>I would like to record my animations done with Lightwave to tape. I do
>not need broadcast quality, just VCR quality.
Don, I suggest you look into the Iomega Buz card (assuming you are using a
Windows compatible machine...). It lists for $199, I believe, but I've seen
it being sold by some online merchants for as low as $160... (By the way,
Iomega is the same company that makes the popular ZIP and JAZ drives)... The
Buz is widely available in the USA (I bought mine at SEARS, believe it or
With the Buz card, you can capture live video and edit it (the primary
purpose of this card is to perform as a low-end non-linear editor), then dump
it to tape. You can also send ANY standard AVI file to tape. That means that
you can dump your Lightwave-rendered CGI straight to tape.
My primary purpose for purchasing the Buz was to combine live video with
3D CGI (in conjunction with an aggravating camera matchmoving technique I'm
working on, but that's another story altogether...). So far, I've been able
to dump 720 x 480 CGI rendered at 30 Frames/60 Fields per second to tape, and
it's definitely at least VHS quality, although not necessarily broadcast
quality. Certainly good enough for demo reels and such. In fact, I was
surprised at how good the video quality was for the price.
The Buz also doubles as a SCSI controller card, so you can add those fancy
SCSI devices to your machine. A good bonus, considering the price of the
The Buz is NOT without it's problems (or detractors). It also may not
be compatible with your machine (or some of it's components). Here are some
web pages you may want to follow up on...
The official Iomega BUZ page:
The Unofficial Iomega Buz FAQ page: (also contains links to
problems/workarounds for the Buz card)
BuzClips Page (Buz Enthusiasts/tips/resources):
I hope this information is helpful. Personally, I feel that there are
a few annoyances about the Buz, but for the price, it DOES get your
animations to tape at decent quality, so the trade-off is worth it, in my
Another option you might want to consider, other than the Buz, are these
new MPEG2/DVD playback boards that are available for around $100. With an
MPEG2 encoder software (which you may need to purchase separately), you can
apparently send your CGI anims to tape via these MPEG2 playback boards at DVD
quality! Unfortunately, I haven't researched this option much and therefore
know little about it, but perhaps this might be enough info for you to start a
search on. You can't capture LIVE video with these boards, though, only play
Anyhow, I hope this helps...