I don't know if that particular project went through AE at all.
If it did, it was for rotoscoping, compositing and adding fake light on the subjects. Certainly not for particle effects! It was mostly made using a 3D application and 3D matchmove software to get the blobs animated properly.
The effects people spent long hours in planning these effects, and doubtlessly ran tests to ensure that all would go well when they shot for real. They didn't leave this to chance, nor did they shoot and hope for the best. They did a lot of work before they shot even one frame of the final video.
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA