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I would like to know if it is possible to create a time indicator in my CS5 project.

Jan 23, 2013 2:36 AM

Tags: #cs5_project

I'm building a Work-out video and I need a time indicator or clock in the corner of my movie that plays for one minute.

Is this possible to create or insert this in CS5? Does anyone know where I can download such an indicator?

Thanks in advance,


Monique van Deursen

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2013 3:08 AM   in reply to mevison



    Try a transparent track with the timecode effect in it.

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    Jan 23, 2013 6:07 AM   in reply to mevison

    The Timecode effect in Premiere Pro will only count upwards, as it's reading the elapsed time of the sequence or clip. To make a 'clock' that does anything else you will need to involve another application.


    After Effects, for example, can control a text layer using a script - so it's easy to make a stopwatch/timer, and there are many tutorials about how to do it (Google is your friend).


    If you only have Premiere Pro then there's not a lot of options. You could of course film a real-life clock and add that into the sequence as a new layer - it might sound silly but given the right setup it can look great. Back in the day, it was how the live clocks on TV news shows were inserted.

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    Jan 23, 2013 8:38 AM   in reply to mevison

    If you want a countdown timer on screen, here is the procedure in Premiere. Involves exporting the Timecode as a movie clip, then importing and overlaying onto your video, with Reverse speed.


    File > New > Sequence  -  to create a new sequence, and use same settings as your video project.


    File > New > Transparent Video


    Drop the Transparent Video clip into Sequence and drag out to desired length (60 seconds, 60 minutes, etc.)


    Apply the Adobe Timecode effect to this clip. Uncheck "Field Symbol" box. Adjust size and position - you may just want to place it in the center of the screen and make it large - you can always then scale and reposition later. In Timecode effect settings, change Time Display to "30 Non-Drop Frame". This will replace the semi-colons with colons between the numbers.


    Now - will you want the background for the numbers to be solid black, or semi-transparent? If wanting some transparency, then adjust the Opacity slider. In order to see the result (since background is currently black), move your clip to V2, and put any video clip or color matte on V1 beneath it for reference. Once the Opacity is set, remove the background clip so your screen is again "black".


    Next, you will need to do File > Export > Media to create your timer clip. Which format? Depends on video format and more. Are you on Mac or PC? If working with NTSC on PC, once could simply use DV AVI for a solid background clip. Mac users may wish to use a QuickTime format. If wanting the transparency included, then you need to use a video codec that includes an Alpha channel. I edit with Matrox hardware and have the Matrox codecs installed and just use those, as they include an alpha channel version. These are freely downloadable from Matrox. Otherwise, maybe a QT codec, 32-bit to include alpha? Whatever works for you. In any case, do a short sample and verify results before doing a lengthy render.


    So Export the video, then Import the resulting clip back into your project, and place the "timer" clip over your video in the Sequence. Right-click and choose "Speed/Duration" and then "Reverse".


    Next, whether the clip used transparency or not, you can apply the CROP effect. Since your timer clip has frames running at the right, you will likely want to get rid of that and can simply crop off that part, since it counts FRAMES and not "time". Your timer will then have SECONDS counting off at the right. Crop the entire box size, all 4 sides, to suit. You can also use the Adobe Motion effect to Position and Scale the timer exactly where you want it. Remember how we made the timer large and centered? Now that you have this video clip made up, you have the flexibility to use it in other projects. Always better to scale DOWN the size, without loss, rather than needing to scale UP and have it get blocky on you.


    I've tried the solid black and transparent versions, using the Matrox codecs, and both worked great. Hope this is helpful




    Jeff Pulera

    Safe Harbor Computers

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    Jan 23, 2013 9:24 AM   in reply to mevison

    Before reversing it, reduce the duration to 49 seconds by trimmimg the end of the clip.

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    Jan 23, 2013 9:31 AM   in reply to mevison

    Hi Monique,


    Double-check the export settings - perhaps it was set to "Export Work Area", which is indicated by the bar above the timeline, and depending how that is set, you might have only exported a portion of the video rather than the whole thing.


    Transparency - if you add ONLY a title to your sequence for instance, without ANY background, the area that you see as "black" is actually "nothing". The background of the title is transparent, and when you export to a video clip, if you wish to maintain that transparency in the resulting clip, the video codec that you export to must have an alpha channel in it. If you just export without alpha, the resulting clip will have a BLACK background and the transparency is lost, not included in the file.


    Video clips usually have 24-bit color, meaning 8 bits each for red, green, and blue channels that make up the image. An "alpha" channel adds an additional 8 bit layer, which you can think of as a "mask" that tells parts of the image to be transparent or opaque or somewhere in between. This is a video format with 32-bit color. So if you add a TITLE to a blank timeline, and export as a clip WITH alpha channel, and then Import that clip and put it over some video, the title clip will have the transparent background as the original title did. Without alpha, the title clip has a solid black background.


    So as mentioned, I use the Matrox codecs and they do have a "with alpha" version that maintains transparency of exports, for instance the semi-transparent background of the Timecode effect. When I export the Timecode clip and re-import and place it over my video background, the box beneath the numbers is see-through! PC version here - nloads/softwares/version1.0/build33/


    I just tried using a QuickTime codec, and chose the "Animation" flavor and then set the Bit Depth to "32" (under VIDEO tab in AME) and this maintained the transparency just fine. This is on a PC. Timecode Opacity setting was at default of 40%.


    Hope this makes sense



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    Jan 23, 2013 11:58 AM   in reply to mevison

    You can simply use the QuickTime Animation codec (bit depth 32) that you already have in Media Encoder, but if you do install the Matrox codecs, do so with Premiere closed, then next time you go to Media Encoder, choose "AVI" as the format and then under the VIDEO tab, look for CODEC and from the drop down there you can choose the needed type of Matrox codec, such as "MPEG-2 I-Frame HD + Alpha". Note that you may need to manually configure the settings, such as "1920x1080, 1.0 square pixels, upper field first" or whatever suits your project needs. You can also drop the data rate down to the minimum for the time counter export, as there is not much data to compress.





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