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Soft Brush Banding

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I've noticed an oddly significant amount of banding when using the Affinity soft (pixel) brushes with a stylus on desktop or Apple Pencil on iPad.

These are basically plain round brushes with hardness set to 0. 

I realise that working in a standard 8-bit format would make this more apparent, but it does not do this in Procreate (iPad) or in Photoshop (Desktop) when in 8-bit, so this leads me to believe that there might be a bug/issue, or app configuration causing this.


I've attached a screenshot for reference. 


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22 minutes ago, MEB said:

Hi ChristiduToit,
We already have this logged. Currently this is working as intended. We do not dither brushes as Photoshop does.

Thanks for the quick response @MEB

Is it perhaps worth exploring dithering the brushes in that way for future updates?

It would be incredibly beneficial to the final outcome for all users, and soft brushes are such a commonly used feature in illustration, digital painting, graphic design and photo editing (especially), which pretty much covers all of the fields that Affinity apps are purposely created for. If the soft brushes create a low resolution, banded look while editing/painting, then they are basically useless - just the honest truth. If the soft brushes don't appear 'soft' then I may not be able to use Photo for a vast majority of my work.

Working in 16-bit does help a lot, but it's not a practical solution as file sizes are huge in comparison, and often causes lagging and slow performance as a result.

Would really love to see this addressed in a future update, as the soft brushes play a big role in my work (and a lot of other peoples' work too). 

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Hi ChristiduToit,
I agree with you. I logged/brought up this issue quite some time ago with development (as a bug) but it was marked as by design at the time since it was working as intended/coded (no dithering). It's now (re)opened as an improvement request but as always it's up to development to decide if/when to add/implement it to the app. Thanks for your feedback/support.

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  • 9 months later...
2 hours ago, anon2 said:

Dithering of brushes must be optional only, not compulsory, or AP will be ruined for those of us who want to avoid dither in 16 and 32 bits per channel modes.

For sure, I 100% agree. I've always worked in 8bit and definitely don't have any intention of switching to a higher bitrate (and doubling/quadrupling my file size in the process) just for the sake of smoother brushes. BUT. I have always worked in 8bit, even before switching to Affinity when I used Photoshop, and the brushes in PS were dithered and had no banding whatsoever, even in 8bit. I know this is possible, because Affinity dithers gradients in 8bit, but not the soft brushes. Gradient banding has absolutely no positive impact on anything, so I definitely think it can be looked into.

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