I am cross posting this here and the FCP forum because I am totally stumped. Here is the problem.
I am trying to do a simple picture in picture effect in a particular sequence. I am using the Kona 3 card and monitering on a Panasonic professional LCD broadcast monitor. All of my clips were captured using Kona presets for Uncompressed SD 8bit 4:2:2. In my sequence settings, motion filter quality is set to "best" and all options are checked under the render control tab. Frame rate and resolution are both set to 100% and field dominance is set to Lower(Even). RT is set to Unlimited and everything underneath is set to full quality. When I scale down the video, the bar at the top of the timeline turns green (preview) and it looks pretty okay on playback. When I render that clip, it looks worse than the preview; as if I had rendered it with resolution set to 50% in the sequence settings. If I change my sequence settings to progressive frames (no field dominance) and render the clip again it looks great. But as long as the field dominance is set to something other than none, the scaled video looks terrible. I have tried deleting my preferences and restarting and all that. Totally stumped. Can someone else try this and see if they get similar results. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
When you scale down video in an interlaced sequence, you have to make sure it's positioned on the appropriate horizontal scan line. For SD NTSC, that's an even scan line.
In your Motion tab, ensure the second number in your Center tab is an even number.
Also, you're looking at this on an LCD (progressive) monitor. LCD's and Plasmas have difficulties showing interlaced video correctly. No matter what you do, interlaced video will tend to look poor, especially when it's scaled down. We see the same thing here on our 42" and 50" Panasonic pro HDTV plasmas.
I have positioned my video on an even scan line already and it has no effect. Also, I have viewed this on a CRT monitor and the problem is still there. This is not a subtle stairstepping. Like I said, it looks as if I rendered it at half resolution. The preview looks sharper and less pixelated than when I render, which I feel shouldn't be the case.