…to quote a David Byrne song.
Yes, this banding has been a problem since I believe version 7 or 8 and it’s still here, on both Windows and Mac versions. I also have work-arounds and have been silently and patiently waiting for this “fix” for years now.
Until then, here’s some tips on how to “minimize” this dreadful “banding effect”, and it works in all versions as far as I know and remember, including 9.5 which I’m sticking with for now.
- choose any paper other than Basic (I use French Watercolor);
- make sure brightness and contrast is somewhere close to the same (depending on the paper of course), around 50% (at least low contrast).
- Before doing delicate work on a new layer, choose a new paper, or just the scaling slightly of the paper currently in use. TIP if you don’t know already, you can also save (drag) custom Papers i.e. settings to your custom pallette with your painting tools for easy paper texture flipping.
- make sure that “Pick up Underlying Color” from the layer palette is checked.
I believe the problem arises, and I think the thread is here somewhere in the Archives, is that all layers use the paper texture to lay down the paint. There was some talk years back that Corel was working on a way to turn off textures completely from a layer, so that you could paint as smoothly as within PhotoShop. Actually, it was the birth of the “Digital Airbrush” variant. Unfortunately, I guess they’ve given up on perfecting it, and instead have decided to continue to create more and more worthless brush variants, instead of concentrating on getting the absolute most important one RIGHT.
The airbrush is THE most basic and important brush within any digital paint program… since V1 of PS and V1 of ColorStudio (waaaay back when!). It MUST work perfectly and smoothly on any computer, within any program, any layer, etc. etc. Mainly, because it is the basis engine for all of the photo retouching tools. Get the airbrush right, and then the phototools like burn and dodge will also work… which at the moment “also” DO NOT within X (creates banding and artifacting just like the airbrush does!).
Oh yeah… and just to add to a another thread I saw about the workspace feature: nice idea => horribly executed and worthless, considering the context menu problem I experienced as well. As always, I’m curious if they do Beta testing at Corel with assorted real-world users and artists, and not only JinBrown. Nothin’ against her, but she sure does seem to be the only “Corel is the greatest software company on earth evangelist” around here. I mean really, some of the blatant bugs and missing “feature” requests within this version are downright “Microsoft-esque” in my opinion. If it ain’t broke, fix it… and if it is broke, ignore it and the users that complain about it, and hope that forums such as this one one will come up with a nice work-around.
Sad. Very Sad!