1) My final product is going to be a BluRay DVD.
2) Its my understanding that I should edit in 23.98 PSF -- not P in order to make the BluRay Disc more compatible with TV sets.
3) My material is coming to me at in a numbered tiff sequence with 24 unique frames in a second.
4) My plan is to take the the TIFF sequence, import it into FCP 7 into a 4:2:2 ProRes HQ Timeline and export out a 4:2:2 ProRes HQ Quicktime.
5) Cut this Quicktime into another timeline and a little clean up editing and color correcting there.
6) Use compressor to make the BluRay Render.
7) NOTE: I don't have a Kona Card or additional hardware.
My first question is how to make sure I am working in PSF and not straight progressive? A few older threads said there were easy setups with ProRes and PSF but I am using FCP 7 and do not see that. I see only various ProRes Codecs with 24p, 25p, 30p, 50i, and 60i. There are some settings under the Audio/Visual Menu >> Sequence Preset Tab >> Advance Button >> Interlaced checkbox. Is that it?
My second question is does this workflow sound correct or am I missing something? The files could also come to me as MJPEG and I know that saves a lot of Hard Drive Space, but looking at these MJPEG before being imported in FCP, there is just way too much digital noise. The Tiffs converted to ProRes look much, much better.
I would convert your image sequences into quicktime movies using Compressor 3.5 or Quicktime Player Pro. Import the image sequence @ 23.976 fps and export using your desired codec.
I haven't compared ProRes to ProRes HQ, but the consensus on The Cow seems to be that HQ is total overkill for your particular situation.
As for P vs PSF: (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong here...) My understanding is that PSF is a concept that only really applies to a Digital Video transport stream as it is recorded to a Tape deck. For all intents and purposes, it is still a Progressive image, but the electronics of the transport treat it as having fields, which just happen to occur at the same instance in time.
So I'm not aware of a specific "PSF" setting in FCP. In the past, I've always just edited and treated 23.976 HD material as fully progressive. It is only when laying off to tape that the deck gets set to PSF.
And I would also stick with your TIFF images, for maximum quality. As you've already observed, MJPEG tosses away a lot of visual information.