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the quickest/easiest way to create the effect of a full green light circle
this could be done in Photoshop: export a frame from Ae to Ps and work on it. then bring back just the circle on transparent.
this could also be done in Ae: using shapes or solid masks you can create the same effect. this would probably be more difficult for a beginner.
for both of these you can use blending modes, effects and filters to get a more realistic effect.
having a reference like you have is a very good starting point.
which flashes on and off slowly and continuously,
for on and off you can use opacity keyframes.
(there is some very subtle movement).
if the footage is moving you have to track it - read here: Tracking and stabilization motion workflows in After Effects then you can use that information to attach anything to the shot.
Thanks so much Roei, that's really helpful.. I think I'll be able to do that easily now, I just couldn't get my head around it to begin with!
Great! Thanks for the feedback. feel free to ask questions as you move along and also keep an eye on this thread as maybe other users will post their recommended workflow.