This just started happening an hour ago and I'm pretty sure I must have done something to cause it, but for the life of me can't figure out how I did it. Can't seem to find a problem like this online either, all of them are usually solved by switching to the correct brush / changing blending mode.

Here's the gist: when drawing with a soft brush, or erasing with a soft eraser over a transparent background, the color appears to be distorted and edges pixelated. It looks just fine over a background, though.

Screenshot of the effect: enter image description here

Video attached.

Things I have tried: updated the drivers, checked & unchecked GPU acceleration, reset all settings, all to no avail, the issue persists. The files display fine in other programs, so it must be some view issue in Photoshop itself.

All help is greatly appreciated.

EDIT: Here's an example. The image below is almost entirely black with the exception of a couple of places erased with a soft eraser.

enter image description here

This is the same image opened in Photoshop:

enter image description here

  • 1
    You are painting much faster over the transparent background. I'm not saying that's a resolution, just an observation. I don't see the "edges" you are referring to... I do see a possible spacing issue over transparency though but that may be related to the speed you are painting.
    – Scott
    Oct 6, 2021 at 3:18
  • Thanks for taking the time to take a look at this, @Scott. I updated the post with an example where dithering and edges are clearly visible.
    – altskop
    Oct 6, 2021 at 3:24
  • If you just throw a white layer under it, does it look better? It may just be bad anti-aliasing on transparency. (in which case it may take Adobe to fix it)
    – Scott
    Oct 6, 2021 at 3:33
  • ..and.. you don't have Wet Edges selected in the Brush settings do you?
    – Scott
    Oct 6, 2021 at 3:34
  • Yep, adding a white layer underneath makes it look fine. This wasn't happening until a couple hours ago, so I'm unsure on what could've caused this.
    – altskop
    Oct 6, 2021 at 3:34

1 Answer 1


I too can partially reproduce the problem using PS CC 2021 (Win 10).

In the example below I have a ring with a hole made using a soft edged brush. A white background, and another layer, half of which is filled white and sitting between the two. Switching the background layer visibility on/of demonstrates the problem.

enter image description here

I can't see any pixelation/dithering though. Looks like some kind of rendering problem because of the transparency grid. Nothing to do with brushes. Possibly a bug? Although I did also test in CC 2018, which also is the same, so maybe not a bug after all.

As a work around I suppose you could fill a layer underneath if you want to see what it would actually look like against a background. If it is a bug, you should probably report it to Adobe. Not much we can really do about it here.

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