when good gradients go bad.

Late last night I was working on a slide template for a client/friend for his presentation. The design needed to be at 1600 by 1200 which is one heck of a presentation (perhaps running in Times Square that week?). So I added some gradients and his branding I designed a while back and BLAM!!! instant branded template. Should only be about an hours job or so and then I could move onto critical things like standing in line for Grand Theft Auto 4 with a bunch of other videogamers. But low and behold he noticed something I didn’t. The gradient was color banding when zoomed in. Not something you’d see at a smaller resolution, but this was definitely noticeable at this higher resolution. I racked my brain trying to get the gradient to smooth out even adjusting my bit color depth in Photoshop to 32bit. I ran some surface blur filters and gaussian blurs and those helped a tiny bit but still the band played on. Cursing the Adobe gods and their cruelty to designers, I decided to try running a noise filter to add some visual noise at about a .4% setting to see if that would help. BLAM!! perfect gradient resulted and now the client is happy. Didn’t you hear the choir sing? Here’s an idea Adobe, why not just do that by default so the gradient is perfect to begin with and I don’t feel tempted to install Corel Paint (gasp!). So my 1 hour job took over 2 hours and It turned out the line was so long for Grand Theft Auto 4 that I just went to the Meijers instead and picked it up in 10 minutes. So I guess I should actually be thanking Adobe for saving me time from waiting in line.

This is what the template would look like…. If you were flying above it in a plane at 2000 ft.