A clipping mask rectangle that is 50px in height is showing a region of a gradient 5000px rectangle, as seen in the image.

  • I want the user to see the same color, or at least not notice the difference, of a gradient, through the window.
  • It'll be a linear gradient from red to black.
  • The clipping mask height will remain 50px and I cannot change that.
  • The height of the gradient rectangle is the only thing that can change.

I know that at 5000px, the user will see the same exact color value every 50px (correct me if I'm wrong). However, I want to shorten the height of the gradient rectangle from 5000px down to whatever height it takes for the user to not notice the difference in color within the clipping mask rectangle.

enter image description here

  • Gradients from a single color to a single color appear smooth, as long as the blending point is spaced far enough away from each value. Whenever its rastered or saved at a low resolution you begin to see the color change borders. Plenty of 1" and 2" gradients look perfectly smooth. The small size helps hide details.
    – Webster
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 16:36
  • 1
    You would probably find differences among users depending on the quality of their color or luminosity perception. There are mobile games like Blendoku or I love hue that ask the users just that: to sort the colors in order.
    – curious
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 16:51
  • What if it's a web site? Does the color change every 1% of the full length of the gradient rectangle?
    – yaserso
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


A visually smooth gradient is going to change pixel values every 1 or 2 pixels.

The greatness, or how drastic that pixel change is (gradient frequency) depends upon the length of the gradient. A long gradient with a minimal color change from start to stop will result in more banding and sharper color changes, resulting in larger areas of similar color - i.e. lower gradient frequency. A shorter gradient with a more drastic color change, will result in a higher gradient frequency.

Unless your gradient has significant banding in it there will not be a point where the color looks solid.

In addition, human perception varies from human to human. Some users may pick up on color/value changes more easily than other users. It is very difficult to state what works in any sort on absolute fashion just due to how the human eye works. The best you can do is configure things which look appropriate to you based upon your perception.

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