Create Countdown Timer Videos

Capturing a unique event on video is a simple way to create a compelling piece of media. Today’s digital technology makes this sort of activity available to thousands. To help separate your video from the thousands of others out there on the Internet, add a countdown timer to help make it stand out. If your video has an event in it in which something big happens (like a building explodes, or something falls off a roof), it makes for the perfect scenario to add a countdown timer to help build suspense up to the big moment.


Create A Countdown Timer For A Video

1. Open the video editing application. Assuming you already have a video on your computer, open it in a video editing application of your choice. Any sort of software that can edit video will be suitable; iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas are some of the best choices.

2. Prepare your workspace. In your video editing application, you will first need to locate the video file to which you want to add a countdown timer. Drag it into the “timeline” window. Every video editing application should have some variation of this.

3. Determine where to add the countdown. In the timeline window, drag the playhead to the point where the “big event” happens in your video. This is the point where you want the countdown to end, so it should be the most significant occurrence in your video. Once you find this point in your video, think about how long you want your countdown to run. Five seconds? Ten seconds? Whatever number you choose, drag your playhead back in the timeline for the amount of seconds you want your countdown to run. Your timeline should have number guides marked at the top of the window to help guide you and find the precise point in time.

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4. Add the countdown numbers. Once you have your playhead set at the point in time where your countdown will start, you will be ready to add the numbers for the countdown. If you want your countdown to run for ten seconds, then start with the number “10”; or if you want your countdown to run 5 seconds, start with the number “5.”

Your video editing application should have some sort of tool to add text. Use it to add the highest number in your countdown and place it in your timeline window at your playhead marker. You will now have a new text layer in your timeline. You should now be able to scale your number to the size of your choosing and place it anywhere in the frame. Some editing software will allow you to add other effects as well.

You now need to make sure that the number only plays for one second. Your editing software should have a “cut” or “split” tool with which you can cut the text layer at a certain point in time. Starting at the first frame of your text layer, scroll your playhead to one second forward in time. (Use the number guides at the top of the timeline window to locate the precise time.) This is where you need to make the cut. Once you cut the layer in two, delete the second part of the layer, leaving the first layer playing for one second.

Continue to add the rest of the numbers to the timeline by repeating Step 4 until you get down to zero.

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5. Export your video. Once you have finished adding the numbers to your countdown, export your video as a digital movie file. Save it as a .mov file if you can, because that is the most commonly used video format. Other formats like .avi or .wmv are also popular.