you could do it this way.
open up photoshop or any text editor. Make a image with nothing but a background color (make sure it is a color that you don't plan on using for your lights: making it white may actually be best). Use really big font to type out the words that you want to use (this will serve as a outline). Place multi color circles or light shapes along the outline of the text (make sure that every 1st light out of every three is a grey color). Then, disable or make the text invisible (do not delete it). You should now be left with a string of multi color circles that spell out a word. Save the image as jpeg or any other image file type. Then re-enable your text.
Next, repeat the process. But this time, make the 2nd light of three a grey color. Now, repeat the process again, but this time, make the third light of every three a grey color. Then load the three images into after effects (each image should be about 10 frames) and render them as a avi. Lastly, load you new avi into after effects, chroma key out the background color, and resize it to fit your needs. Also, if you need your lights to blink slower of faster, simple change the speed of the Avi that you imported.
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