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Video Countdown Timer
A year ago I attended the Christ In Youth summer conference.
As we walked into the worship center for that evening's celebration time, on the screen was a digital style countdown clock.
It listed minutes, seconds and hundreths of a second.
15:03.09 (or whatever)
Basically, when the clock reached zero (0:00.00) worship started.
Since that conference I've been trying to emulate how that was done, but have not been having much luck.
Any ideas?? Part of me thinks this is a form of timecode, but the only time code that I've ever seen goes beyond six digits.
Re: Video Countdown Timer
If you want to take the easy way out, Willow Creek sells a DVD of their countdown timer. Or if you want the hard way, Willow Creek also has a PDF file of how they made their timer using Adobe After effects. I have put links to both below.
Easiest way is to do it in After Effects.
1. Create a new Composition. The length of the composition will be the length of your countdown. If you want a 15-minute countdown, create a 15:00 Composition.
2. Add a new solid that is the same size as your Composition, then add it to the timeline.
3. Apply the Text>Numbers effect to the layer. Choose an appropriate font/color for the intended application.
4. Change the number format to Timecode (30).
5. Position the numbers in the middle of the Composition. You may want to apply a layer mask to hide the Frame numbers.
6. Adjust the size of the font and its tracking so it will fit your tastes. You might also need to turn off Proportional Spacing so the numbers don't jump around.
7. Turn on "Composite on Original."
8. In the Timeline, select the Layer and hit CONTROL+ALT+R on a PC or COMMAND+OPTION+R on the Mac. This will reverse the layer you countdown actually counts.... down!
That's basically it! You can output it any way you want (even bring it into your editor and Alpha it over footage or even a JumpBack.
I had Paul email me this file and it looks great! It will be a great addition for Services, Camps, etc. Anything that has a main service.
It's awesome that people here will share these ideas and projects for free. Free seems to always fit in my Media Budget. Thanks again Paul!
If you needed to go a non-video route, WorshipBuilder has a countdown timer built in to it. I don't think he offers it as a stand alone product (like Gabriel -- another cool program), but with some coaxing I bet he would.
Also, take a look at
XNote Stopwatch and Ace Clock (my personal favorite), which has a countdown timer feature. These have a "stay on top" feature, so you could run them on top of PPT as it's doing its thing.
I think it would be cool to also have a timer start 10 minutes before the service is supposed to end.
I'm not sure I ever got why frames were included in the countdowns. Any justification would be appreciated. When I made mine, I decided to do it the long way, b/c I don't get why the frames are included.
BTW, if anyone wants to do it in FCP w/ frames, there's a filter that puts time code on the video for a window burn. Put it on a reversed background of the right length. Nest the sequence then reverse the back ground sequence to its original direction and viola, a countdown.
we've needed countdown timers for our youth service and for new years. i pointed a video camera at the beta deck and recorded the LED timer directly into the NLeditor. i used a luma keying to key out the black background and then used video effects to adjust color and place the digital numbers where i wanted them; i put them on top of juice (for the youth) or in a graphic frame (for new years).
the timer shows minutes:seconds:frames, but nobody keeps track of frames vs. hundreths cause it just blinks real fast. the obvious drawback to this option is it takes 15 minutes to record a 15 minute countdown, and 15 minutes to run it to tape. [it also takes 15 minutes to play it back... ]
use it straight from the computer, or for preproduction, you can then just record the output and lumakey it onto your video background. or you could also render with other background colors and chroma key the text or the background for other effects; i.e. put a countdownclock in picture with moving juice inside the counter text. [im assuming your equipment can do this...]