(This question is related to another investigation into visual techniques using gradients and noise-filters: Research: Grainy/Noisy Gradient)

I am trying to apply a Grain-Effect (Effect -> Texture -> Grain) to a shape with a gradient as its fill color. Although this has worked with other shapes and gradients before, here the Grain-Effect somehow is not displayed the way it usually is. It is basically not visible, the shape remains filled with a smooth gradient. Take a look at these screenshots to see what I am referring to (in this example, Shape A refers to all the other shapes of my current project on which the effect has worked without any problems).

1. Shape A and B before the application of the effect (+ their respective gradient-settings):

enter image description here

(Gradient Shape A)


(Gradient Shape B)


2. Grain-Effect settings while adding the effect to A/B:

(Adding the effect to Shape A)


(Adding the effect to Shape B)


2.2 Closer look at Grain-Effect on Shape B:

A closer look at the shape while applying the effect reveals that some grain/noise particles are somehow still added to the shape's fill.


2.3 Shape A and B after the application of the effect:


Does anyone know why this shape/gradient is behaving this way? I would like to be able to apply the Grain-Effect to it just the way I'm doing it to my other shapes, i.e. Shape A in the example above.

1 Answer 1


There's two things going on there...

1. There isn't enough contrast in your gradient.

The stippled grain type's output is a 1 bit image; every pixel is either black or white. There is obviously a cut off point, or threshold, where everything above a certain grey value is white and everything below is black. Both colors of your gradient are very close to that threshold.

You can get more grain by adjusting the intensity, and possibly more of a gradient by adjusting the contrast, but probably not much.

Take this similar gradient:

enter image description here

Apply a grain effect with the same values as your example:

enter image description here

Drop the intensity:

enter image description here

If you want more of a gradient you simply need to choose less similar colors (i.e. more contrast).

2. So why is there still a gradient?

The output of the grain effect in your case is (close enough to) a solid color, your gradient however is semi-transparent at one stop. The effect ignores the transparency which is applied after the output of the effect, which over a white background is giving you the effect of a plain gradient with no grain.

You can see the transparency working in combination with the grain:

enter image description here

If you don't want transparency applied after the output of the effect simply don't use any transparency; pick solid 100% opaque colors.

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