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I am filming in 1080i and importing to Final Cut Pro, although the final movie will be standard DVD.
To resolve some interlacing issues and give smoother effects I intend to re-compress the imported footage to 720p prior to edit using media manager. Is this standard practice or are there reasons not to do this?
I would edit in 1080i. If you need to add an effect to a clip and require progressive scanning, bring the clip you intent to add an effect to into Compressor and convert it to 1080p (if you don’t have a Kona3 card, compressor is the next best thing for conversions). Then bring that exported clip into whatever effects program you are using.
Even though there’s nothing wrong with going from 1080 to 720 during an import, converting from interlace to progressive isn’t as simple as changing your settings during an import. However, if you were going from progressive to interlace, that would work. It’s easier to interlace progressive footage than it is to de-interlace interlaced footage.