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Bad Gradation at shadow area

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  • Bad Gradation at shadow area

    Hi Guys,

    I need some technical help here:
    How to make smooth shadow gradation in low key photos.
    I want to darken the area but the result is like that, imperfect and unsmooth gradation, it looks like low res image (sample attached, taken from original image, 100% cropped)

    adding noise is not an option for it (or at least it is the very last option).
    I ve try frequency separation but it still there or I did it wrong?

    thanx before

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

    Are you the photographer as you mention this is a crop of the original?

    If you are the photographer then you should be having a look at the original raw or TIFF as this was taken with a quality system and should not be displaying this banding.

    If this been pulled from another resource as an 8 bit file and maybe edited in a 16 bit colour space it could explain the problems.


    • #3
      Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

      It's also possible the banding you see is the result of the display, not in the file itself. But before we go there, it would be useful to answer Tony's questions because yup, it could certainly be the data.


      • #4
        Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

        filter/noise/median and go masking!
        blur/surf.blur and go masking.


        • #5
          Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

          First of all is it an 8 bit file?

          Then, having texture makes it look natural. With no texture, you'll have either a blurred looking, or a chopped looking image.

          It's the small detail that gives image the appearance of photo-realism.

          This kind of loss of detail occurs sometimes when the underexposed/overexposed file has been pulled to correct it, and then the heavy noise that would result in an area was removed, giving you an overly smooth gradient.

          I'd recommend rebuilding the texture either from another shot in the series, or from another image that is as similar as possible. Split frequency and working on top layer, of course.

          Boy, does that perspective warp come in handy on this one.


          • #6
            Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

            Hoo.. thanx guys Love this forum


            • #7
              Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

              Would you care to answer the questions posed in post #2 to enable some help to be offered?


              • #8
                Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

                Ough sorry I forgot to answer it.. hehehe

                No, It isn't my photo, but I knew the photographer. It taken with P45, raw processed on Capture One Pro 8 bit TIFF.

                I feel it like broken gradation when I darken that spot... it supposed to be nice and smooth.


                • #9
                  Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

                  I may be wrong as I do not have access to this back which was a Phase One P40+ but I assumed that output would be 16 bit either TIFF or as Phase One raw IIQ.

                  As the file is 8 bit TIFF it may not be the original and may have been worked on prior to you receiving it and converted to 8 bit. WIth such expensive gear the assumption would be that the original would be acquired in the best quality i.e. 16 bit raw and only converted to 8 bit once image optimised and ready for output - hence my questions.

                  Do you have permission to use the photographers original file as the copyright and terms of use belong to him even if published on the 'net'?

                  Is this image a grab from the internet?

                  Is the image you show here the original file as received without any edit manipulations from you?

                  If you are trying to edit this file are you doing such in 16 bit - this could prove to be a mistake assuming that the original or the file you have does not already have the banding baked in?

                  With a correctly exposed image it can be quite difficult to produce the banding you see unless you are making huge changes or trying to make changes to an 8 bit file and using 16 bit.

                  As presented this image is not really a retouching project but more of a full blown restoration project to replace the damage to the file however caused.

                  If this is just a practice piece for beauty retouch dont waste your time. Find another to work on ideally a full blown raw file or a 16 bit file. You will not/should not be presented with such poor quality originals by a pro.

                  If you really have to make this better then try the methods suggested earlier or repair the individual RGB channels to hide the banding, or try and do the same with the composite channels on a layer using Luminosity blending and consider the patch tool a possible contender to disguise the bands and also bring a little texture back. Then deal with any colour issues arising from these moves


                  • #10
                    Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

                    Hi Tony,

                    I do have permission using the original file, I got it directly from him, but he said don't upload it full frame, just cropped at the problems area.
                    The image that i attached here is the "after" file.
                    I will upload the comparison before - after soon later.

                    Maybe I will try to rework it on 16bit, but I have to start over from the beginning... (so sad)

                    Thanx a lot



                    • #11
                      Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

                      Which method did you use to make the colour mod? (e.g. HSL, curves...).


                      • #12
                        Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

                        Originally posted by workharder View Post
                        ...Maybe I will try to rework it on 16bit, but I have to start over from the beginning... (so sad)..
                        I would suggest that unless the photographer can supply you with a 16 bit file (i.e. it was actually acquired originally as 16 bit) there is absolutely no point in converting an 8 bit file to 16 bit. You gain nothing and risk introducing more problems.

                        IS THE IMAGE AS PRESENTED HERE EXACTLY AS YOU RECEIVED IT WITHOUT YOU MAKING ADJUSTMENTS OF ANY KIND? i.e. when you opened the file for the first time you saw this banding.EDIT: Sorry I only just noticed that this is the file with your edits - what were they?
                        Last edited by Tony W; 01-27-2014, 04:26 AM.


                        • #13
                          Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

                          Originally posted by workharder View Post
                          Hi Tony,

                          Maybe I will try to rework it on 16bit, but I have to start over from the beginning... (so sad)

                          You don't need to. Yes, you need to re-open a copy of the RAW to 16, but your precise work such as healing, cloning and small radius masking has to be done again only on the troublesome areas, not the entire image.

                          You then introduce one file to the other as a smart object, and mask it out.

                          No need to redo the entire thing.

                          Convert to 16bit, same conversions, same everything.
                          Duplicate your global adjustment layers from original 8bit to new 16bit psd (if you get banding, redo your masks, it is possible it's on a mask itself)
                          Leave local adjustment layers on the 8bit, and turn off the global ones, as you have them in the 16bit file
                          Drag the 8 bit file into a 16bit file window to get a smart object so that it sits under the flattened conversion.
                          Put your flattened 16bit conversion(the layer you've gotten with alt+ctrl+shift+e) in a group and mask it out with black, then reveal it for the areas that got messed up in 8 bit.

                          So you'll end up with a group that contains 16 bit file, and is fully editable, and that you can always expand just by revealing it with a mask, you get all your global masks just like you had before, you preserve all your local adjustments where they have worked in 8 bit, and you get a relatively small file, as you're introducing the 8bit as a smart object in a single layer.
                          Last edited by skoobey; 01-27-2014, 06:21 AM.


                          • #14
                            Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

                            I attached the comparison After and the Original
                            I m using some curve, selective color, color balance for the color mod.

                            Attached Files


                            • #15
                              Re: Bad Gradation at shadow area

                              The banding you are seeing is not in the original image but is being introduced with your editing.

                              Regardless of the fact that this is an 8 bit image you should be able to modify colour very well to get the desired effect and in this case you have pushed a little too hard with your adjustments and broken the image.

                              I see no reason why you would need to use 3 different adjustments to accomplish colour modifications and it is likely the cumulative effect of all three is causing the problem. Select one for your global adjustment and you should be good to go


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