Better Stopwatch Timer in After Effects

Posted on: June 4th, 2018

About two years ago I put together a quick stopwatch timer in After Effects for a video I was editing for my podcast. It needed a timer component, but I didn’t want to fiddle with the bulky timecode and masking it, so I turned to scripting. I wrote an elaborate function that, once I thought about how to stop it after a certain point, became too cumbersome.

The above video gives a much simpler and quicker way to add an adjustable timer to any Text item. Remember to go to source, hold ALT and click on the timer. This opens the expression panel for that layer.

t = time.toFixed(2)

if (t < 5.23) t else 5.23

Yep, it’s that simple. I was just way overthinking it. Hope this helps!

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