DaVinci Resolve Tutorials / Video Editing

How to Make a Countdown Timer in DaVinci Resolve in 1 Minute

Countdown timer in davinci resolve
Published 11 October 2022

Ever wanted to design something using DaVinci Resolve, create a rocket launch countdown timer or just add tension to a video by demonstrating how time is running out? You must learn how to create a countdown in DaVinci Resolve!

I’ll demonstrate a few ways to make a countdown timer. This straightforward procedure can be accomplished in both the paid version and the free version of DaVinci Resolve. Continue reading to learn more.

Quick guide

How to make a Countdown Timer in DaVinci Resolve

  1. Open up DaVinci Resolve.
  2. Go to “Effects“, select “Titles“, and drag the effect “Text+” onto the layer above your video footage.
  3. Go to the “Inspector Tab” and delete everything inside the Text box.
  4. Right-click inside the Text box and click “TimeCode“.
  5. Right-click the text layer on the Timeline and click “New Compound Clip“.
  6. Once again, right-click the Compound Clip, select “Change Clip Speed“, and check the box next to Reverse Speed.

Note: You can adjust the initial value of the countdown timer by simply changing the length of the Compound Clip inside the Time Line.

Pro Tip: Adjust the Write On slider inside the Inspector Tab to eliminate frames and hours digits.

Detailed guide

Ready for liftoff? 3…2…1…Go!
Now that we are on our way to greatness, you will find yourself in a situation where you`ll have to use a countdown, so why not be prepared, right? Go ahead and open DaVinci Resolve 18 and import the video you need to upgrade with a countdown timer.

Step 1 – Add the “Text+” effect


Make sure you have the Edit tab open. Go to the Effects menu, then to Titles, select Text+ and drag it on top of your video inside the timeline.

Add text+ effect to davinci resolve

Step 2 – Customise the Countdown timer

Text box inspector
  1. Select the new Text+ layer, then click the Inspector menu in the DaVinci Resolve window’s upper right corner.
  2. Go to the text box and remove anything there.
  3. Once that box has been cleared, go on and right-click the text field and choose Timecode.
Select timecode

It will automatically overlay a timecode text over the video, as shown in the image below. The hour and frame numbers are probably not necessary, right? Visit step three to learn how to get rid of them.

Timecode example in davinci resolve

Step 3 – Adjust the settings

Countdown timer

Go to the Inspector tab, scroll down a little, and choose the Write On slider with the text layer selected as in the example above.

As I did, you should be able to change the slider’s start and finish tails to change the timecode’s length. Now eliminate the hours and frame digits you no longer require.

Step 4 – Choose “New Compound Clip”

Now you have what appears to be a countdown, but as you might have predicted, it needs to go all the way to 0 and not start counting from 0.

To do this, simply choose New Compound Clip from the context menu when you right-click on the text layer inside the Timeline and select Create.

New compound clip

After that, right-click on the recently generated Compound Clip, then choose “Change Clip Speed“, as I did in the image below.

Reverse speed


Congratulations! You did it! This is your first countdown timer in DaVinci Resolve, although there are still a few steps to complete before it functions as a countdown timer.

You may play with the position and scale parameters in the Inspector tab to place your basic countdown timer wherever you like on the screen depending on your video or imagination.

You can also alter the length of the Compound Clip to define the timing of your countdown just like I did in the example below. Feel free to get nuts with the font, font size, and text colour, which are all awesome things you can modify. 

Final countdown timer

For more clarification, watch the video at the start of this tutorial where I rapidly go over each of the aforementioned steps.

Thank you for reading this article; I hope it was helpful in showing you how to create a simple countdown timer in DaVinci Resolve.

More DaVinci Resolve tutorials

About Author

After spending 6 years in the post-production studio, Mihai decided to share his insights on video editing and computers.