Is there an easy way to insert a big countdown clock after a given time position of a video file in linux? The countdown clock should count down in seconds from n to 0.


I don't want to insert manually pictures showing the nth second. It is clear to me how to do that. What I want is an automatic way to do this:

  • Set the number of seconds for the countdown (e.g. 64 or 80 seconds)
  • Set the time where to insert the countdown in a given video

And finally get the video with inserted countdown at specified position as a result.

It would be nice if this would be possible in a graphical video editor like openshot. However it would also be ok to have a command line solution for this.

  • Install Openshot.. – Uri Herrera Feb 26 '12 at 20:41
  • Howto do this with openshot? – student Feb 27 '12 at 16:56
  • In the openshot add img files. You can make your image files using gimp. – hingev Mar 15 '12 at 16:29
  • @GevorgHindoyan Is there any way to automate this? Making images and inserting them manually is ok if you do this one time for a video. However I need this feature very often and need countdown times ranging from 1 to 90 seconds... – student Mar 17 '12 at 8:30
  • @fossfreedom deleted my answer. =( – H_7 Mar 18 '12 at 0:36

I have a simple answer and I hope it will help you . You can use kdenlive ! after running it go to project>Generators>Countdown. You can simply type your time and font and it will generate it for you . nice time :)

  • My Kdenlive has the "Generator" option disabled. How to enable it? – Danilo Mar 3 '18 at 16:39

The correct answer to your question is:


There is no easy way to do this. You can use some tricks to annotate what a script will generate for you(the clock countdown) inside your video. Maybe Imagemagick and Bash will be a good start to you, but don´t expect some easy way without some

good code

. <- final dot.

Now, a solution using just VIDEO EDITORS (openshot, for example)

3 steps to goal:

  1. FIND TIMECODE BURNER ( Its a plugin to burn out timecode over video. Go google , this is easy if openshot doesnt have it native. ) RENDER SOME OF THIS PLUG IN (the time you need) with WHITE LETTERS, OVER BLACK SCREEN. ----> [you got your clock]
  2. IMPORT the result of item 1, and RENDER another movie with -100% speed (REVERSE IT) ----> [you got your countdown]
  3. APPLY the countdown result of item 2 on your video, RENDERING the reversed burnout timecode video over the video you want it using LUMA KEY effect. (black screen will go out, white letters(your countdown) will show it over the video. ----> [you got your video with countdown]
  • hmmm as a hope, this good code will be pretty simple.. – H_7 Feb 26 '12 at 22:09
  • Ok, easy is matter of definition... however could co gives some more details of your idea – student Feb 27 '12 at 16:58
  • You can easy find some code to turn time into a countdown. Then, how to put this into your video, I am really lost as you. But I have another idea now. Gonna post another answer. =P – H_7 Feb 29 '12 at 12:22
  • @fossfreedom Do you have a link for timecode burner? I didn't find it and I think openshot doesn't have this native. – student Mar 15 '12 at 16:18
  • ... no idea - I just edited in the information H_7 gave in his second answer (he should have just edited this one). – fossfreedom Mar 16 '12 at 21:56

Three steps to goal using command line:

  1. find total length; for example: mplayer -identify -endpos 00:00:00 videofile 2> /dev/null | grep ID_LENGTH
  2. make a script to create subtitles file (for example, in SubRIP format)
  3. embed subtitles into video (using desired font, in desired position).

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