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Create a Countdown Timer in Adobe After Effects

Create a simple countdown timer in Adobe After Effects without using any Plugin. In this tutorial, you will learn to create a simple and short Countdown timer in Adobe After Effects without using any plugins.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Countdown Timer:

Step 1: Creating a New Composition

  1. Launch Adobe After Effects and create a new composition.
  2. Rename the composition to “Countdown Timer.”
  3. Set the resolution to 1920×1080 pixels and the frame rate to 30 frames per second.
  4. Adjust the duration to 20 seconds.

Step 2: Adding Background Layer

  1. Go to the Layer Menu > New > Solid Layer.
  2. Rename the solid layer to “Background.”
  3. Lock the background layer.

Step 3: Creating and Customizing Text

  1. Select the Type Tool from the toolbar.
  2. Click anywhere on the screen and type your desired text.
  3. Increase the font size and align the text to the center.
  4. Right-click on the text layer and go to Effects > Expression Controls > Slider Control.
  5. In the text properties section, hold the ALT key on the keyboard and copy the provided script.

Countdown Timer Script

slider = Math.round(effect("Slider Control")("Slider"))
sec = slider%60
min = Math.floor(slider/60)
function addZero(n){ if (n<10) return "0" + n else return n }
addZero(min) + ":" + addZero(sec)

Step 4: Applying Expression to Text Layer

  1. Click the stopwatch icon next to the text layer’s Slider Control property to add an expression.
  2. Paste the copied script into the expression field. You may encounter an expression error.
  3. To fix the error, go to File > Project Settings > Expression tab.
  4. Change the Expression Engine from JavaScript to Legacy ExtendScript. This resolves the expression error.

Step 5: Animating the Countdown

  1. Ensure you’re at the first frame of the timeline.
  2. Click the stopwatch icon next to the Slider Control property to add a keyframe.
  3. Set the value to 20 (or your desired countdown time in seconds).
  4. Move to the last frame on the timeline and change the value to 0.
  5. If you wish to remove the leading zeros, modify the script by removing the line: addZero(min) + ":" +
  6. Align your text to the center again for a polished appearance.

Congratulations! Your Countdown Timer Animation is Complete.

Project File Details:

UpdatedFebruary 14, 2024
CompatibilityAfter Effects CC
Required PluginNo
Size30.22 KB
CategoryAfter Effects Tutorials