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Banding.. yes banding in gradients

May 23, 2010 2:24 AM

First of all Im not here to waste your time.  I have read pretty much every thread on here about banding in gradients and there is no solution for my problem.

 

Details:


Illustrator CS

I experience awful banding in almost every gradient I do.  It doesn't matter what the colors are.  It happens more so in darks.

 

I cannot rasterize my work, so I can't do the gradients in PS, I can't add noise, etc.  I am currently working on something that will later be resized for an art show.  I work 100% in vector and unfortunetly, it has to stay that way.

 

Picture 40.png

Here is an example of what I'm working with.  The darks.. the banding is horrid.

Picture 41.png

Ive tried re-setting my screen profile, but Ive had people on other computers tell me that they can see the banding.

 

I've tried RGB vs CMKY..

 

I mean, I really am at an end.  Most of my work is viewed digitally, but I do need it to look good in print.

 

I wouldn't waste your time, I have spent the last week all over the internet trying to find a solution.  I would think that these simple gradients would be possible in such a high end program I paid hundreds for, but really?!

 

Im near tears because I mean, this is my art.  I just hate that it looks so terrible.

 

I thank ANYONE for their help, this is becoming such an issue for me.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 2:37 AM   in reply to katyorr

    Too few colors over too great a distance.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 4:56 AM   in reply to katyorr

    How good is your monitor?

     

    For example... almost all MacBooks and MacBookPros show banding because of the LCD screen.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 5:00 AM   in reply to katyorr

    I can't see any banding in your screenshot on this laptop.

     

    You repeatedly state that you don't want to waste anyone's time. But in all the anguish you've expressed so far, you haven't provided one single piece of information that anyone can act upon.

     

    Banding is just a function of simple math. That's true no matter what program you are using. Illustrator is not a special case in this regard. If you think you're encountering abnormal banding then state the specifics necessary to replicate it:

     

    State two specific CMYK colors.

    State the distance between them at the scale of the final intended reproduction.

    If you're talking about banding in a Blend, state the number of steps in the blend.

    State the specifics of the printing method that will be used to reproduce the final. You have to know the hardware resolution of the device, the screening method, and the halftone ruling (assuming traditional AM halftoning).

     

    In graduated fills, for a single given image, the banding will vary depending upon the specifics of the output device. For example:

     

    Make a 100%K-to-0%K horizontal grad that spans 10 inch. That's 100 different tones if you increment them by 1%. That's only 10 different tones per inch. If you print that to a device that can produce 256 levels of gray at the given halftone ruling (a 2540 spi imagesetter at 150 lpi), you'll probably not encounter any distractingly discernable banding. But print the very same file to a device that can only produce 50 levels of gray (a 600 spi laser printer at 85 lpi), and you will.

     

    So without any specifics, no one can advise you beyond what Scott has already said. If you're one of those who just refuses to actually understand the issue and "just wants to do his art"--well--you'll always be the victim of dumb luck. If you do want to be able to control it, then you'll have to provide some specific information. Otherwise, you're just ranting.

     

    JET

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 5:31 AM   in reply to katyorr

    Can you upload a sample file where you're facing this problem...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 8:16 AM   in reply to katyorr

    I think this is just a matter of the resolution of yoUr screen. You may have it set to accommodate your vision or have it set a lower resolution than need be for you own comfort. That is fine but you will sacrifice display quality.

     

    I sometimes walk into my clients offices and wen I send them a low resolution file it often is too big for them to view it on their screens.

     

    And of course the color and quality of the image is gone as well.

     

    How old is your iMac. You have to remember, as the other users have pointed out, that telling us you have an iMac is fairly meaning less unless we know which one, the video card, the resolution of the screen, the condition of the display and your settings.

     

    We don't know if you have plug ins have used a third party application to some of the work on this file.

     

    BTW there is no reason that the iMac or its display has gone or is going belly up, it happens to the best of them.

     

    I am not saying this is the issue but given the information you gave us anything is possible.

