Monday, March 21, 2011
How to Eliminate Gradient Banding in Photoshop CS5
Ever create a large gradient in Photoshop and notice the banding as it transitions from one color to the next? This is a common occurrence when you have a very large area that you're covering like a desktop background or TV frame in 1080p. Since it's so large, the eye begins to detect each step of gradation in single color bands.
By default if you're using the Gradient Tool in a layer or using the Shape Tool and applying a Gradient Overlay Layer Effect, Photoshop will not prevent any gradient banding. There are a few ways to eliminate banding, but the quickest that I've found is by making sure Dither is checked while using the Gradient Tool. Voilà! This will add noise to the gradient, undetectable to the eye, that eliminates the those distinct banding lines.
The obvious drawback to this technique is that it's not easily editable. Once you've created that gradient, it's set in stone. Adobe does not give us the Dither option in the Gradient Overlay Layer Effect. Very unfortunate for when you just want to tweak the gradient by a value or two. The best option may be just saving a Gradient Preset in the Gradient Editor and making changes from there.