I feel like I'm forever asking this question, and don't fully have the understanding, so I apologize in advance.
If my sequence is a DV Sequence, and I rendered a high quality animation in another program, is the FCP DV sequence going to downgrade it in any way? I know that "rendering" in DV is not the best for motion graphics, I get that, but does that only apply to if you're actually creating the animation in FCP? I mean, Final Cut didn't creat it, it's just importing an animation, it was rendered by After Effects. Does Final Cut still downgrade it?
I keep reading that I should maybe upgrade the sequence to ProRes HQ, but I have a few reservations about that. I dont want to do it if it's not going to affect the animations at all, or is going to have a negative affect on the colors (with animations coming in under the Animations codec), or if it's going to have a negative effect on the DV video that's in the project. It's a long render if I decide to do it so I'd want to be sure.
[zeke meginsky]"If my sequence is a DV Sequence, and I rendered a high quality animation in another program, is the FCP DV sequence going to downgrade it in any way?"
Yes, it will. DV is a lossy codec. When FCP needs to render a clip in a sequence, it renders in the codec of that sequence. Thus, you're reducing something like ProRes 422 at 100 MBS to DV at 5 MBS. Something's got to give.
[zeke meginsky]"I keep reading that I should maybe upgrade the sequence to ProRes HQ..."
That's mostly unnecessary. ProRes 422 will do the job nicely.
If you do something foolish such as rerendering the original ProRes 422 footage six generations deep, there will be image degradation. If you only go one or two generations, you will notice no difference in image quality.
[zeke meginsky]"I have a few reservations... if it's going to have a negative effect on the DV video that's in the project."
Relax. A ProRes 422 timeline codec won't affect image quality of DV video one bit. It can't IMPROVE image quality, because the damage was done when it was encoded to DV. But it won't make it any worse.
One way DV / HDV / H.264 / Mp4 codecs are able to stuff ten pounds of a certain brown, stinky substance into a five-pound bag is by reducing an image's color resolution, aka color sampling. This is particularly bad when doing effects work, especially when chroma keying.
This video 'splains about color resolution. You'll see how DV's bad color resolution makes good-looking chroma keys almost unattainable:
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