Banding Fix Effect fixes banding due to limited 8-bit color or highly compressed sources. Two presets are provided to fix banding in the sky due to 8-bit compression. The effect can also be used to mitigate the effect of pixelization due to excessive compression.
You can download the Win or Mac trial version as well as a sample project to test it out. The watermark will be removed once you enter the activation code. The trial is full-featured except for the watermark.
This effect works with 16-bpc and 32-bpc color. The optimal usage will require 16-bit or 32-bpc and full resolution. In 32-bpc color, After Effects does not clip the video and allows the user to view any out-of-range data. In 8-bit mode, the effect cannot operate and you will not see any changes in output.
The filter detects regions that have banding and smooths the transition between the colors. Remember that film has infinite color gradation and will never show pixelization. The Banding Fix filter tries to mimic this property. To understand the effect, use the AE Levels filter to check the histogram before and after applying the Banding Fix filter.
Use the sky inside a new comp. The banding will often not be visible on 8-bit monitor but will show if you print or view on 10-bit or HDR screen.
To see the banding on your screen, add an adjustment layer with 2 levels effects and isolate the blue channel.
Before applying the effect, a frame with banding will show discrete steps. After the filter is applied, the gaps are “filled in”.
There are 2 presets to get you started, the “Sky Mild” will work for most, use the “Sky Strong” only where you can mask out the regions with banding.
The controls allow you to switch between RGB, HSL, YIQ and YUV colorspace. This effect can also be used to fix the banding show in Red and Blue colors due to YUV 4:2:0 compression.
Channel – Switch between RGB, HSL, YIQ and YUV colorspace. Default is RGB.
Layer Blend Ratio – Define the amount of effect you wish to use. At 100% the entire effect is active, and none at 0%. Default is 100%.
View Colorspace – The allows you to view the intermediate colorspace before it is converted to RGB for display. This is only useful for HSL, YIQ and YUV colorspace. Default is off.
Horizontal-Vertical Blend – The filter fixes the banding in horizontal and vertical direction in discrete steps and blends it together. You may choose non-default values for creative effects. Default is 50%.
The 3 sections indicate the 3 channels for the colorspace in use. For RGB, these are Red, Green and Blue. For HSL – Hue, Sat and Lightness. For YIQ – Luma, I-Chrominance and Q-Chrominance. For YUV – Luma, U-Chrominance and V-Chrominance.
Detection Limit – The minimum change in color to detect banding. The value is a percentage of the total color range i.e. 0-255 for 8-bit. Default is 20%
Detection threshold – Banding is indicated when a block of pixels is followed by another block with a certain change across their boundary. This value indicates minimum block size. Default is 4.
Horizontal Smoothing – Once banding is detected the edges are smoothed out to mimic the film color gradation. This value is the maximum number of pixels across horizontal block boundaries that should be used for smoothing.
Vertical Smoothing – Once banding is detected the edges are smoothed out to mimic the film color gradation. This value is the maximum number of pixels across horizontal block boundaries that should be used for smoothing.