For architecture nerds, the best part about Star Trek: Into Darkness is undeniably the phantasmagoric depiction of a 23rd-century San Francisco. Towering skyscrapers lined the horizon and flying vehicles weaved between them. It was all so beautiful—until a starship crashed into Earth and wiped out half the city.

Still! Building the San Francisco of the future was a unique conceptual and architectural challenge for the CGI whizzes on the film. This peek into the design process gives you a good idea of just what it takes to build a city that doesn't exist yet. [YouTube]