I recently posted some Tao vortex videos on my Instagram (trapcode_lab) and got many questions on how it was made.
Here's a quick explanation of setting it up:
To make the Plastic Vortex, the Material color was changed to Orange. IBL was setup with the "Dark Industrual" environment (very high Diffuse, like 1000 to get some diffuse from it). Here is the final video:
And here is the AE project file for it: Tao_Plastic_Vortex_CC12.aep
To make the "Tao Maelstrom" effect the Fractal settings were changed to use the positive side (positive Amplitude) of the MultiSmoothRidge fractal. Also the different Fractal>Individual Freq were changed. And a texture was used to create the lines on the surface. Here is the final video:
Here is the AE project file: Tao_Maelstrom_CC12.aep
Depth of Field was added using AE's built-in Camera Lens Blur effect. A quick blur map was created using a shape layer with a Fill Gradient. Note that Lens Blur has a "Blur Focal Distance" that selects where in the gradient the focus is.