I am using HitFilm 2017 Express to put together a few clips recorded by an iPhone (1920 x 1080 @ 29.97fps).

I see some video settings in my project tab:

Proejct video settings

When I export my video, I see even more settings - some of which are duplicated across both:

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I understand that my export settings are what I actually get in the rendered file. What confuses me is the project's video settings (first picture). Why do I even have them? How do they relate to and/or affect the final production?

1 Answer 1


Project settings determine the way your source media will be interpreted (played/processed/pre-rendered) by your NLE application.

Export settings determine the format of the file that you are going to output once the edit is finished.

For example:

You shoot video on a Panasonic HVX camera in Apple ProRes 422 codec (HQ). Then you import the clips into your project. The project codec will be Apple ProRes 422 (HQ).

You plan to publish the video on youtube. There is no practical sense in keeping the quality as high as Apple ProRes for web delivery, so you choose to compress the resulting video into H.264 codec inside an MP4 container (listed as Youtube 1080pHD) to make it easier to upload, without significantly sacrificing its quality.

  • I kind of had an intuition that resembles what you said. But still, I am confused. First, you just said the project settings determine how my media is "processed". Shouldn't HitFilm simply be smart enough to recognize each imported media's format and "process" them natively without my interference? I see no reason why a video editor would want to reduce the quality going "into" the app. Secondly, what happens if I mix different input qualities in all the different media files I import? Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 15:05
  • HitFilm is smart enough to recognise the format of media files you import and can later change your sequence settings to match them when you do that. So you can actually skip the template selection. The video editor would want to reduce quality of video going into the app, if his computer was too slow to allow playback and rendering in the source format (i.e. you have shot a lot of video in camera RAW format). But that's not your case, so nothing is reducing the quality (your template selection is not doing any video conversion).
    – Tony Sepia
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 15:47
  • 1
    You can learn more about Editing vs. Delivery formats here: telestreamblog.telestream.net/2012/04/… This will make it clear why there is a distinction between Project and Export settings. In short: you don't have to edit in the same quality you are delivering in
    – Tony Sepia
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 15:54

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