I'm running Adobe Illustrator CC 2017 on my Macbook Pro 2015. I haven't had any huge issues since the last few years but recently I noticed that there is banding now when I use gradients. I'm not sure why. Does this have something to do with my laptop's memory space or something ? Or would uninstalling and reinstalling help ? This is a nightmare as I'm in the midst of projects. Any help would really be appreciated.
Please note I cannot go for a higher version of Illustrator because of system specifications and I don't see why I would need to do that as I've been using the same version without an issue and this problem has only started happening as recently as today.
Can you detail how and where (*) the gradient banding appears?
Can you please attach a screenshot or share a file with an example?
(*) Do you see the problem in older files saved using similar gradients?
Are those files in CMYK or RGB Color mode?
Do you preview in CPU or GPU moed? Any difference?
Which size have the objects, which color values are used for gradient stops?
Thank you for your response. I'll try to reply some of your questions here:
Here's an example. To make it easier to follow, I used the pre-installed gradients from the Swatches library panel. They are Brick 1, Bluestone, Sapphire, in that order. This is a screenshot of how it looks in an RGB file with GPU preview.
And this is in CMYK file, GPU preview. I feel that the screenshots have probably made both look similar. But on the screen, there is subtle differences between the banding on CMYK and RGB files. But there is banding no doubt about that.
I also tried viewing in CPU but the banding is still there, the lines just move around a bit depending on which view. Also, the sizes of each rectangle is roughly around 450 to 150 px.
I haven't used gradients a whole lot but I do have to play with them sometimes and never noticed banding as far as I know until today. These elements are from some previous work where I had used gradients without any issues and in fact, these are actually copied from a CMYK file and they don't show banding there (in CMYK file) and interestingly, they don't show banding even in the same RGB file as the first example as I pasted it in the same artboard and same file. So, no issues with these elements. Maybe the screenshot makes it look a bit weird but there are no issues on the screen. However...
This is in the same file, same artboard. And I copied the gradient from one of the elements I designed (in the example above) to this rectangle. Still, no issues. But the moment I started altering the opacity of one of the gradient stops, it started showing banding.
It seems to me that now there are only some specific combinations that give me smooth gradients whereas before, I never noticed gradient banding when playing around with all kinds of values.
I look forward to any advice or suggestions.
Edit: I'd also just like to update that I tried uninstalling and reinstalling. Didn't work. Also tried using an older version of Illustrator, didn't work either! Any workarounds using Photoshop?
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Will the design be printed or displayed on screen?
Hi! Thanks for the response.
Only displayed on screen. Thus, RGB. But I experimented with CMYK as well to double-check.
P.S. Do the gradient swatches from Adobe's pre-installed libraries in the screenshot examples (Brick 1, Bluestone, Sapphire) look like that on your machine or on others in general, with all those subtle and not so subtle bands ? If yes, then I guess its not just a problem for me then. If not, then I will really need help to fix so that it doesn't look like that!
When printing, the screen representation might be misleading, because the RIP will have a lot of influence via "Smooth Shades".
If this is for screen design, then all that matters is what gets exported. And if there is banding in the export, you will need to treat it so it disappears.
I see. Alright, great. I could look into ways to treat the exports.
However, I'd still be grateful if someone can confirm if the gradient banding I'm getting is what they're getting as well. I would then need to find a solution based on the response. Because I'm confused if this is my device suddenly troubling me or the banding in these examples have always been there.
I am seeing no banding on a 5K monitor or on a Macbook 16" latest. And I doubt there is any difference running a later Illustrator version as it's not changed at all.
I have search for the same library gradients you used. I even goone to recreate then using a blend from three strokes 1pt width and using about 1 step per point or pixel distance and even less, I do not see any baning (a gradient uses a much more smooth transition or gradation).
Thus, I think the problem, if it exist, is on your display.
Zooming in to 100/150/200/300/400 % show the banding, Even more at high zooming in? If not, you have the answer.
Thank you for the response! I'm assuming it is my monitor that is causing this then. Or maybe some weird hardware problem since I'm only noticing it recently.
Thanks again for the answer.
I've been seeing banding in Ai 2021 and 2022.
My source file is CMYK (FOGRA39). Two layers:
See attached image