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.
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.
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.
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%