After Effects Number Generator – An expression based text preset

After Effects Number Generator is an expression based text preset to generate counters in various format – timecode, time, frames, custom (with a slider), time between two markers – with some options – layer or comp related time, prefix, suffix, decimals and countdown.

I don’t know why I started to post resources in my blog, I’m not planning to place adwords in the website, but I feel happy to do it so here it is.

It has a lot of controls and mixing them you can generate numbers and counters in a lot of different way:

  • Custom numbers – To control the numbers with a slider
  • Layer Related – Time related to the layer
  • Markers – Time between two markers.
  • Time – Time in seconds (if no layer or markers option is selected it’ll display the comp time)
  • Timecode – To display the time as timecode
  • Frames – Display the time in frames
  • Decimals – Choose how many decimals to display
  • Minimum digits long – Choose how many minimum digits the number has to display
  • Countdown – Reverse the values. It works with time, timecode and frames
  • Thousand commas – Generate a comma on the thousands value.
  • Prefix – The layer name will be used as prefix so you can put whatever you want before your numbers (i.e.: $1,000.00)
  • Suffix – idem (i.e.: 100%)


It doesn’t have random options because I’m planning a separate preset with range, updating frequency etc.
Furthermore the code is really messed up but it seems to work that it’s not a bad news.

Have a play with it.

Download Preset

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Inspired by, and based on, Universal Counter by Dan Hebberts at, my expression learning centre.

Update #1

In the meantime that I was writing this post I realised that a similar tool is now a built-in plugin so I changed the name from Essential Number Generator to Useless Number Generator. The good news is that actually my useless number generator it’s not so useless: you’ll have easier control over text formatting and text animation and there are options unavailable on the Numbers Effect (and vice versa).

Update #2

If this preset it’s not enough, and you feel comfortable to manipulate expressions, Quba Michalski has just released another tool to deal with numbers formatting in AE. Here:

Update #3

On request I added the “Minimum digits long” option, so if you want your number to start from 000, or whatever else, instead of 0 now you can. Credits this time are going to Brad Chmielewski for his expression.

Current version is 1.1