Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

FXhome releases Hitfilm 3 Express for free

Last year, FXhome released Hitfilm 2 Express: a free edition of its editing, compositing and visual effects software. It proved so popular that the developer has just done the same thing with version 3.

HitFilm 3 Express, out today, contains the application’s core functionality, and is licensed for commercial use.

A powerful editing and effects tool in its own right
As with its predecessor, HitFilm 3 Express is a cut-down version of the current commercial version of the software, HitFilm 3 Pro, but it’s still a pretty powerful application in its own right.

For a start, you get the core editing and 3D compositing functionality from the Pro edition, plus 157 built-in 2D and 3D effects, including greenscreen, grading, and a range of lights and flares.

It’s also a GPU-accelerated app, and one designed to run on relatively modest hardware: the minimum system is an Intel Core-i3 CPU or AMD equivalent, 4GB RAM and Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics.

Custom training from Film Riot
There’s also some nice training material to help you get started, based around Portal Combat, Film Riot‘s new VFX short, created exclusively using HitFilm 3 Express, which you can see at the top of the story.

You can download the source footage from FXhome’s website, and view a series of video tutorials designed to have you “editing like a pro in no time. Or at least like someone who’s followed an editing tutorial.”

So what are the limitations?
Not surprisingly, there are some restrictions on what you can do in Express. First off, some of the content from the commercial edition has been split out into a range of paid-for extension packs.

These include both themed FX types (film damage, light flares, sci-fi effects, and so on) and specific toolsets, including advanced grading, noise removal, the particle engines and 3D model support.

Mocha HitFilm, the version of Imagineer Systems’ planar-tracking technology integrated into the Pro version of the software, is also a paid add-on, as is import of Dolby AC3 and AVCHD video.

In addition, there are some things you can only do in the Pro edition, like exporting in OpenEXR format or at a resolution over 1080p – the Pro version bumps the limit up to 4K.

There are also 12 effects that are exclusive to the Pro edition, as are HitFilm 3’s new effects plugins for Vegas Pro, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve, After Effects and Motion.

You can find a comparison table for the two editions here.

Pricing and availability
HitFilm 3 Express is available now for Windows 7 and above and Mac OS X 10.8 and above. The core application is free, while individual content packs cost between $9.99 and $99.99. HitFilm 3 Pro costs $299.99.

To download the software, you’ll need to be logged into the website. Registration is free, but you have to provide your email address.

FXhome is also asking that you share the news on social media before you do. You can actually proceed to the download without doing so, but that isn’t really in the spririt of things.

Read more about HitFilm 3 Express on FXhome’s website
(Includes download link for the software and the Film Riot training)

See pricing for the add-on packs, plus a comparison table between HitFIlm 3 Express and HitFilm 3 Pro