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Tips related to colours, & colour banding...


theKeeper

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Ok this tip deals with the ugly banding of colour that can sometimes been seen in Photoshop's gradients. Now there are probably more than a couple reasons this can happen in the program, but the most frequent i've come across has dealt with a very simple situation... monitor colour depth.

If you should happen to see any type of obvious striping or banding of your gradients in Photoshop, your problem may simply be that you need to bump up the level of colour your monitor is set to use, to display the graphics used in your operating system.

PC users can easily change this setting by right-clicking on their desktop, and choosing Properties from the context menu. In there, choose Settings. And in there, open the colour sample dropdown menu and switch it to the 32bit option. Most likely, your system is only set to the 16bit option.

Caution:
Be very sure first that your graphics card can handle displaying 32bit colour at the screen resolution you're using -- i.e. 800x600 / 1024x768 / 1280x1024 / etc...
If you're unsure, look on the box your card came in, or go to the Website of it's maker, and read the specs on your card. Most, if not all, newer cards these days can handle these settings. But it's better to be sure first before changing this type of setting. And make sure Photoshop isn't open when you change this setting.


Hope this helps. :perfect:
 

sfm

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Mark what if you are in PS you see that horrible banding in the gradient you save the image close PS do what you suggested and reopen PS and that image it will be gone?
but what about others will they see it if it was posted on the net?

I had to do a site for someone and they wanted a show room - I coloured the door way with a gradient so that shadows would appear but it had the banding and looked awful so I trashed the whole idea and did something different for him......... of course now after the challenges I would have used the dodge and burn tool (one of my favourites now [oops] )
I wonder if I still have the image somewhere - I might go back and redo it with my new challenged knowledge he he he :perfect:
sfm
 

theKeeper

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Hey Sue...

I would think YES, the banding should go away even if you've saved an image out of PS, and reopened it after making the bit depth change. The problem stems from the graphics card and monitor, not Photoshop. So it should fix even pre-saved images. Banding happens from a lack of colours in the system display palette -- just like your images in Photoshop will look posterized if you use a really small colour palette.

The "old school" way of fixing this kind of thing was to simply apply the Noise filter at a 3-6 setting. This was essentially like "Dithering" your image on purpose. That would usually fix the banding... but not in server cases.
And dispite what you may think... blurring has no effect on improving banding -- it just shifts the bands around a little. And in fact, blurring might make it worse because it's creating even more colours that your monitor/vCard are not setup to display. Changing your Display to 32bit is like giving your comp a much larger colour palette to work with -- and is what fixes the banding.
 

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