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chrisatlemon says

hi all,

I’m experiencing colour banding on gradients in photoshop, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference whether I choose 8-bit, 16 bit or 32 bit.

From what I read it should be almost impossible to see any banding in 16 or 32 bit because of the trillions of colours photoshop has available to create these.

Just a very simple image with a Black background layer, place on top a fine gradient and reduce the opacity and the colour banding will appear. Then converting to 16 bit or 32 bit, or even starting the new document in 16 bit or 32 bit doesn’t make any difference.

Is it that I only see that banding because my graphics card/monitors are not up to the job? Or is it that even at 32 bit colour depth there are still instances where banding is visible to the human eye?

I have uploaded a simple file where you can see this here:

HTTP ://www.lemon-digital.com/temp/banding.zip

Any tips would be appreciated

Cheers

Chris

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synstefana says

I’m not sure what do you mean when you saying “banding”. I guess that you see stripes on your gradient right? If yes, it’s good to create layer from the effect (in your case from gradient), go to the layer with gradient and choose Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Choose about 2%, check monochromatic and stripes will disapear.

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chrisatlemon says

Hi synstefana,

Many thanks for your tip. Yes I am aware of how to work against colour banding by adding noise and also blurring.

However I read in other tutorials that with 16-bit and 32-bit colours the problem should basically not exist any more.

However in my case I do not see any difference between 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit on the sample files I attached in my original post. I was just wondering if that was normal, if there something wrong with my video card/monitor, or maybe for some Reason photo shop does not apply the colour depth correctly the on my machine?

Thanks again

Chris

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Adeoh says

This happened to me, horrible banding was popping ip in 80% of my gradients, what did i do?

New Video Card > Problem Solved

Still had a a bit of banding in weird combinations.

Got and IPS Monitor

Everything’s smooth as hell now.

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chrisatlemon says

That’s actually not such bad news then as that means the banding doesn’t really exist. It’s only because of my video card/monitor, but the file itself is fine. Could you download my sample and confirm that for me please, that would be very kind :)

http://www.lemon-digital.com/temp/banding.zip

What I was worried about was to submit poor quality files to my customers. But if the banding is really only a problem with my hardware, not the actual file then that’s not a problem.

Cheers

Chris

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Raincutter says

That’s actually not such bad news then as that means the banding doesn’t really exist. It’s only because of my video card/monitor, but the file itself is fine. Could you download my sample and confirm that for me please, that would be very kind :) http://www.lemon-digital.com/temp/banding.zip

What I was worried about was to submit poor quality files to my customers. But if the banding is really only a problem with my hardware, not the actual file then that’s not a problem.

Cheers

Chris

Hey Chris, I’m pretty much sure that some of us have discussed this in the past(I don’t remember the thread though) and as much as I remember, it’s a problem related with the monitors so no one can actually do anything about it rather than the standard noise technique. So don’t worry about it.

Anyway, in your file, dither didn’t worked in reducing banding when I tried to use Gradient Fill Layer (Tried it because it has worked for me sometimes). Also I have two monitors and I can tell both have different output when it comes to banding. So the most of what you can do is use the noise technique. I don’t really think there’s any other workaround to it but I may also be wrong as I hadn’t been in touch with this topic since a long time.

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chrisatlemon says

Thanks Raincutter :)

If it’s a problem with Computer hardware, then it doesn’t really matter if it’s a print file, correct? What’s important here is that it comes out right when printed, it doesn’t really matter so much how it looks on screen.

I found this two-minute video which explains banding and colour depth, but from what he says it should be a problem of the past:

http://www.theartofretouching.com/blog/photoshop-cs5-5-tutorial-difference-between-8bit-16bit-color-space

I have three different monitors here and I see the exact same banding on all of them … But again if that then doesn’t come out in print, it doesn’t really matter.

Still, I guess the noise/blur method is still the way to go for web graphics :)

Cheers

Chris

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Raincutter says

That was the main concern to me while I was creating files for GR in past since most of my files were print designs. Some of my items did have banding and I have always wondered if banding shows when the item is printed. Although I never got any mail from buyers if it caused any mess.

I personally believe that printing won’t show banding but I never witnessed it myself so it would still be a speculation on my side. I guess the best you can do is get information from someone knowledgeable who works in printing industry or specifically from the printer who provide services to your clients.

I’ll try and point this thread to Constantin as well if he’s got a few minutes to spare. It is possible that he might have something he can add here.

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DesignDeposit says

I know your more interested in the why behind what is happening, but since no one has mentioned it, this is a great little action to help:

http://nomorebanding.com/

Theres even a page behind how it works: http://trojankitten.posterous.com/suddenly-a-photoshop-tutorial-avoiding-gradie

The information on that page mentions:

The problem is Adobe did half the job with their 16 bit mode. Although your 16 bit image has all the gradient data to avoid any possible banding, that’s not what you see on your screen. You see an 8 bit version of the underlying 16 bit data, poorly truncated (I suppose for speed) and showing banding, which isn’t there internally.
ConstantinPotorac
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ConstantinPotorac Reviewer says

The links provided by #DesignDeposit are perfect to explain how it works and how to remove them from your work. These issues have been here with us for quite a while and it is a problem we’ve all had to deal with in the past.

I know the issue could have been solved by adding some noise to the gradient and this would solve the issue but maybe some of us would not want noise in their works. It is a strange issue that it actually was visible on some screens and not on others.

To me the issue actually disappeared by it’s own… I know I had the banding issue a year ago but now the problem is long gone. The issue solved itself.

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