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I've tried to create a smooth gradient which - after discovering that dithering is a 'performance' option in the settings and disabling it - looks OK in Affinity Photo.

 

However, exporting the image (apparenly no matter what format) re-introduces the noise and my gradient is once again not smooth:

 

gradient.png

(left: magnification of the gradient as displayed in Affinity Photo. right: magnification of the exported png image)

 

 

Not being able to completely disable dithering is imho either a bug or a terrible oversight.

 

another thing that seems dodgy about gradients is that sometimes changes to positions or midpoints of pivots don't get saved but reset to their previous setting when saving or switching to another layer.

 

The way gradients work in Affinity Photo's current version is pretty much unusable for me, which forces me to go back to GIMP for this task  :(

 

 

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Hey rschaub,

 

Applying a tiny amount of noise (about 5%) should completely remove any banding. I know that might sound like the opposite thing you should be doing, but it works, in most cases.

I found an old thread for 2-3 years ago where the dev's were discussing banding and dithering and I thought they were doing something about it but I don't think they have. 

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I'll try that, thanks!

 

(In the meantime, I tried adding a gaussian blur adjustment layer on top of all the gradient layers, but somehow, when exporting to PNG, the noise seems to get applied after the blurring. I ended up reimporting the exported image and applying a gauss blur manually. This effectively removes the noise, but with this workflow, I can't benefit from the IMO awesome feature of "export continuously" when altering the gradients.)

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Unfortunately, this trick only worked to smoothen the gradient somewhat, but not eliminate noise competely.

 

In the meantime, I found out that disabling gradient dithering under performance options only has a visual impact on "object layers" (e.g. a rectangle with a gradient fill). Applying a gradient to a pixel layer (using the gradient tool) introduces dithering even with the disabled gradient dithering option.

 

 

It seems the 'error' is introduced when rasterizing gradients:

Adding a rectangle and filling it with a smooth gradient, then rasterizing the layer immediately makes the noise visible. This is probably what's happening when exporting an image to PNG: rasterize all layers, combine layers then export.

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I'm experiencing this too, and any help with getting around this would be greatly appreciated.
I've found the same as rschaub, that the gradient tool on a pixel layer; rasterising a fill layer; and exporting all force dithering or introduce noise, even when disabled in the preferences.

This is a pain for me as I'm using the gradient to encode non-colour data (in this case in 32bit floating point) which give a lot of artefacts when used on the GPU.
The ability to dither gradients as an option per gradient would also be useful.

Another thing I have noticed is that the effect is reduced and there is less noise if more colour stops are added in between the end points, going as far as adding a colour stop per pixel does not eliminate it completely though.

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I have same problem.

For this problem, Affinity software is absolutely unusable for professional use.

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