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Banding in Gradients Once Compressed

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Kristin Russell
Banding in Gradients Once Compressed
on Jun 25, 2010 at 9:46:26 pm

Hi There,

I continually have issues with banding in gradients once I compress them but I see projects posted by others that look do they achieve this?

Here are the requested specs:
Computer: power mac 2x3 ghz quad-core intel xeon, 4 gig 667 mhz ddr2 fb-dimm
OS: 10.5.8
Software: AE 9.0.2, Quicktime Pro 7.6.2, Compressor 3.0.5
Source Codec: Apple Prores 422 (HQ) rendered from R3D files
Rendered As: Animation setting from AE default
Export Destination Codec: .h264 or .x264 mov files
Type of Use: primarily for web, but would also like to resolve issue for DVD as well.
Progressive download I'm guessing.

When I export the master file out of AE (animation codec) I have no banding but once compressed I have the issues. I currently use Compressor and downloaded a trial version of Sorenson Squeeze but the issue was even worse. The settings I used in Compressor are:
Key Frame Every 240 Frames
Quality: Bets
Multi Pass
Data Rate: Automatic

I've added noise and variations in color but still see banding when compressing the footage. When I render as an 10 bit animation everything is fine but regardless of how I tweak the compression settings, there's always banding in the image.

Here's a link that shows the banding in the closing end tag:

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Rich Rubasch
Re: Banding in Gradients Once Compressed
on Jun 27, 2010 at 2:34:30 am

Banding can make you crazy! Even national spots on an SD channel feed can have banding.

Adding noise into the gradient should work however. Instead of using automatic bitrates try varying it a bit and play with the settings more. Also the type of gradient can make a difference, meaning how much the color changes over a given distance.

It's part getting the right settings in the render and part setting up the encoder to handle it.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production and Post

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