Ba Dai Tou


John Portman & Associates


Shanghai, China


Ultra-HD (4K) Stereoscopic Film, VR

Ba Dai Tou

Making the Impossible Possible

Yangpu Ba Dai Tou is a master plan transforming an outdated industrial area of Shanghai into a vibrant and fully integrated residential district with office, hotel, retail, parks and public amenities. We produced an unprecedented 8-minute film in ultra-high definition (4K)—to be played in stereoscopic vision on the marketing center’s 55-foot screen—in only 20 weeks.

This was a very ambitious project, and we are thrilled with the results. Neoscape is a great organization to work with, extremely cooperative, and they listened to our comments and addressed them proactively.

– John C. Portman, III, FAIA, Principal, John Portman & Associates

A Unifying
Visual Theme

Because of its size and scale, uniting the individual land parcels was essential to the overall success of the district. To achieve this, a central connector called the “dragon spine” was designed to wind through the project, linking people and energy to each place along its path. For our purposes, the dragon became the unifying visual theme of the film and an opportunity to work our motion graphics magic.

What can you do with 1,000 cores and 7.7THz of processing power?

Quite a lot, it turns out.

Watch the Film


The dragon came to life in our storyboard sketches, soaring over Shanghai and the Yangpu River.

On Location 
in Shanghai

We had eight days in Shanghai to cast 15 models, scout and shoot in 20 locations, and capture all the needed footage with the help of 15 local crew members.

Next-level Production

Our team of visual artists and technologists used 
a combination of advanced cinema techniques to create this film: photo-real 3D animation, custom lifestyle footage shot on location in Shanghai, green screen shoots, aerial footage of the site, time-lapse photography, and motion graphics.


days of rendering

(One computer would have taken 1,010 days to render)


frames rendered


terabytes of data


John Portman & Associates
Zhongwei Group


Ultra-HD (4K) Stereoscopic Film, VR