     

    The good news is i see no banding either and i would say there is nothing wrong with your Illustrator install or preferences or the art and the file. So the work you have done is very good and clearly of a high caliber.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 8:33 AM   in reply to katyorr

    I did not see that last post that is banding yes. I am checking this out myself and this is what I got on my Eizo display.

     

    If the others do a test on their monitors and get a similar result I would say the gradient is broken this would be a major defect and definitely a bug that is in real need of fixing. And soon.

     

    Screen shot 2010-05-23 at 11.23.20 AM.png

     

    My resolution is 1990 x1200 I get the same results when saving to a pdf. this more than seven inches wide but only slightly.

     

    I will see what happens when exported to psd or jpeg or tiff.

     

    Definitely looks like an issue.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 8:47 AM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    Same result exported to psd or tiff.

     

    Either we both have display issues, which is always possible, or this really is not an acceptable rendering from Illustrator.

     

    The Gradient tool has to be updated and this has to be fixed or I certainly would not recommend anyone purchasing CS 5,

     

    I can't imagine this getting by anyone when they were testing.

     

    Of course to be fair perhaps I have something set wrong and the OP as well but I have the defaults and I assume the OP as well but other than the appearance of black I can't imagine what might cause this and I doubt that would have an effect on a gradient.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 9:09 AM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    I took another look at your original postings of the screen shots and I do  see the banding.

     

    My apologies.

     

    This is thoroughly broken in CS 5.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 9:19 AM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    In case anyone is interested this is what the art would look like even if saved for the web which makes Illustrator even useless for the web design.

     

    Screen shot 2010-05-23 at 11.35.18 AM.png

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 6:12 PM   in reply to katyorr

    Egads.

     

    Fercryinoutloud, people, do you think that by taking screenshots you are actually showing each other what you physically see on your monitor? When you capture a screen, you are capturing raster data being sent to your screen. You are not capturing the actual appearance as if by a photograph.

     

    JET

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 6:32 PM   in reply to JETalmage-71mYin

    JETalmage wrote:

     

    Egads.

     

    Fercryinoutloud, people, do you think that by taking screenshots you are actually showing each other what you physically see on your monitor? When you capture a screen, you are capturing raster data being sent to your screen. You are not capturing the actual appearance as if by a photograph.

     

    JET

    Well forcryinoutloud all you have to is make a gradian in CS 5 to see for yourself.

     

    I know a bug when I see it and I know when something has been broken and this is broken.

     

     

    Save for the web jpeg ( no screen shot)

     

    Untitled-2.jpg

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 7:00 PM   in reply to katyorr

    What do screenshots and Save For Web have to do with PRINTING? What does CS5 have to do with anything when katyorr specified Illustrator CS? Moreover, you're committing the very same falacy. I can build dark blue grads that result in visible banding in any version of Illustrator (or anything else) all day long. But you haven't said word one about the colors being used, the distance between them when printed, or how they will be printed!

     

    I just can't rasterize the image though,

     

    Okay. You don't want to rasterize it. Got that. Who told you to?

     

    Katyorr, do you understand that banding in print is a function of the printing hardware resolution in combination with its toning method? Do you understand that everything--including vector graphics--gets rasterized as its printed? Do you think that printers become magically immune to banding when they print raster images?

     

    I am currently working on something that will later be resized for an art show. I work 100%

     

    It will be "resized" later, but you're working it at 100%? 100% of what?

     

    Katyorr, after all this silly back-and-forth posting of screen grabs, you still haven't posted anything that anyone can advise you on. Again: State how this graphic will be printed. State some specific colors and distance parameters by which you yourself and others can reliablly replicate what you consider abnormal banding.

     

    Meanwhile, try this thought-experiment:

     

    1. Set your monitor's color depth to 4 bit (16 colors).

    2. Open your image.

    3. See all that hideous color banding?

     

    Now ask yourself: Does what you now see in any way affect or represent what that image will look like when printed? Has making a gross change to your display in any way affected the actual color data in your file?

