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
    Bit depth : 8 bits
    Scan type : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.400
    Stream size : 1.10 GiB (96%)
    Encoded date : UTC 2016-12-24 21:44:51
    Tagged date : UTC 2016-12-24 21:44:51
    Color range : Limited
    Color primaries : BT.709
    Transfer characteristics : IEC 61966-2-4
    Matrix coefficients : BT.709

  • Looking around, and I seem to have answered my own question. Apparently this app hasn't been updated in some time and doesn't work with  XAVC 

  • You are probably right. The main file header has an XAVC tag in there and MPEG streamclip probably aborts since it does not know what that means.

    An interesting side note. XAVC is nothing special. Streamclip would probably be okay if it ignored the XAVC main tag and noticed that the other main tags it does understand and individual video/audio stream tags it does understand. 

    This is a problem with using dead software. It won't understand newer stuff.

  • @CowbyBob Sorry I meant to come back and answer this but I got distracted and forgot.

    Anyway you found the answer which is Mpeg Streamclip doesn't accept XAVC.  Luckily there are some other options.

    NormanPCN went over a lot in this thread including using Handbrake or FFMpeg for low decode overhead h.264 that HitFilm can accept. You didn't mention what flavor of XAVC your clips are but if they're 4:2:2 10 bit then you will be losing something going this route. 

    If you don't mind dealing with the command line and BAT files then FFMpeg can also convert to DNxHD/HR or ProRes. If you don't like dealing with the command line or BAT files then Convert V4 is a nice GUI for FFMpeg. It's not free but very inexpensive and very capable with a lot of extras.

    Last but not least there's Cineform. If you have the Windows version of Pro 2017 then this is probably the best choice because it's natively supported now. GoPro Quik/Desktop can be used by itself to transcode to Cineform or once it's installed you can use VirtualDub. There's details on how to set that up in this post. Since I wrote that I found out about VirtualDub FilterMod which is still VirtualDub but includes native import filters so you don't need to mess around with the import plugins leaving GoPro Quik/Studio the only other thing you need to download and install.

    A lot of this was also discussed in another recent thread you might want to go through too

    https://hitfilm.com/forum/discussion/42267/i-want-to-upgrade-to-pro-but-i-have-a-technical-issue-with-hitfilm#latest

     

  • @Aladdin4d  Thanks. I found Convert V4 as well and it seems to do just about anything I would want to do. Also found Pavtube which  is also quite capable. Convert V4 actually has Apple Prores options. I am on Windows and didn't think those codecs were available for me. I do have Hitfilm pro 2017 on my desktop PC, but I am taking a long trip with my Samsung laptap which isn't quite up to 2017 standards; so, no native Cineform on the road. Using HItfilm 4 on it and need to transcode to a more editor friendly codec so I can play with some travel videos. DNxHD seems the way to go.

Sign in to comment