I'm sure there are probably a few ways to do this, I'm looking for the least time intensive. I'm doing a series of Christmas videos for a client who asked if the credits can be blinking strings of Christmas lights. He wants the string of lights to actually spell out names. Any ideas would be appreciated.
One method would be to use Vegas, Starglow and Fractal Noise.
I made a quick project. First thing I precomped the text layer and dropped it into the final comp. I added vegas to the comp and set the stroke to Image Contours and the blend mode to transparent. The rest is to taste, I added a small expression to the rotation, but it's not necessary..
Next I create a solid, added 4 color gradient to it and placed it below the text layer, added a wiggle to each of the color points. Changed it's transfer mode to alpha matte of the text layer.
Added an adjusment layer to the entire thing and added levels, glow and starglow. Levels to give it some pop, glow cause lights glow and then Trapcode Starglow. IMO, Starglow is what sells the effect, so if you don't have it, you might want to download the trial version and see if you like it.
Finally I added a black solid above the adjusment layer and added fractal noise. Created a simple fractal with a rotating evolution and the transfer mode set to hard light. So that the lights would twinkle a bit more.
Hopefully that made some sense, but here's the project for you to take a look at, let me know if you have questions, Good Luck.
"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.
John, thanks for the detailed method you used. Looks great! Must have taken a while to prepare for me. I appreciate your time. I'll start tonight and am sure the client will be pleased. Don't hesitate to ask for a major organ should the need arise.