Max Rudberg
Apr 2

Photoshop action: Remove compositing artifacts & banding

A while back, Marc Edwards tweeted:

8 bits per channel really isn’t enough colour resolution, even for fairly basic compositing (note the banding)

Only now I realized I should probably share one of my daily actions I use in Photoshop. Like Marc, I work in 8-bits/channel, which I think most designers still do. With this bit depth, you will eventually run into compositing artifacts such as banding.

What this simple action does is convert the selected layers into a smart object, then change that smart object to 16-bit depth. When a 16-bit smart object is placed inside an 8-bit document, Photoshop compensates for the lower bit rate with dithering and your banding likely disappear. The last thing the script does is add a subtle noise – but this is entirely optional and often you get just as good as a result or better if you disabled the noise filter.

A downside to this method that each smart object you create this way will increase the file size of the document.

The upsides to this way of working is that you get the speed benefit & filters from working in 8-bit, with the compositing benefits of 16-bit.

Download the action here


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