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I'll be away for most of Thursday (Aussie time) (approx Wednesday evening USA time). So sorry about the short notice.  I'll catch up on all posts when I get back.  Damien.

BySqueesh

Photoshop brush banding/posterization

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Hello!

I'm hoping to get some help on this as I'm stumped. All of a sudden any time I use a paint brush in photoshop it's grainy and as it's building up to a pure black it causes a lot of banding and posterization.

I've been using these same brushes a long time and it's certainly not an intended effect of them (they are meant to be smooth airbrushes) and it happens across all brushes at any size, whether I'm using my graphics tablet (wacom intuos 3) or regular mouse. It shows up in photoshop itself on the .psd and on the jpg image saved from that psd (both when viewing that jpg inside photoshop and outside with windows photo viewer for example). I notice it's also causing a lot of grain that usually isn't there.

It's just happened today and as far as I'm aware I haven't made any changes to anything (famous last words) 

I'm using a desktop PC with Windows 7 64 bit,Photoshop CS6, in an sRGB colour profile 300 dpi and have tried both 8bit and 16 bit (but my default is usually 8)

 

So far I've tried your standard computer restarts and uninstalling all my graphics drivers and re-installing them. All I've noticed from this is that some of the posterization is less apparent. I've also noticed when viewing the attached images from a mobile phone it isn't apparent. But both my monitors pick it up (one of which is calibrated with Spyder, although is due to be redone) and several people have picked it up on various other pc's/laptops.

 

I'm not fluent in technical stuff so if anyone has any ideas please elaborate :) My next to do is uninstall/reinstall photoshop... failing that, a pc format - mainly as I have no other ideas. Would like to avoid both of these, mind.

 

Thanks for reading!

Hannah

banding.jpg

bandingss.jpg

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28 minutes ago, Damien Symonds said:

Do you see it here in this thread as well?  On your computer, I mean? Or is it only visible in Photoshop?

Yes I see it on the jpg anywhere, including outside of photoshop. I just sent it over to my partners PC and it was visible on both of his monitors too, more so on the older/less flashy monitors we have but definitely there.

I took 2 photos using a mobile phone to show the effect, it's poor quality but I have no idea how to show it you otherwise.

Ignore the vertical lines, they're just from taking a photo of a monitor, it's the weird rings around the darkest shades. It should obviously be smooth but isn't. It only seems to appear when transitioning to the darkest value, but even the greys are grainy when they shouldn't be.

I've also added the file where I first noticed it (converted to a jpg) creepy looking I know but it's no where near finished lol! It turned up as I was using an airbrush on her hair, big blob should (hopefully) show it more clearly for you?

 

Thanks for the help!

Hannah

IMAG0741.jpg

IMAG0742.jpg

NikkiSisters.jpg

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14 minutes ago, Damien Symonds said:

Can you send me a full-resolution file with the problem?

Done, thank you for taking a look!

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I promise, your file is perfect.  Smooth as silk.

Can you try something for me quickly?  Go to Edit>Assign Profile, and assign your monitor profile to the image.  Does that make it look worse, better, or no change?

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14 minutes ago, Damien Symonds said:

I promise, your file is perfect.  Smooth as silk.

Can you try something for me quickly?  Go to Edit>Assign Profile, and assign your monitor profile to the image.  Does that make it look worse, better, or no change?

Really? That's interesting! How do I know what my monitor profile is? (Sorry I'm not the most techy person) in the Assign Profile I get 3 options:

Don't Color Manage This Document

Working RGB: sRGB IEC61966-2.1

Profile: With a very large drop down list

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On a perhaps related note, I've just tried looking at my monitor calibration software and it's throwing up some errors "The calibration data from the profile was NOT LOADED into the video card." tells me to open Datacolor>ProfileChooser and when I do it tells me it's empty... could this be the issue? 

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29 minutes ago, BySqueesh said:

Really? That's interesting! How do I know what my monitor profile is?

Which Spyder do you have?

26 minutes ago, BySqueesh said:

On a perhaps related note, I've just tried looking at my monitor calibration software and it's throwing up some errors "The calibration data from the profile was NOT LOADED into the video card." tells me to open Datacolor>ProfileChooser and when I do it tells me it's empty... could this be the issue? 

Oh heck yes, that might be relevant.  Probably better recalibrate right away, eh?

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I'm using Spyder 5 Elite. I'll get it redone as soon as I can (which sadly now is tomorrow evening, 11pm here arrggh)

Reet hopefully that'll do the trick, I'll update and let you know as soon as. Thanks again for the help, really appreciate the time you give

 

Hannah

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Ok so calibration redone (followed your instructions again) and the issue is still there. I also downloaded a free painting program (Krita) to test the brushes in and I find I have the same problem in there, albeit not as apparent.

I can only assume it's a problem with my graphics? But the drivers were reinstalled yesterday. My only other idea would be to format. What are your thoughts?

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On 30/11/2016 at 6:42 AM, BySqueesh said:

All of a sudden any time I use a paint brush in photoshop it's grainy

Can you define "all of a sudden"?  Do you remember which day this started happening?

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1 hour ago, Damien Symonds said:

Can you define "all of a sudden"?  Do you remember which day this started happening?

Yesterday (Tues 29th) I was painting the day before that and everything was fine

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14 hours ago, BySqueesh said:

But the drivers were reinstalled yesterday.

Was this before or after the problem appeared?

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6 hours ago, Damien Symonds said:

Was this before or after the problem appeared?

The problem was before I reinstalled the graphics drivers. The re-installation was an attempt to fix the problem

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Ok.

You said you have two screens plugged in to your computer, and you've calibrated one of them, is that right?

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Sorry for the delay in response!

I checked the cables and they were still firmly plugged in. Yes just one monitor is calibrated.

 

I ended up formatting my PC as I couldn't find a solution... and the problem is still there with a fresh install of photoshop. I took a look at my graphics driver updates and noticed there was a new one released around the time the issue began, so I tried an older version of the drivers but that did not fix it. I even went back another driver version but again, it didn't fix it.

 

My partner installed photoshop on his PC for comparison sake and he had the exact same issue.

 

What I don't understand is that I can view gradients fine when I don't create them, no other images on my computer look strange - for example, my desktop background is fine, browser images, windows photo viewer etc are all smooth. But when I create something with a gradient (either the actual gradient tool or soft brush), in Photoshop or Krita (a free painting program, installed for comparison) that's when the problem occurs.

I did notice the issue is more apparent depending on what colour profile I use in Photoshop - I usually work in sRGB IEC61966-2.1 with my colour mode RGB/8 bit.

 

Other than buying a new PC and hoping it doesn't have the same issue, I have no idea! And any examples of people with similar issues I've found through google have no real fix.

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5 hours ago, Damien Symonds said:

What about if you add a gradient layer?  Do you see it then too?

Yea it's still there. With a gradient it's less posterization and more a large block of black then a harsh transition to grey (regardless of my settings/the scale of the gradient)

I guess it's a similar issue the soft brushes are showing though, a hard edge black in the middle and a nasty transition to grey, the brushes just seem to show more grain/banding with them too

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49 minutes ago, Damien Symonds said:

Ok, so how does this look to you?

gradient.png

Perfectly smooth on both of my monitors

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