You’re quite right,. ...I’m saying it wrong.
Depending on what image or movie format you save to,. you’ll either loose information, ...or not.
If you’re going to make the footage into a longer movie, then you’ll want to stick with lossless formats.
Compuserve GIF format has a limit of 256 colours and alpha,. so,. the file size is reduced by data loss,.. converting millions of colours to 256.
Portable network graphic (PNG) is great since it handles Millions of colours plus alpha, but it still uses jpeg compression.
Jpeg (depending on the quality you save at), can also be just as good as PNG, but without the alpha.
so,. PNG or JPEG would be ideal for a draft render. (and even a final render) depending on the settings for each format
Photoshop files save all the image data,. plus multi-layers,. and, (as far as I’m, aware) encodes that into a format that’s compressed.
TIff is also compressed (I think using the LZW compression) but it retains all of the image information.
so,. those would be better for a high quality final render.
You can save a movie in an uncompressed format, but they’re usually Huge files,. and that makes working with them harder.
Sequenced images are editable individually so, there’s also that advantage for post production on individual frames.
An image format also has the advantage of allowing you to use Carrara’s Multi-pass rendering to export different scene information.
so, if you used photoshop PSD , and multi-pass rendering, then you can open that sequence of frames in After effects and work with the different layer information.
As you say, If it all goes crunch while you’re rendering,. you only loose the frame that was being rendered when it crashed.
and you can pick up from there, instead of rendering the whole movie again.
If you’re gong to work with your footage in a video editor, then by using a compressed “lossy” format to start with, it will become worse when it’s exported as a final movie with even more compression ( double loss).
does that make sense