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Insert a Chronometer into a Video

Insert a Chronometer into a Video By Le Papy - Last updated on Saturday, January 14, 2012
42739 Views :: 7 Comments :: Article Rating (Total Votes: 13)
Category: Boris Graffiti Tutorials  -  Previous tutorials  -  Associated File(s)
Published on Friday, November 6, 2009
Created on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 7:11 AM
A few months ago a user wanted to insert a stopwatch in his Studio 12 video. He did not know what to do and asked the question on the forum. At that time, I did not yet know enough about Boris Graffiti to offer a "Graffiti" solution. We did have our free effects:

but they did not suit him. Fortunately, others had been able to properly advise the poster regarding the choice of available plugins on the Internet. Today, this is what I would have advised him if I had previously had the time to dig a little into Boris Graffiti ...

Step 1 : Implement the Effect

To begin, open Studio 12 (or 14) and begin with these steps:

  • Drag the fourth clip of "OurFunVacation.mpg" on the timeline;
  • Keep just the first 8 seconds;
  • Open the video toolbox;
  • Add the Boris FX / Boris Graffiti effect
  • Click "Edit Boris Graffiti";
  • Go directly to advanced mode

Your timeline in Studio should now resemble the following:

Studio Timeline

and in the Boris Graffiti advanced mode, you should see the following in the time window:

The Boris Graffiti tracks

These are the default tracks for any effect in Boris Graffiti:
  • "Background" supports video
  • "Text" which will contain the text
Step 2 : Create the Effect

"Face" track parameters

  • Expand the "Text" track by clicking the small triangle above the word "Text";
  • You will see 3 tracks attached to the "Text" track;
  • Select the "Face" track;
  • The window controls (top left) show the tabs for the "Face" track;
  • Select the "magical" Generator tab and you will see different parameters that will allow you to set the generator. I say magical because the power of this generator alone deserves another tutorial ...
  • Select the type of generator ( "generator type") that you want to use. For my example, I chose a "Date / Time" generator because in my idea, I would measure the time it took to apply the magnificent makeup to the faces...
  • Depending on the type of generator that is selected, the corresponding parameters appear in the "Generator".

Note : You will notice that the "Text" track has been automatically recognized by Boris Graffiti and is now called "0:00" after your choice in the generator.

You will now have to set the parameters for the counter:

Paramters for the Effect in the "Generator" tab

This "Date / Time" generator mode provides numerous displays for Year, Month, Date, Day, Hour, Minute, Seconds, with or without AM / PM, Short format for day, month, day, of year. It allows you to select a display format, allows you to select different separators (if you can find them.... finding the type of separator ...).

Finally, you can also choose the system date or a date of your choice. As I told you, here we are going to measure the time taken to apply the make-up.

By default, all checkboxes are checked. You can keep the following checked: Hour, Minute, Second. Then check "date leading" because you will force the system to not use the date and time system. Therefore, it starts at 0:00:00 and will finish the effect at 0:08:00 because the clip on the timeline has been cut to 8 seconds.

And you can now set the first keyframe:

Select the first keyframe of the "Face" track; In "Numeric Time" choose the "Ease In /Out" interpolation (symbol that looks like a small bridge) which will create an animation of fluid motion, and force Studio to start the effect at 0:00:00 and not 0:00:03 (if you had chosen linear interpolation); Of course, you need to enter a value of '0' in the value field.

Parameters for the last Keyframe of the effect

Parameters to use for the final keyframe::

  • Select the last keyframe of the "Face" track;
  • In "Numeric Time", choose " Ease In / Out " for the interpolation mode;
  • We want the effect to display 0:08:00 at the end of the effect. The "Numeric Time" should be set in sixtieths (1/60th) of a second. To view 8 seconds, enter the value 480 (60 * 8) in the value field.
Step 3 : Improving the Presentation of the Effect

The counter in the middle of the charming little girl's beautiful face is not the best effect. In addition, your meter is not very readable. You will need to remedy this...

