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Shanghai Archi’llusion: The Digital Rebuilding of the ‘Pearl of the East’

By Hanssie on October 18th 2014

As of 2011, Shanghai, the city known as a ‘Chinese New York City,’ had over 20,000 skyscrapers (11 stories or higher). The city also boasts of having the second tallest building in the world, The Shanghai Tower, coming in at 125 stories, with a price tag of $4.2 billion.

The busy, cluttered city is the backdrop for artists, Claire and Max, known as Menilmonde, whose video project, Shanghai Archi’llusion takes viewers on a mixed media tour of the streets of Shanghai. Using Photoshop wizardry, Menilmonde erases, digitally renders them into sketches and then rebuilds the well known skyscrapers and bustling streets of the ‘Pearl of the East.’

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 5.01.44 PM

The video footage took about a day and a half to capture. Then, in post production, Claire and Max removed all the buildings, people, cars, etc. and isolated the images in Photoshop. The buildings were rendered into cartoon-ish sketches, and added back in the video with animation. The entire film took over 120 hours of editing time.

The result: a clever 4 minute video that gives you a new look of one of the world’s busiest cities.

This is the second video in the Archi’llusion series. The first, Paris Archi’llusion, stripped away and re-drew the buildings of Paris.

You can read their entire process (in French) over on their website.

[ Via @Laughing Squid/Claire&Max on Vimeo]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Nice video.

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  2. Basit Zargar

    love the video

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  3. Austin Swenson

    kind of trippy. Me likey.

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  4. Mircea Blanaru

    The result is superb. Great idea, beautifully don!!!

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  5. Derek Grant

    clever and very entertaining, great idea well executed.

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