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I recently noticed a problem when drawing gradients: The transition from black to became non-smooth. I have Photoshop elements 10 installed on a Windows 7 64-bit system.

Two main installations I did lately were a Win7 upgrade to SP1 and a Photoshop CS6 trial version. I suspect the problem stems from one of these installations.

I can confirm that the problem is local to Photoshop (both versions). When copying and pasting the image between either Photoshop version and Paint.Net interchangeably, the problem does not occur in Paint.Net (no matter which application created the source image).

I attached a screenshot of how the output looks in Photoshop and Paint.Net side-by-side.


  1. This problem is originally related to not getting smooth transitions when drawing with my wacom tablet along with pen-pressure flow preset, but it's easier to explain the issue through gradients.
  2. Photoshop Elements 10 was working great earlier - this problem came out of nowhere.

Ideas are highly appreciated (except for re-installing the OS). Hope someone could help - I'm searching for a solution for three days in a row already (searching for gradient band/banding/rings/etc. didn't yield a solution).

Thank you.


Neglected to mention a few details (thanks to @boblet for reminding me):

  1. My screen resolution is set to 32-bit (True Color).
  2. My graphic video card is nVidia GTX 260 (it's been around, but still works a.o.k.)
    • Following the problem I updated the drivers to the latest version (didn't help).
  3. According to suggested solutions out there, I tried almost every combination of Edit > Preferences > Performance > Advanced Settings:
    • Enable/Disable "Use Graphics Processor"
    • Drawing Mode: Basic / Normal / Advanced
    • All the checkboxes (including 30 bit display, etc.)
  4. I also tried creating 8/16 bit images (and 32 bit images, but it's not possible to apply a grayscale gradient to this type of image).


share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Scott, Yisela Feb 3 '14 at 3:37

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This appears to be a tech support question about fixing technology to work as advertised. Please edit the question so that it pertains to using technology to solve a design problem. You may want to check if it hasn't already been asked in Super User. In many cases, contacting the manufacturer is the quickest option." – Scott, Yisela
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

have you tried to increase the resolution? – Benteh Feb 2 '14 at 23:29
My display is set to "True Color (32 bit)". I will update the question as I already tried several things. – AVIDeveloper Feb 2 '14 at 23:32
Ah, ok. One trick I have heard of is to add blur.. but I am sure some PS expert will come up with something better. – Benteh Feb 2 '14 at 23:33
Applying blur is good for fixing gradient banding, but I'm not interested in covering up a problem that came out of the blue - I want it to go away, back in to the blue :) – AVIDeveloper Feb 2 '14 at 23:50
This is more tech support than anything. And it's not blur you want to add to gradients, it's noise. A very small amount of noise. Anyway.. if this is a new problem, follow standard troubleshooting... reboot system. Trash prefs, recalibrate monitor, reset app color settings.. log in as a different user to see if issue is present.. etc. – Scott Feb 3 '14 at 1:14