Colour Banding: My Biggest Enemy

Most of my images are very large and high quality. Below is a quick painting of a ball created in Affinity Photo. If you view the image in full, you should see some colour banding in the darker areas. This is not so nice on portait paintings which is my main bread and butter when it comes to commissions and trying to make some cash to get by.

None of these look like a big deal in such a small view but at full size, it’s an issue. An even bigger one when printing because that’s when the banding REALLY starts to stand out.

The work around is to add noise. But it can also make the colour banding pop out more. It’s very hard to hide at first. This image is 16bit RGB and even on 32HDR there is STILL some colour banding. Something I find very frustrating. You might not be able to see it with the image downsized but at full sized it’s very noticable. It’s not quite as striking visually as the other two images.

Affinity Photo Ball Painting

This image below is an 8bit RGB painting of the same ball only painted with more care and though there’s a little bit of banding it’s not destructive. It looks clean and smooth. Which is what you want. The downside to going higher and higher HD images is file size or even image size but even so, Affinity Photo still magically has colour banding. It’s my only disappointment with the app.

Photoshop Ball Painting

Below is yet another painting, also 16bit RGB and though it has banding, it’s not quite as harsh as Affinity. The final example created in GIMP. I could use several other programs but, they all have some level of colour banding. Some worse than others. My reason for comparing Affinty Photo to Gimp is because one is free and the other is paid. I genuinely expect paid software to be better or as good as free software. After all, it is my money I spent on it. I really hope it’s something that gets improved over time.

Gimp 16bit RGB

It’s an issue I hate coming across. Some apps are worse than others in both paid and freeware. My only advice is to add noise. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what DPI you are using, colour banding can still appear and cause troubles.

It’s more apparent when using high contrasting colours. Online they all look good. The real issue with colour banding is printing and printing at home. When switching to CYMK for printing the banding gets worse and the overall result is not good. For now when it comes to printing my paintings, I will likely stick to Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint.

Affinity Photo is a great photo editor, but this colour banding is an issue. Even with denoising, changing from Bilinear to nearest neighbour and other suggestions, there’s not actual solution at this current point in time. So for now it’s a gentle noise filter of 4-8%


Recent Synfig Animations

My most recent two animations here were fully livestreamed on 4 sites at once using Restream service which I highly recommend if you’re trying to increase your visibility as an artist.

Anyway I felt like enough time had passed and that I might give Synfig another chance. I’m glad I did. I like it but it still lags sooooo baaaaaaad! And for a stable release, it crashed an awful lot. In the first image I did use Blender to make the background. I used Blender 2.8 alpha and rendered it in EEVEE.

The first one was just vector point animation. I don’t know what else to call it. It’s also technically morphing. I would have edited the motion had it not crashed at every attempt. So I left it as is. I really would have liked a smoother steam movement though.

Still, it’s better than nothing.

The main point was to make quality animation with freeware. It’s possible but it takes time and patience and the acceptance that the software isn’t always perfect. Synfig is a great alternative to Moho. Krita makes an excellent traditional frame by frame animation program and OpenToonz has a little bit of almost everything. But if you’re looking for a really good Moho alternative, try out Synfig.

OpenCanvas 7

Two videos of me mostly talking about the things I love about the changes and performance of the newest version of OpenCanvas 7. Artweaver has a similar event file and even similar brushes but OC is the original and still can’t be beaten! Especially when concerning Event Files.

Hope you guys enjoyed these videos. I am trying to add audio more often.

The Chamomile Experiment Begins!

I’ve been waiting for two things to start:

  1. A bag of real herbal Chamomile tea, flower heads and all
  2. Spring to hit a bit harder
  3. Money to buy seedling trays so I can grow other things

So I am declaring either today or tomorrow afternoon my official start to my experiment. I mentioned this in a previous post Can You Grow Chamomile From Teabags? I discovered it is possible apparently to do so, according to a video posted on YouTube but this is the internet and not all information is right. However the organic Chamomile will definitely yield results as it clearly has seeds in it. I think I have Roman and German Chamomile but I am not entirely sure so if I find out which one I have I will make sure to add that bit of info.

I will most likely just update this one post here as I go along which would make it an incredibly HUGE post that is image heavy. So if you are interested in this journey, it will be long and slow so bookmark this post and check back in a week to a few weeks.

Fun In IbisPaint

I have been having loads of fun in ibispaint and rewatching my own drawings. I hope to continue to do so. Here’s a quick replay. One thing I love is not having to record it myself and capture every moment of drawing and painting. One day though I will set my camera up for top down recording.

OpenCanvas 7: My Thoughts

Anyone that knows me or has followed this blog and my Tumblr, knows that I am a HUGE fan of OpenCanvas. I have been using it for years. Finally I got some P&Q and a decent mic and recorded some audio to go with it.

There will be a part two but in the meantime I hope you will enjoy the video. I will likely follow up this post with another that is image heavy before coming out with the second vid.