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What is Banding?

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What is banding and why is it an issue?

(because i'm looking at the before and after images of the vcb studios rip of akame ga kill and i don't see a difference; but i will say i do see the tiniest of differences when i zoom in; what is this difference i'm looking at?)

Edited by Kakashi_Hatake

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^But, but, I thought banding was a good thing. You know having higher banding == better quality? You know like having a higher band here means you're better (education wise)... KAPPA!

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This is 'banding'

Notice how the color changes aren't smooth.




The left has banding, the right has been debanded using filters to dither and add grain/noise.


Having a larger color spectrum allows for better transitioning; hence why 10-bit encoding is a lot better about not causing excessive banding during compression.


As for your comparison; it's because VCB while commenting about the banding, didn't show any screenshots in their comparison of any of the banded scenes which made their image comparison moot. Unfortunately their encode still has a lot of banding anyhow due to compression (I guess, idk) but all the other releases had a lot more banding while also being more than double the size. So no encode of Akame was perfect imo; but they're the only ones who actually stated they tried to do something about the banding. Reinforce and Tsundere both said they don't mind banding and never attempt to filter it when I questioned them.

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Also another thing, you can also get banding on monitors especially if you have a low end one with poor colour coverage. Plus some monitors aren't properly calibrated, their Colour Delta E is insanely off which can also cause banding. It's also true with the other extreme end as well, i.e. if you have a wide gamut screen with an extremely accurate colour reproduction you can also get banding. Basically your wide gamut monitor is mostly limited by your GPU which is 8bit, but the screen can support 10bit which is an insane 1024 points of colour saturation adjustments vs 256 of an 8bit. The monitor would have to stretch the 256 points of adjustment over the much wider colour saturation of 1024 points.


A way to reduce the noticeable banding in that use case scenario is to; basically use a 3D LUT table, having a GPU that can output 10bit and properly calibrating your monitor using a colourimetre. That's the problem with going with expensive monitors, you will notice more banding among other issues....


Unless you're doing some serious professional work i.e. photography, video editing, etc. The average monitor usually has about 65-80% Adobe RGB colour coverage which is about 90-95% sRGB colour coverage is good enough. You most likely won't notice the difference between a 60-75% Adobe RGB displays anyways and most of the monitors are around that anyways. In my opinion you just want a monitor with good contrast and viewing angles (IPS panel) to enjoy most of your media.


However, I do suggest that the people who are serious about quality should buy a colourimetre for calibration. Apart from having consistent colours/brightness/gamma on each monitors, it also represents exactly what you will print out especially if you calibrate using the printer's colour profile. My advice is you buy the cheapest colourimetre that is supported by ArgyIICMS and DispcalGUI, as most of the time it's the software that is holding back the entry level colourimetre compared to the more expensive ones (unless you need an ambient sensor as well).



Banding is a bitch... K A P P A! Well, somehow I ended up with a colourimetre and a wide gamut screen... So I know this first hand.

Edited by ZeroPenguins
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