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Insert a timer in iMovie 11

15833 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Oct 17, 2013 7:57 PM by SaschaGeek RSS
KristinK Calculating status...
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May 8, 2011 9:12 AM

I'm doing some sports (track) videos in iMovie 11. I would like to add a transparent timer to the bottom corner (with minutes, seconds, tenths/hundredths). I've read about chroma key and plug ins that used to be around for iMovie 06. Are there any plug-ins or youtube videos that I can use?



iMac, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
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    May 8, 2011 9:34 AM (in response to KristinK)

    KristinK wrote:


    .... Are there any plug-ins or youtube videos that I can use?


    No plug-ins, no timer.


    There's a well-known trick to add 'static' pictures 'over' a video, and in theory (I tested it on my website...) you could add a timer IF that 'video' comes with transparencies ... => no avail here.


    make a suggestion for a 'timer effect' and/or plug-in technology here:


    btw: FinalCut/express and other 'pro'-editors offer timers ... and plug-ins. Look out, in June comes brand-new FCP-X.

  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 Level 7 (22,420 points)
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    May 8, 2011 11:08 AM (in response to KristinK)

    There's an app called Countdown Maker that you can use to generate countdown videos.


    You could use picture in picture to place the countdown in the bottom corner screen.  I think you can also drop your video into Countdown Maker to take advantage of it's alpha channel support for the transparency your looking for.


    You may have to run your countdown or video in reverse to get elapsed time.


    The app costs a few bucks and can only create NTSC 4:3 movies, but it could be a solution.



  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 Level 7 (22,420 points)
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    May 8, 2011 5:04 PM (in response to KristinK)



    Happy to helo out.



  • LarryDH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 18, 2012 8:32 AM (in response to KristinK)

    Kristin, Please tell me more.  I need a 0:00 to 20:00 timer embedded in my cross country videos.  I want to be able to have my video viewers watch my video and see that during the 1 mile mark of a race, they can see what their elapsed time was when they pass by.  Likewise, at the finish, as I'm showing 50 athletes come in during a long clip, they can see the running time to aproximate their official finishing time. 


    My questions - You say you "used a website to download that video".  What do you mean?  Is this one of those products that lets you download content from YouTube and store it locally?  I could see you needing  to store the ten minute video so you can add it to your iMovie videos and use the Picture in Picture feature. 



  • MrDaveWiebe Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
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    Oct 5, 2012 11:01 AM (in response to LarryDH)

    If you go to you can download the video there, then just use the picture in picture feature in iMovie

  • LarryDH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 8, 2012 6:50 AM (in response to KristinK)

    Thanks so much Kristin!  Very helpful.  I can't remember the details but here's what I've done so far and here's a video showing it. 

    I found a 30 minute count-up clock.  Then had a heck of a time downloading a copy into iMovie.  I finally found something that worked. allowed me to download the clip and save as Quicktime or .MOV if I recall. 

    I then thought about what you have done.  Should I run the video capture non-stop during a 21 minute period of time?  I decided to take a different approach.  I video as I've always done, recording and pausing between portions of the race as I run to vantage points.  I do this because I need to capture sometimes four races a day and don't want to have my batteries die or disk filled before I'm finished. 

    Important for me was to be sure I was recording when the gun fired.  I needed to get the data code (time stamp).  An 8AM race might actually go off at 7:57.4 AM according to my camcorder, which is my basis for time.  

    I also video the display clocks around the course and especially at the finishing chute.  My clock displaying in my video needs to match that clock, whether or not I chose to include my clock throughout my entire final cut. 

    So Here's what I've done.  This video shows the race clock in a Pic-In-Pic at various points.

    at the 4:20 mark you see 16:02 which is the race clock. 

    I might try your approach and see how much disk space a full race takes.  It would save the editing of the clock (which saves me time) but would also add to the time where I have to edit out large sections of video I don't want.  Hmmmm.  .... Not sure if there's much difference but may try that. 

    Long story but I had to upgrade my equipment.  My old Sony HD Cam died.  I now have two batteries, large internal disk, two SD cards.  Enjoying the Florida XC season.

  • LarryDH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 8, 2012 11:25 AM (in response to MrDaveWiebe)

    Thank you.  I didn't see your reply until now.  My searches didn't come up with this site.  I trust you have used it and it is safe. 


  • SaschaGeek Calculating status...
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    Oct 17, 2013 7:57 PM (in response to KristinK)

    Sorry, nothing here


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