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Ultimate Tutorial: How To Add a Countdown Timer in OBS

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Nov 30, 22, updated Dec 19, 22

OBS Studio is arguably the best free, open-source screen recorder for Mac, Windows, and Linux computers. It packs powerful features that make screen recording fun, engaging, and convenient. But in this guidepost, we’ll dwell on the little-known OBS countdown timer.

So, what is the OBS Studio countdown timer, and why do you need to make one? This article discusses that and how to add a countdown timer overlay to your local videos using Wondershare Filmora. Let’s dig in!

In this article
  1. What Is OBS Countdown Timers?
  2. How To Add a Countdown Timer in OBS
  3. Pro Tip: How To Utilize an Overlay To Level Up Your Countdown Timer
  4. Hot FAQs About the OBS Countdown Timer

Part 1: What Is OBS Countdown Timers?

You probably don’t need a further introduction to a countdown timer if you’re often watching action movies or marking calendars. But clear doubts, a countdown timer is basically the remaining time in years, weeks, days, hours, minutes, or seconds before a start of an event. A good example is those James Bond movies where a bomb has, let’s say, 60 seconds before exploding.

With that said, you can use the OBS timer countdown in multiple ways. For example, you can use it to pump up excitement before a much anticipated live streaming session starts. Remember that OBS Studio supports live streaming to popular platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, etc.

obs countdown timer

So, the timer will tell viewers the duration they’ll have to wait before the next live session. You can even add an action text after the timer ends. A countdown timer can also help you ensure that the viewer sticks around until the end of an event or video.

Picture this; you can be a fitness trainer on YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, etc. In that case, you’ll need to perform each set of exercises for a specific duration, then rest for like 30 or 60 seconds.

So, add a timer to the video to guide the trainees throughout the session. This helps make the session more engaging and fun. Whichever the reasons you have to add an OBS count down timer, the objective is simple; communicate to the viewers the time left before an event starts or ends.

Part 2: How To Add a Countdown Timer in OBS

Up to this point, you might think that adding an OBS countdown clock is such a complicated task. After all, OBS isn’t the most beginner-friendly screen recorder to use. But don’t fret because adding a countdown timer is one of the most straightforward things to do in OBS Studio. Let’s do that!

Step1 Fire up OBS Studio and select a recording scene on which you want to apply the countdown timer. Once the scene is ready, tap the Plus button on the Sources section, then select the Text Source. Now give the source a name. For instance, you can name it Timer.

obs countdown timer add a text source

Step2 Now you’ll see a pop-up window to customize how the timer will look. For example, click the Select font button to customize the font settings for the countdown timer. You can also customize things like opacity, gradient, background color, alignment, and more.

obs countdown timer customize timer details

Step3 Next, click the Tools tab and then tap Scripts. Then, select the countdown.lua file and customize the countdown descriptions on the pop-up window. You can change the countdown duration and the final text after the countdown. Don’t also forget to select Timer as the Text Source. The OBS countdown timer will immediately start counting.

obs countdown timer add the timer file

Pro Tip: How To Utilize an Overlay To Level Up Your Countdown Timer

You’ll definitely need precise timing to get the most out of the timer countdown on OBS. Also, sometimes you can record a video on your smartphone or camera and customize it with a countdown timer. If that’s the case, consider using Wondershare Filmora.

It’s a professional-grade video editor for macOS and Windows systems that allows you to add countdown timer overlays to any video. Unlike OBS, this method will enable you to add timer overlays to specific scenes on the footage, including the intro part. Even best is that the countdown timers come in multiple styles, and you can customize the timer with appropriate background audio.

Steps to create a countdown timer with Wondershare Filmora:

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Step1 Start a new video project.

Install and run Filmora on your PC, and start a New Project. But before that, select the video aspect ratio. This is important if you’re creating videos for social media sharing. For example, choose 16:1 for YouTube and 4:3 for WhatsApp Status videos.

obs countdown timer add new project
Step2 Upload the video to edit.

Tap Import Media to upload a video from local or external drives. Filmora supports all standard video formats, including Apple ProRes and HDR videos shot using your iPhone camera. Also, you can directly record a webcam or PC screen on this program. Either way, move the video to the timeline by simply dragging it there.

obs countdown timer add video
Step3 Add countdown timer effects to the video.
obs countdown timer add a timer effect

Click the Effects button and search “countdown timer.” You’ll see multiple suggestions to choose from, depending on your preference. Below are some stylish countdown timer effects to add to your video for free:

  • Cyber countdown: This free countdown timer effect is perfect for countdowns to a Cyberpunk video. This timer runs from 10 to 0 seconds.
  • Digital countdown pack: Are you looking to do video listicles on social media? Use this countdown timer with up to 14 elements.
  • Cinematic countdown: Here is another countdown timer with multiple elements to exploit. You’ll find it perfect for textured movie intros.
  • Big metal countdown: This countdown timer features up to 24 10-second countdown elements that are perfect for movie titles and trailers. Give it a try!
Step4 Create the countdown timer video.
obs countdown timer customize the timer settings

After adding the perfect countdown timer overlay, preview the video to see how it plays and adjust the positioning, text color, opacity, and more. Finally, click Export to save your video as MP4, MOV, AV1, AVI, and other formats. You can also export the countdown video directly to Vimeo or YouTube.

Hot FAQs About the OBS Countdown Timer

1. How do I add multiple timers to OBS?

As you’ve seen before, adding a countdown timer in OBS is super simple. But unfortunately, you can’t add multiple timers in the same video. For this reason, use Filmora to add multiple countdown scenes to your OBS video before uploading online.

2. How do I add a Countup timer to Streamlabs OBS?

Streamlabs OBS is an open-source program that allows you to distribute live videos on Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Twitch. To add a countdown timer ins Streamlabs OBS, select the scene to add the timer and add a “Text” source. Then, label the new source before clicking Add Source.

obs countdown timer add streamlabs text source

Next, install My Stream Timer from Microsoft Store before clicking the Up tab once the program launches. You can now set the countdown timer duration, format, file name, and auto start. Copy the .txt file and click Start.

obs countdown timer copy the text path

Meanwhile, minimize the My Stream Timer window and tap the name of the countdown timer source on Streamlabs OBS. Then, check the “Read from file” box and paste the text file into the field provided. Now click the Browse button and open the countup.text file. You’ll see a timer automatically launch on Streamlabs.

obs countdown timer launch the streamlabs timer

However, you may notice that the countdown timer looks a bit blurry. To fix that, maximize the font size. You can also retouch the font style and family to give the timer a better look and feel. That’s it!

3. How do I set a timer to start recording on OBS?

You can set OBS to start/stop recording automatically. To do that, click Tools > Output Timer and set a duration for how long you want to capture the video. You can select a start/stop time for live streaming and local recordings.

Final Words

OBS Studio can look intimidating at first. But once you learn the ropes, this desktop screen recorder packs a wealth of features to exploit. The OBS countdown clock can make your social media videos look more professional and organized. And don’t forget to use Filmora to add timer scenes to your video. I hope you enjoyed the read!

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Liza Brown
Liza Brown Dec 19, 22
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