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I say take Approach 3: use a 720x480 DV PPro project preset, and use the same setting for your AE comps. Since it sounds like you've got both pieces of software, I'm going to assume you've got the Production Premium bundle, which include Dynamic Link. This will let you create a new AE project/comp from PPro that will match your PPro project settings. You can then use the AE comp as a clip in your PPro project. As you create new comps in AE, simply dynamically link them (which basically equates to importing) them in your PPro project. You never have to render a thing, if you're going to Flash video, unless you want to preview the entire timeline in realtime.
It's a good idea, where possible, to keep your PPro project setting and your AE comp settings the same, as it will help you maintain things like frame rate, frame size, and field order. While not strictly vital, it just helps eliminates points of confusion--plus, you can easily make a DV tape master of your finished project for archiving. Just another point to consider...
As far as outputting to Flash--your DV-spec'ed project will resize perfectly well to 320x240, without having to start with a square-pixel project. The math of a 720x480 frame and a 0.9 PAR works out to 640x480, 1.0 PAR, which will scale cleanly to 320x240. I've done this frequently, and with great results.
Anyway, that's my two bits...
I'd take approach 3 as well. Make the Comp match your footage in resolution, frame rate and PAR.
Thanks to you both,
That works great. I had avoided dynamic link due to memory concerns, but now I'm hooked.
The tutorial in the PP help about PP/AE workflow includes an AE render, copy to PP and replace with bin clip. But it appears not to be necessary to render in AE to get updates to the AE comp in PP. Perhaps that was just an archiving strategy to have the file in PP?
>Perhaps that was just an archiving strategy to have the file in PP?
Perhaps, but it may be a result of the knowledge that not every PPro user will have access to Dynamic Link.