Greetings. I don't get a chance to edit as frequently as I'd like but I would like an opinion from the group. Original footage was shot at 720p 59.94 in P2. I imported with ProRes422 HQ. I will be adding some AE animiations to the timeline. The final product will be in SD. Should I stick iwth ProRes422 HQ through the entire work flow? I'd appreciate hearing from the group on best practices. Thanks.
I always understood that sticking to one codec throughout the operation is good practice. What is the final destination of the SD production? The reason that matters is that at some stage you are going to have to downscale your finished edit to SD. The Media 100 downscale is not the best but if you're going to DVD the BitVice encoder for DVD includes a very good downscale and I would go with that. If you are going to tape then either use Media 100 or maybe one of the Matrox pieces of kit, others on this forum will doubtless advise.
[Michael Slowe]"I always understood that sticking to one codec throughout the operation is good practice."
I agree with Michael and generally that is how I work as well. However, if your After Effects animations include an alpha channel and you render out using the Animation codec, you will end up having to use the Media 100 HD codec when importing those clips into your project (ProRes doesn't support an alpha channel - ProRes 4444 does I believe). This will then cause a slight difference in the black levels of your finished timeline export (unless you're dumping to tape). If there's no alpha channel, render out of AE using ProRes and you're good to go.
From what I've read, there is no discernible picture quality difference between ProRes and ProRes HQ - there is a difference in file size though. ProRes HQ only makes a difference if you're working with real high resolution images (2K-4K) such as those from the Red camera etc. or if you're going to be doing a LOT of image processing in AE etc. If you don't fall into either of these categories I suggest you can stick with regular ProRes. Sounds like you've already started with ProRes HQ so you might as well stick with that for this project - you're just using more storage space than necessary. Perhaps others reading can verify/dispute this?