Establishment of a colored background beneath the text

To put a background beneath the numbers of the meter, simply:

  • Select the "Face" track
  • Select the "Backdrop" tab
  • Check the box next to "Make Backdrop track" to create a "Backdrop" track
  • In principle, the size of the bottom automatically adjusts the text. Otherwise you will have to use the "Scale X" and "Y Scale" parameters


Modification of the Background Colour

If you do not like the black color of the "Backdrop":
  • Select the "Backdrop" track;
  • Select the Fill tab to change the color;
  • You will notice that you also have tabs for "Shape" (change the shape of the background), "Border" (to put a border around the background) and to set the "Shadow" (to add a shadow to the background).

Displacement of the Effect (moving the Effect to a different place)

Finally, the counter will interfere the least with the main subject of your video if you move it to the bottom right corner of the screen. You can do this directly with the mouse if the "0.00" track is selected. Otherwise, select the "0.00" track and enter values in the X and Y positions or play with the slider.

Now click the "Apply" button. Your effect will be in Studio and you can admire your work and continue your efforts. Normally, you should see this:

But some media players do not play the video all the way to the last frame.
I found that:
  • Windows Media Player stops at 0:07:59;
  • On YouTube (see above), it stops between 0:07:54 and 0:07:55;
  • Studio 12 plays until exactly 0:08:00 as does Creative MediaSource 5 Player.
  • So if you intend to play the clip outsaide of Studio, you may need to cheat a bit by adding a few seconds (in sixtieths) to the 480 that we originally used...
Step 4 : Bonus

For those who have had some difficulties getting to the end of this tutorial, you can find the Compteur.grf file available in the « Associated Files » section below. This file contains all the tracks, and keyframe parameters in detail above (with some small variations in the adjustment).

Using this file:

  • If you want to use the Counter effect, copy the "Compteur.grf" file to one of your folders (eg My Documents);
  • When you use Boris Graffiti in advanced mode, open this file from the "File / Open Settings" menu and the effect will be immediately available, ready to be incorporated into Studio 12 by pressing the "Apply" button in the window;
  • Note: Unlike the ones provided with Boris Graffiti, this .grf file does not preview or have the animation. It is therefore not advisable to copy this file into the Boris Graffiti library, as you will have neither the preview nor the animation of the effect.

{Thanks to markk655 who translated this tutorial from french to english, Loosecannon who cross-checked it}

Associated File(s)
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Gert Reitner By # Gert Reitner @ Saturday, November 7, 2009 10:21 AM
WOW , great alternative !!!

Le Papy By # Le Papy @ Saturday, November 7, 2009 11:01 AM
Thanks so much Gert.

William By # William @ Thursday, April 1, 2010 7:05 PM
The solution I use to the problem of early ending with mediaplayers is I add 24 frames (1 second) of black (title) at the end of my video's. Barely noticeable to the viewer, but you get the entire video. Almost all videoplayers do this, I haven't seen one not doing this. I thought it had to do with Studio, but it isn't, it's the mediaplayers. So just add some black title at the end and you will see the end of your video.

Déclic Vidéo FX By # Déclic Vidéo FX @ Friday, April 2, 2010 11:32 AM
Thanks William for this feedback, interesting to note !!

mavala By # mavala @ Monday, November 14, 2011 3:51 AM
Just happened to arrive at this page. Surprisingly educational and definitely worth the time, thanks.

Déclic Vidéo FX By # Déclic Vidéo FX @ Sunday, November 20, 2011 3:35 PM
Thanks for letting us know, that's nice.

Contemporary Furniture Online By # Contemporary Furniture Online @ Monday, March 18, 2013 1:23 AM
I agree with your thoughts about this bog, really an encouraging things are provided here. Undoubtedly, an informative blog is this. Thanks and Keep sharing blogs like this.

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