Better Stopwatch Timer in After Effects

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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John Hartley is a Director of Product Engineering at Beam Dental in Columbus, OH. With 5+ years of leadership experience he has worked in startups, agencies, and began his career as a freelance Front End Developer. Always looking to iterate, this blog is a place for him to share his knowledge as well as hone his craft, challenge assumptions, and build a strong base of leadership and management knowledge. Connect with him on LinkedIn

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