Clarification: This is just a general workflow question regardless of hardware/software/cpu/gpu. I'm also not asking about rendering times - just how the final product looks.
Do any one of the following 3 workflow methods have any bearing on the "quality" or "look/feel" of the final output of a project.
Specific effects are named in my examples just for the heck of it - the root of my question is if any given workflow with any given effects applied affects the quality of the final export/render.
#1) Raw Clip => Apply Sharpness => Apply Levels => Apply Three-Way CC => Export final product.
#2) Raw Clip => Apply Sharpness => Export Clip => Import Clip => Apply Levels => Export Clip => Import Clip => Apply Three-Way CC => Export final product.
#3) Raw Clip (sequence 1) => Apply Sharpness => Create sequence 2 and drag sequence 1 onto it => Apply Levels to sequence 2 => Create sequence 3 and drag sequence 2 onto it => apply Three-Way CC to sequence 3 => Export sequence 3 as final product.
Jim's answer is probably based on the fact that no matter what you do to a video, exporting it will degrade the quality almost every time. But that is not only acceptable, but absolutely necessary. What video would you have that did not require some adjustments, even if just a straight cut.
In any case, I think the answer you really want is:
#1 looks normal. So that's fine.
#2 will degrade the image every time you export unless you export to a completely lossless codec like Lagarith - which creates HUGE files and is totally unnecessary. It is just a bad workflow.
#3 is technically the same as #1. It's fine. No problem. In fact, it can be quite handy sometimes to work that way. Nesting does not cause the problems that exporting does.
No need to explain the previous answer. I've been a member of enough forums over enough time to be well prepped for that archetype of response.
As far as your answer. Yep. Obviously the one I was after... and excitingly the flow I've been using. Just needed some real word vindication before I amp up production.