Current Issue
April 2016

Dariush Derakhshani
Dariush Derakhshani is an award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor and Head of CG for Radium|ReelFX in Santa Monica. Dariush has been working in VFX for more than 13 years and teaching classes in CG and effects production for 11 years. He is the best-selling author of a handful of books, including the popular Introducing Maya and co-author of the Introducing 3ds Max series.

Dariush received an M.F.A. in Film, Video, and Computer Animation in 1997 from USC. Dariush also holds a B.A. in Architecture and Theatre from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He has worked on feature films, music videos, and countless commercials as a 3D animator and VFX Supervisor, garnering honors from the London International Advertising Awards, the ADDY Awards, the Telly Awards and a Visual Effects Society Awards nomination. He is bald and has flat feet.
Authored Articles
Review: HP's 27-inch z27s 4K display
Published: January 14, 2016

Having a 15.6-inch 4K laptop, I’ve come to appreciate the crispness of Windows 10 and my apps, but decry the super small icons and menus when I’m working inside Maya and 3DS Max, which don’t really scale up to 4K well (Autodesk, are you listening?). I can force Windows 10 to scale through the OS and not have to be an inch away from the screen to see what shelf icon I’m clicking, but that poses some occasional display issues. For professional work, that’s not ideal.
Review: HP's Z27x DreamColor display
Published: January 9, 2015

I’m always excited doing display reviews because I’m such a screen-queen. When teaching in a lab with only a single monitor, I bristle and break into a sweat digging through stacked-up windows, stepping all over everything, tripping over my own cursor. But in our world, multiple screens is the norm. Or at the very least, 27-inch and higher is preferred.
Review: HP's ZBook 14 ultrabook
Published: February 11, 2014

You’re leaving?” she asked, one eyebrow raised. “I’m taking my scenes with me,“ I said. “Yeah, and you’re going to run it on your boy’s play laptop?” she chuckled back, pointing to my new ZBook 14 ultrabook workstation. My eyes gave her eyes the finger, and I left the office.
Review: HP's ZBook 17
Published: November 5, 2013

HP has been turning out very solid and fast mobile workstations for a while now, most noticeably the EliteBook series, which is getting a refresh in the form of the HP ZBook. At first glance, I wondered if HP had sent me a consumer laptop, as it reminded me of their other laptop offerings in some ways. But when I open it up and began looking deeper, I couldn’t be any more wrong — this is a very serious workstation.
Review: HP's ZR2740w 27-inch monitor
Published: November 5, 2012

Who wouldn’t want a big screen? While a 27-inch isn’t the largest you can get in the desktop monitor world, it is a perfect size for a lot of people. What matters next is how the display looks, and how well it works for the user. The user? Me... demanding and critical. I work with screens all day long, judging color constantly. At home, I’ve sported a Dell 24-inch 2405FPW for quite a long time as my primary display. It has held up incredibly, and I thought nothing short of a minor miracle would get me to upgrade.
Review: HP's all-in-one Z1 workstation
Published: August 13, 2012

The most immediately striking feature of the Z1 is the remarkable screen. Backed by a 10-bit IPS LED backlight 27-inch panel, the Z1’s default resolution (as configured) was an amazingly sharp 2560x1440. It felt like a giant third-gen iPad with Retina display to me; it was crisp and vibrant. Colors were rich, and the blacks were fabulous, deep. Having a DisplayPort, the Z1 could function as another system’s display. But the way this unit is configured, I wouldn’t want to connect it to anything else.
Review: HP's Elitebook 8560w
Published: November 9, 2011

Portability is becoming more important to me, but workability is still king. Whether I’m working a job with lots of CG elements or on set working a shoot and need to quickly previz work to show the production crew, I need a machine that can quickly and effectively get my scenes out. I don’t have the time or patience for lagging graphics or slow calculations. Having my fair share of experience with mobile workstations, I flatly know what I can, and cannot rely on. So I’ve come to expect a lot from these systems.
Review: Digital Storm's Protus
Published: July 12, 2011

Review: NEC's MultiSync PA271W
Published: December 6, 2010

Second only to staring at the walls in my office, I stare at a screen all day, every day. Having been able to review monitors and graphics systems for quite a few years now, I’ve grown accustomed to some pretty nice hardware. In this competitive field of displays, I look for the special features that distinguishes one screen from another.

Review: Studio GPU’s MachStudio Pro
Published: October 5, 2010

I like things done quick. In spots, that’s the mantra. You need results fast with minimal time spent chasing your own tail. With style frames or look development, this couldn’t be more true. When I was approached to try out ATI’s FirePro V8750 alongside Studio GPU’s MachStudio Pro, I was intrigued.
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