Noticed some banding on certain shots that I have color corrected in Color (working from R3D files) and then sending back to conform in FCP using ProRes 422 HQ. The color corrections are not too radical. Looks like blockiness in the image.
Yeah 99% of the time I see banding on RED footage it's due to lack of color depth on the viewing monitor, not the actual clip. Remember to correct to a gamma space/color depth that your viewing monitor can display- i.e. REC 709.
Banding occurs when a smooth gradient at a high bit depth is converted to a lower bit depth and there's not enough natural noise in the image, or no dither has been added during the conversion to smooth out the gradient at the new lower bit depth.
Lossy codecs such as ProRes do a very good job at encoding our images at a lower data rate, but to do that, they must remove from the image what it thinks we won't see. One of the things that gets removed is subtle, low-level noise, which is just the kind of noise that helps naturally dither gradients.
Wavelet based codecs (like REDCODE) behave a little differently because they represent the image as a smooth, underlying mathemetical function, so even when a little noise is lost through the lossy compression, the image is still a smooth gradient underneath, not represented by a grid of macroblocks. This and the quality of the underlying RED image have ensured that I've never seen any banding that actually relates to the underlying RAW data that the camera captured.
So - as Noah points out, banding can often be as the result of an 8bit monitor on 10bit (or higher) data without adequate dithering added.
And, I guess you've all just given me an idea for a Color plugin....