I have continued to research this and struggled to find a good solution. It seems like this is not something Adobe thought anyone would want to do. The solutions offered are; to save all your files as HD individually - but this is space restrictive and not a solution for me. Other options were ones that didn't seem to work; or at least I couldn't get it to.
My solution - if anyone is interested, was to export the completed file as a fixed scene in Pr and then import that back into my timeline ... not a very neat solution, but as I know that this is unlikely to change, it works for me.
I would love it if anyone has any better ideas.
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Transitions don't cross between Pr and Ae. In any case, you don't need the massive editing, compressed video and what not, to move to Ae.
Exporting from premiere to one lossless video format file is the way to go. Then you can experiment on SD to HD plugins or effects and not waste time on unnecessary processing.
So you suggest finishing the whole film, and then once I am happy with the final result export it into a high quality video, and then post process it later into HD and with film grain?
What a great suggestion. Very helpful. Very much appreciated.
I would complete the SD edit, then create a new sequence in Premiere Pro and insert your SD edit in that sequence. Scale it up, render a test that includes a part of the project that requires the greatest amount of detail and check the test. This will save you the time of rendering a visually lossless DI (digital intermediate) and let you know right away if you need 3rd party plug-ins to get better quality. Premiere's resize engine is pretty darn good and you can add some sharpening and other things right inside PPro using sharpen or unsharp mask from the Blur and Sharpen folder that may improve the image. After Effects and 3rd party plug-ins would be my last choice for this kind of project and I'd never use Dynamic Link to create a comp that was longer than a few seconds or more than 2 or 3 shots. I can't think of a time in the last couple of years that I have used "Replace with After Effects Composition" for anything longer than one shot.
If I did use AE I would render a 32bit Tiff or TGA sequence (files are going to be huge) instead of a Lossless video and a scratch audio track from the original Premiere sequence to use in After Effects as my DI (digital intermediate) then I would do the resizing in AE using 3rd party effects, then I would render another lossless DI, import that into Premiere Pro, either pull the original sequence into a new Sequence (P-Pro timeline) or better yet, do the final sound mix in Audition, render a master track, and then use the final DI and the master track to render a deliverable file from Premiere.
Thanks a lot for that great advice. Most helpful.