Originally Posted by vickatter
I have a problem with gradients in photoshop. It´s like they have lines instead of the supposedly smooth color fading. I´m attaching an example cause it´s hard to explain(hope you can see them, it looks very small). I´ve noticed that it happens with certain color convinations but it doesn´t really matter if it´s linear or radial. Illustrator does it too.
My boss told me she heard that we should try doing them with transparent layers and then merge them... is that so?
(I´m using CS3)
It's called banding. In an 8-bit file, each channel will have a maximum of 256 steps from 0 to 100%. This means there will be a fixed number of steps between any two colors, and if there aren't enough steps available, you will notice the increments. 16-bit files contain around 65,500 steps per channel from 0 to 100%, but for most output applications, the file will be converted to 8-bit anyway, though it's claimed by some that building your gradients in 16-bit, then converting back to 8-bit results in smoother blends. I've never noticed any benefit, but I haven't looked that hard. Most folks try some variation of this: add a new layer above your gradient, in Overlay mode, filled with 50% grey. Then add noise to this layer and play around with the various settings. I personally like to add a much higher value of noise than is needed, then put a .4 pixel blur on it and drop the opacity down to between 15% and 30%. This helps break up the obvious hard edge between steps.