10 Replies Latest reply: Oct 17, 2013 7:57 PM by SaschaGeek
KristinK Level 1 Level 1

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

    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

    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.



  • KristinK Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you for both of your ideas. I was able to find a great 10 minute timer on YouTube:




    Then used a website to download that video and add as a PIP into my movie. Worked wonderfully!!! So excited to tape my next track meet!


    Best of all ----- it didn't cost me a dime!


    Love these discussion groups


    Thx again

  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 Level 7



    Happy to helo out.



  • LarryDH Level 1 Level 1

    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

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

  • KristinK Level 1 Level 1

    Larry --


    The link in my previous post is for a 10 minute timer that I use all the time for track videos and shorter races. I wasn't able to find a 20 min video of a stopwatch on YouTube (just countdown timers) so I created my own by video taping the stopwatch on my iphone for 20+ minutes then importing. I can put it in video as Picture in Picture and then crop so it looks good.


    The key is, taping the race so you can pair up the video and timer. I've used two methods. The easiest is to video the entire race. When I run from location to location (on an xc course), I keep the video camera running. When I put it into an imovie project, I pair up the timer with the gun going off at the beginning. Then I splice both clips and remove the 'dirt' that I don't want in my project. This works beautifully!


    The other way I've done it is to take video of a watch that is sync'd with the starting gun before I video footage. And do this for each location that I capture video. Then I can match up the timer with the stopwatch when I'm editing in iMovie (after I match them up I splice out the stopwatch footage used for syncing). This way has taken a bit more time because the matching up is not exact - clicking and dragging the timer movie around to get them synced.


    It is great as a training tool to have the time with the video (especially when running the same XC course).

  • LarryDH Level 1 Level 1

    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.  http://perian.org/ 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

    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 Level 1 Level 1

    Sorry, nothing here