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Banding effect on a 16 bits PSD gradient rendered in H.264

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Antonio Lahuerta
Banding effect on a 16 bits PSD gradient rendered in H.264
on Mar 23, 2017 at 4:35:10 am

Hello,
I'm looking for any possible clue to solve this issue:
In a video with a gradient made with Photoshop I found a very disgusting banding effect that looks like an old 256 colours solution.
The gradient made with Photoshop had 1920x1080 size, 300 ppp and 16 bpp colour depth, it was saved as a PSD file.

In a Premiere project 1920x1080, square pixels, 25 fps progressive, this gradient is added.

Afterwards it is rendered with 1920x1080, square pixels, 25 fps, progressive, 10 Mbps, Maximum colour depth, Render with maximum quality.

The result is a banding depicted in the gradient.

The only way to avoid completely that artifact is to render the video as lossless AVI, but it turns the file into a HUGE, really HUGE, one.

Anyone who can help to find out the solution?


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Jon Doughtie
Re: Banding effect on a 16 bits PSD gradient rendered in H.264
on Mar 23, 2017 at 4:05:26 pm

I would presume your video and timeline was 8 bit, and MP4 is a lossy, compressed, final delivery codec.

You would want to work in 10-bit for video and project, and output to a lossless codec.

Can't get blood from a turnip.

System:
Dell Precision T7600 (x2)
Win 7 64-bit
32GB RAM
Adobe CC 2015.02 (as of 6/2016)
256GB SSD system drive
4 internal media drives RAID 5
Typically cutting short form from HD MP4 and P2 MXF.


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Stephen Abbott
Re: Banding effect on a 16 bits PSD gradient rendered in H.264
on Mar 24, 2017 at 11:03:34 am

Hi Antonio,

You could try adding some noise to the gradient. If you generate the gradient in After Effects, the Ramp effect has a Ramp Scatter parameter that does just that, otherwise you can add the noise in PS or in Premiere.

Delivering an 8-bit MPEG4 will show up the worst banding, but you should be doing this even in a 10-bit depth — if the gradient is too 'clean'.

-
Stephen Abbott


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Antonio Lahuerta
Re: Banding effect on a 16 bits PSD gradient rendered in H.264
on Mar 24, 2017 at 7:56:05 pm

Well,

I've tried this, step by step:

1st
Create a new project and a new sequence with the following parameters:


Then, I add a .PSD file 16bits with the gradient, 2% noise and gaussian blur, in order to obtain a properly made gradient to be used on the Premiere Project.

Finally, I render the project with this configuration:



As a result I obtain an image like this, where you can find traces of the banding artifact. I've split the image in two parts, the left one is the original gradient fresh made in photoshop as I described before. The right one is the image as seen in the rendered video.
Unfortunately, the result is far from being proffesional. (NOTE: Mind that after some compressions the image is at a lower quality as seen here on my computer, but still is possible to appreciate the difference between them)



I think that I've configured the premiere project to be ready to work at 10-bits colour depth and the photoshop file and the rendering have been set to be as good as possible.

So the only conclussion left is that Adobe Premiere IS NOT a professional software to perform this duties.

What do you think about this process and the conclussion?


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Shane Ross
Re: Banding effect on a 16 bits PSD gradient rendered in H.264
on Mar 24, 2017 at 8:15:55 pm

[Antonio Lahuerta] "1st
Create a new project and a new sequence with the following parameters:"


Those perameters are for a DVCPRO HD sequence setting. DVCPRO HD is 8-bit. You need to use DNxHD (the x codecs...meaning 175x or 220x) or ProRes (ProRes is Mac only) settings if you want 10-bit. Or Cineform. To get DNxHD you need to download and install the Avid Codecs LE (google it). H.264...DVCPRO HD...those are 8-bit codecs and that will introduce the banding.

[Antonio Lahuerta] "Finally, I render the project with this configuration:"

That doesn't show what CODEC you are exporting. If h.264, then that is 8 bit. An 8-bit sequence setting and 8-bit export..and highly compressed export to boot.

[Antonio Lahuerta] "Unfortunately, the result is far from being proffesional."

Well...sorry to say this, but it is because you are using a professional editing application without professional editing knowledge. You might indeed be a professional in the photo or graphics world, but the settings you've chosen shows a lack of video knowledge...that's why you are getting less than desired results.

[Antonio Lahuerta] "I think that I've configured the premiere project to be ready to work at 10-bits colour depth and the photoshop file and the rendering have been set to be as good as possible. "

Sorry, but you haven't. Again, DVCPRO HD is an 8-bit codec...so you chose an 8-bit sequence setting. Again, you'll need ProRes or DNxHD X codec to get 10-bit. Or Cineform.

[Antonio Lahuerta] "So the only conclussion left is that Adobe Premiere IS NOT a professional software to perform this duties."

Sorry, no. It is capable, it's just that your knowledge of professional video isn't quite where it needs to be. And I am NOT trying to be insulting. I'm a pro editor but my photoshop skills aren't as high as a print persons would be. Given what you are showing here, you have set things up wrong in trying to get your result, therefore you aren't getting the result you want.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Jon Doughtie
Re: Banding effect on a 16 bits PSD gradient rendered in H.264
on Mar 24, 2017 at 8:23:09 pm

Shane speaks truth. The issue, once again is the final codec. We cannot go high-end through the whole process, then squeeze the livin' daylights out of the product at the end, and expect no consequences.

You need a lossless codec for your final render. It will result in a large file. Physics. No free lunch. You will run into this same issue with any edit system you sit in front of.

System:
Dell Precision T7600 (x2)
Win 7 64-bit
32GB RAM
Adobe CC 2015.02 (as of 6/2016)
256GB SSD system drive
4 internal media drives RAID 5
Typically cutting short form from HD MP4 and P2 MXF.


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Antonio Lahuerta
Re: Banding effect on a 16 bits PSD gradient rendered in H.264
on Mar 25, 2017 at 1:25:37 am

Excellent answer!!!!
I've just installed the AVID codecs and doing the first tests. They look very promising so far.
THANKS A LOT!


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