     

    JET

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2010 8:49 PM   in reply to JETalmage-71mYin

    JETalmage wrote:

     

    What do screenshots and Save For Web have to do with PRINTING? What does CS5 have to do with anything when katyorr specified Illustrator CS? Moreover, you're committing the very same falacy. I can build dark blue grads that result in visible banding in any version of Illustrator (or anything else) all day long. But you haven't said word one about the colors being used, the distance between them when printed, or how they will be printed!

     

    Illustrator is used by 80 % of users of Flash. So it is important they do not have to use work arounds.

     

    What does it have to do with print…repurposing.

     

    Doesn't mater what distance this still happens regardless of th distance.

     

    What does it have to dod with CS 5 if the OP i talking about CS the fact it is still there. Just because it has been broken for a number of versions does not make it correct.

     

    One of the most important marketing visuals you will see related to CS 5 is the beautiful gradients on the splash screens. That is exactly what the OP should be seeing and what I should be seeing as well.

     

    So it seems that it depends on what your agenda is as to whether this is correct or not.

     

    Won't you think?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2010 10:34 AM   in reply to katyorr

    Hi katyorr,

    As Scott Weichert and JetaImage stated, banding occurs if you try to stretch a gradient with too few colors over too large a distance. Too few colors can occur for several reasons - could be you just don't have colors far enough apart in the color space, or could be that the device that is reproducing these colors (your monitor or the final printer) can't reproduce enough colors in that range.

    I guess the reason you have mentioned not wanting to rasterize is that someone suggested adding noise in Photoshop. Noise is used to trick your eye - instead of seeing clearly visible bands, you'll see the colors blurred together.

     

    Some things you can try:

    1. Get a sample print using the final printing technology (or something that can do an accurate proof of the final print). You may be happy to see that there is no visible banding and you'll need to learn not to trust your monitor.

    2. If that doesn't work, try changing the colors you use in the gradient.

    3. Apply noise in Illustrator as an effect. Try Effects > Texture > Grain if that is available in your version of Illustrator. Bear in mind that the texture on your monitor will still not look the same as the texture on the printer.

     

    btw - nice looking hair!!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 17, 2010 3:04 PM   in reply to katyorr

    I see banding on all the examples, except for the top pictures which are too dark to tell. (the texture looks fine on the hair as far as I could see.) I have an imac 27 inch lcd screen. I'm getting progressivly annoyed with the visible banding.  I also see it whenever I go to adjust a color.  Is there any way to resolve the banding or is this a shortcoming with the computer/monitor? I'm using the screen at its highest resolution 2560 x 1440, using Adobe RGB 1998 color profile.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 30, 2012 6:06 AM   in reply to BugFolk

    any updates on this?

     

    I noticed the gorgeous tones on the splash screens too, and would like to reproduce that softness...

     

    I get what JET is saying, but I get the banding too on even just 2 similiar tones less than 12 inches apart. But from what Jet is saying I assume he means that the screen visual is not the same as the printing outcome and does not indicate the printing outcome.

     

    a cheap or poor screen may show banding, but printed to a 5 thousand dollar printer may come out smooth when the vector is rasterized at 300 DPI on an A4 page.

     

    I have banding on a photoshop image here actually, but I have seen lots of artwork with smooth creamy gradients or tonal blends painted on figures in character artwork, pinups and illustrations, or how to recreate the look of the opening splash screens of the software, wish I knew how to do that, i`m using  a wacom bamboo with low opacity and brush pressure determines opacity in photoshop.

     

    here is a black to transparent gradient layed over a flat mid gray layer. 10cm long. just showing you that the screen banding is not specific to only illustrator. using PS CS5 here.

     

    10cm.png

     

    same issue goes for brushes, here I used the largest softest default brush to fill this shape, still creates streaking.

    largesoftbrush.png

     

    illustratorCS5.png

     
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