Digital Clock and Timer Animation in After Effects

I will show you how to make a digital clock in After Effects with a few lines of code without using plugins. First of all, what I need is a font suitable for digital clock. There are many fonts suitable for digital clock format on font sites. However, for convenience, I leave the link of the font I used in the explanation section, the name of the font that I will use and at the same time I leave a link below for you to use is Digital Dismay.

I added an image to the background. So that is not just a single color background. I will continue with this image. I click on the type tool from the toolbox above and after selecting the font, I write the 88:88 characters we see in digital clocks on the scene, Center the text on the scene and make it look more beautiful. And let’s change the color of the font. Which you can change later. I have left it a shade of blue. I will close this window by clicking to Okay button.

Since we have written a text on the scene, a text layer has been created here. I click on the arrow on the left of this text layer to open its properties. I click on the arrow on the left again, to open the properties of the text. You will see Source Text. We need expression codes to make any timing. Through expression codes, we can make animations that seem difficult in After Effects easier. In this project, these are the codes we will use to make a digital clock. I will leave below and copy and paste them.

rate = 1;
clockStart = 0;

function timerg(n){
if (n 

I copy these codes and click on the icon on the left of the Source Text section here by pressing the Alt key on the keyboard. If you do as I mentioned, you will see such a result, a text field, a code field will open where you can enter the expressions, I just mentioned, I paste the codes here with Ctrl + V. And click anywhere in this field.

This project contains an expression error solution

When I move the timeline from left to right, I will not see any movement. Because it gave an error here. It gave an expression error. To overcome this error, we are going to need to make a change in After Effects. Under the File menu, I go to Project Settings. In the Project Settings window, you will see the Expression tab on the far right. When I click on this tab, there are two options to choose the infrastructure that I need to use to run the expression. It didn’t run this because it’s the exciting JavaScript. If we change it to Legacy ExtendScript and close this window by clicking Okay, the error will go away and the code will start running. When I move the timeline from left to right, you will see that it increases every one second. You can make it move by pressing the space key on the keyboard. Look, it increases by one second every one second.

There are two options we can change in this code. You will be able to edit it according to your own project. One of them is the Rate value. If I change the Rate value to, for example 10 here and I press the space key from the keyboard, 10 values will change every second. So as soon as a second passes in real life, you will see it here. Let’s change this back to its original state. When we leave it as it was originally, that is, then we make the rate value one every second in real life will increase by one second in the workspace.

There is also the clock start value. This value indicates what time it’ll start per second. Since it’s currently zero. When I start the timeline, it’ll start at zero. If I make it 10, it’ll start at 10. When the timeline is at the beginning. Look, if I make it 60, it’ll start from the first minute I told you that it is in seconds, if I make it 120, you can make an arrangement like starting from the second minutes. I’m taking it back to zero and let’s continue with our project as it should be.

The paragraph needs to be right justified to avoid problems in the future. I align the paragraph to the right and let’s center this again. Here the paragraph is right aligned. The zero shouldn’t be crossing the line here. Let’s enter an exaggerated value in Clock Starter again. I enter 999 and as you can see, there is no movement here. We can actually achieve this by increasing the rate value. Like this, as you can see, there is no movement. It stays constant. If you get different results, you can check this way.

Now I’m going to start all over again. And in this type of digital clocks, we see the clock itself 88 in the background. Now let’s do these numbers in the background with the digital clock layer selected, I press Ctrl + D, D for duplicate. I select the bottom layer and click on Enable Expression to disable this expression. We don’t want to use expression. We just want to see the numbers 88 fixed in the background. Right now, it’s blue. We can change this blue color to gray. Right now, the clock is not running. I just made the rate value zero. I had to make it one, let me fix it right away.

Now I copied the bottom layer again with Ctrl + D so that it is completely in shape. And again, I select the bottom layer and go to the Effects panel and here I will search for Fast Blur. So I’m going to find the CC Radial Fast Blur. I’m going to apply that over the bottom digital clock layer, and that’s going to create a shadow. We can access the settings of the shadow here by adjusting the amount value. Also the center value, the center point, we can create a more beautiful image. Right now, the color of the shadows is not clear because we copied the light gray layer and when we darken the color of this layer a little bit more, it’ll stand out more. That’s also darken the top one a little bit. So the middle one is a little bit easier.

You can adjustments like this and make it your own. Alternatively, let’s make an arrangement so that the background is darker. I darken the layer in the back and adjusted the other colors accordingly. It looks much better with a dark background. You can change it however you like in terms of design. Even without these shadows, let’s make the color of the characters in the background a little bit darker. I can directly say that it looks very nice, even in this way. If you don’t want to use any shadow, if you want to see it simpler, you can get good results with few colors.

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