Valeri Visuals shows how you can make a 3D sphere in Ae using a couple of native effects.
One of the benefits of effects and compositions in After Effects is the ability (albeit limited) to create little procedural-like systems where things will update down the chain. A great example of this is creating an animated 3D sphere.
This tutorial from Valeri Hudedatov (Valeri Visuals) shows how you can create a sphere of dots in After Effects and animate those dots to create an exciting effect. Of course, the tutorial uses CC Sphere, and it also uses the Grid and Glow effects. Download the project files for this tutorial here.