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Why does my photoshop suddenly produce low quality fading backgrounds?

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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
Hi, i'm quite new to photoshop so there's probably something i have missed.
At first photoshop seemed to produce much higher quality on faded backgrounds, but suddenly
something went strange, or is it just my imagination?.

I tried resetting photoshop with Ctrl-Alt-Shift. But that didn't help either.
And tried several different color-setting changes. Still no result.

I imagine photoshop should produce better faded backgrounds than this.
(attached file).

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It is hard to tell the quality from that JPG since JPG's are compressed images.

Have you tried adjusting the resolution and color depth when you create a new image?



It looks almost like on the picture, sometimes with bigger steps.. there can be 10 rows
consisting of the same color.. But perhaps it is suppose to be?..

I tried setting setting it to 72, 90, 900... same result.
I tried 8 and 16 Bit. I also tried setting to CMYK instead of RGB but in wain..
Even tough i believed CMYK had a somewhat smother gradience, when i experimented with some other colours the result looked really nasty with a lot of color-contamination.

The jpg you attached doesn't look "that" bad for a jpg. I am wondering if I am seeing exactly what you are seeing. I am attaching a small psd file that looks fine on my PC. It is 400x200, 150 resolution, 16 bit.

How does this look on your PC/monitor?


Doh! I guess I can't attach it. psd's are not allowed. I thought by putting it in a .zip it would work. Oh well.

Do you have another PC and/or monitor handy to see if it is a hardware issue?



yea i've got two extras. i'll have a look on them.. Not as bright tough.


ok, this is troublesome.. how about i'm renaming the psd to png then..I'm adding a png file as well. it should be good quality..

That image looked fine on my PC. Attached is a 500x500 / 150 res / 16 bit. (rename png to psd)

How does this look?


I think its harder to see the fluctuations when looking at coloured pictures.
It seems ok, just a little fluctuation between light pink and purple.
But other than that it looks ok.

I tested my picture on other programs like the viewing program for images and faxes that comes with windows. It looks somewhat wierd in that as well. And it doesn't matter wich computer i look at.
But in another program like Microsoft Photo Editor it suddenly works. So i'm not really sure where the error lies.

But it's like i can't do nice gradients anymore and that really bothers me. I remember last week i had a look on an old image i made and then i tried making another one but the gap between colors was to big so it only ended up looking wierd.. Hence there must be something wierd somewhere. My screen has on the other hand been acting up with a green line on the right side, i don't know where that comes from either but it shouldn't affect the gradience on another screen.

So the images looked the same on another monitor/PC? If so, do you have Photoshop on those PC's...or did you just try to view the images you created with Photoshop on your main PC?

My next suggestion would be to go to another PC/laptop with Photoshop installed and create and view a sample image on that PC. If you have already done that and the images still look bad when created on other PC's with other monitors....then I am out of ideas. : (


It's strange that it looks ok in MS Photo Editor.


Tried on my main PC.

Yea i agree, it's strange but could also be that way since microsoft wants everything to look good even tough its not suppose to.. ^^ ..Waiting for feedback from my sister now, uploaded file to her as well.

One thing you could help me with perhaps would be if you store the psd-file i uploaded to png or something and upload it.That way we can check to see if there is any changes.

Here you go. I reopened your file it, saved it in Photoshop, and uploaded.

Let me know how the 2 images compare.


Walkman, I opened your original file posted an it looks fine to me when I use the Info Palette to get a density reading. I think what you are seeing is just a preview.
As far as I can tell, you have a nice smooth gradient.


This is wierd.. To me it looks ok on #090909, #080808, #070707, #060606 and then it takes a colour leap
between #060606 and #050505 and continues in a much darker tone from #050505, #040404, #030303, etc. Perhaps my screen cant handle that jump or perhaps my gfx-card has given up..


A preview?.. in photoshop with 100% size? =/


I took a picture with my Canon 400D

Perhaps not the highest quality of picture, but i believe it should be easy to see what i mean
at the bottom of this picture.


Have you recently switched the color palette option to turn 'Only Web Colors' on? Look at the difference between images c3 and c4 below. Although I don't get this sort of banding when I look at your image, it is possible that you are experiencing this sort of banding in your preview.
Also, in regards to preview: Every file is saved with a preview. See image c2 below.
When I am concerned about a vignette or other quality issue, I never trust what I see - I always measure using the Info tool, and I use Gray Scale, RGB or CMYK to measure by. I also think in terms of print, and I measured your vignette assuming it was gray scale. I did not measure for Web Color which would probably look different. Especially if you use only web safe colors in your color picker. (see c3)
Another paramater to check is under Preferences: General: Image Interpolation. (see c1 below)


Actually, I should amend what I said about the preview: if the option is turned ON, it will always save with a preview, but technically, you are always looking at a preview of some kind anyway.

In regards to the picture you posted which I didn't see while I was posting:
That looks to me like you didn't pull your gradient all the way down to the bottom and your end color is solid.


Very informative posting above. However i'm already aware of the show only web colors-option.
I just created a new layer, filled it with the paintbucket, and then choose gradient in the layer-effects.

But i'll look into thoose c2, c1..

Well, I was just looking at the picture you took. When I download the image you posted (the one with the heart and rainbow) the gradient, again, looks fine to me.
I don't find any other solution than it's my gfx-card that don't support certain black shades.

Thank you for all your help..

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