PureCGI commercials & banding


Hey guys,

I’ve been trying to figure this out through all my projects and I suppose I’ve been trying to avoid a long extensive research process when I think most people here already know the answers.
We use Maya, Vray, Nuke & After Effects - we working on 32bit and 16bit exrs throughout including in After Effects (could this be the issue? Should we work in 8Bit to see the potential issues?)

Also, our exports are much better even as a .mov h264 until it hits youtube.

We have Da Vinci resolve with a grading suite, FCPX and we also have Adobe Encoder all for exporting - any ideas what is the best way?

I look up to ManVsMachine and I use them as a benchmark. I realized they have severe banding too on youtube.
Banding Example from ManVsMachine 01
Banding Example from ManVsMachine 02

What methods do you guys have? I feel like adding noise doesn’t cut it and maybe even makes it worse. Should I remove it or add a lot more?

What are your methods to improve this?


There are 2 things you could try:

  1. Add dithering to your footage (not noise).

  2. Upload the video using the Apple Prores or Avid DNxHD / DNxHR codecs if Youtube supports them.

At the end of the day, it is the compression Youtube applies that determines how the final footage looks.

I work with videos downloaded from Youtube every day. Youtube videos are NOT good quality video.


Okay! Thank you. We are looking into dithering now. Is there a dither filter?

the question I have is what does YouTube do?

if I upload a prores, I feel like they’d apply their compression which may be bad as their objective would be to keep files as small as possible.

On the other hand, I keep thinking if I did it in the format that YouTube prefers. If I kept the bitrate high. It would slip through their system and skip YouTube re-compression.

but I’m super unclear and it’s tiring to create all kinds of variants to test.


Everything depends on the Youtube encoder’s settings.

Youtube is probably trying to save bandwidth by:

  1. Not compressing small/fine details in the video too much so the video doesn’t look muddy or blurry.

  2. Trying instead to compress areas of continuous shading as much possible to save on bits and bandwidth - and this is probably why the banding occurs.

The Youtube video in the areas that band may not even be 8bit - it may be 5 to 6 bit to save on bandwidth.

If you apply some dithering to the image it may fool the encoder into treating areas of smooth shading as areas where “fine detail is present”.

This is all theoretical and you would have to try this firsthand.

For After Effects I found this dithering plugin:


Again, there is no guarantee that it will work. Everything depends on the CODEC Youtube/Google are using to publish to Youtube.


I also found this old forum post where banding on Youtube is discussed:


Back then, Youtube used YUV video instead of RGB video.

Don’t know if that has changed at all since.


We were getting same issue, try outputting to 16bit .mov files, 8bit compresses and gives you banding. Not sure if youtube supports it but have a look, prores is a good idea too if its supported


Didn’t youtube add 10bit support fairly recently?

Just googled it and yes it does:
Keep in mind that 10bit videos can still show banding but that would be because of REALLY bad compression (or the source has banding to begin with, of course).
Most likely it would be fine, but Just adding this because you never know with the world famous ‘youtube quality’.


might also be worth putting the same video on vimeo as a comparison and check if its youtube doing the bad compression