An effect also known as posterizing in which smooth gradations of tone are reduced to a set number of solid colours. The result is a set of striped bands rather than smooth tone.
For example, instead of a smooth transition from grey to black a photo might have 4 colours - black, white and two intermediate shades of grey. A photo with as few shades of grey as that would demonstrate severe banding. Banding is a common problem in digital imaging, and is usually caused by insufficient bit depths. Dithering algorithms can be applied to an image to reduce banding under certain circumstances.
cf. bit depth, dithering, posterizing.
Entry last updated 2002-04-27. Term 105 of 1487.
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