After Effects

Crosshairs & Target – single layer preset

Creating a target with crosshairs isn’t a big challenge. But doing it on only one layer is actually quite difficult. This project is really an effects preset (an ffx) as the trick was to fit all the effects onto one layer so they could be saved as a preset and applied to a single solid. It uses a combination of standard effects and expressions to create a crosshairs-style target with many adjustable parameters. It’s a bit like having a plug-in for creating a target with crosshairs.

I put an earlier version of this project together about 4 years ago, when I had a client brief that involved using a set of crosshairs to zoom into different points on a map at regular points in a video. When I realised how often I would be using the effect I decided that it wouldn’t be too hard to come up with an animation preset so all I had to do was keyframe the position of the crosshairs, and adjust the size.

Funnily enough I’ve used it a few times, as I’ve had several briefs since then which have included crosshairs zooming into a map… it seems to be a common device in corporate videos.

The fun part was figuring out how to get the graticule-ticks around the circle while still keeping everything on one layer.

Download the target preset here:Chris’s_Target_Preset