Scene, Date, and Time Overlay


Sometimes we render multiple animations for a project. And OCCASIONALLY the client gives us changes and/or we make mistakes that we need to keep track of and troubleshoot.

I’ve found that as I do renders, it can be helpful to put an overlay on the the animation that has the render date and the running time in frames. The running time can be VERY useful, because if we view our movies in the QuickTime player, we get sparse information on when things specifically happen (either the frame number or time in tenths of seconds).

This came from a discussion on Media-motion.tv… then was posted to my website forum.. then revised again (thanks to lloyd alvarez) in the forum and presented to you here.

Here we have an expression that, if you add it to the source type of a type layer, will display today’s date, the comp name and the running time in frames and tenths of seconds.

t = Date(1);
d = t.split(” “);
frames = (1 / thisComp.frameDuration) * time;
runTime = (Math.round(time * 10))/10;

“” + thisComp.name + ” – ” + d[1] + ” ” + d[2] + ” ” +d[3] + “r” + frames + ” f” + “r” + runTime + ” s”;

If you are Expressionally-Challenged, here is a sample comp.

Things to take note of for budding expressions programmers:

Date (1) returns a plethora of information including, date, year, time, and time zone relative to GMT.

How to round a number to tenths: runTime = (Math.round(time * 10))/10;

“r” is a carriage return, which makes the type drop to the next line

d = t.split” ” takes all the info from Date(1) and divides it up into little bits based on where we have a space, and puts those bits into an Array, or variable that contains more than one value. Those values can be accessed by d[0], d[1], d[2], etc.