Planet dithering

Inkscape doesn’t handle dithering of gradients very well. It produces quite strong banding artifacts, which is a shame, because the gradient tool in Inkscape is a lot of fun to work with. The fact that you can do gradients from opaque to transparent is something that you can’t even do in Adobe Illustrator (or at least you couldn’t a few versions ago. Don’t know how it is in more recent versions though).

So, to break the banding I took the image I made in Inkscape and imported it into GIMP. Then I tried different noise filters on it. Mainly using the G’MIC Plugin. Trying to address this as I would if it was a video that had bad banding errors.



However, I fell in love with how the noise filters softened the overall image. Made me tweak it a bit more (and overdo it! All my vector work will look like this for a while now. Until I get sick of it :). ). Softening the colors. Getting rid of the clinical coldness I often feel is present in vector graphics. The noise makes it a bit more “papery” (is that a word?) Haven’t done any vector work in a while so I had great fun making it. Inkscape really is a fantastic piece of software and absolutely lovely to work with. I made everything in grayscale in Inkscape and then added the color in GIMP. A test with different colors below.




Images added to the gallery.



  1. [...] made a few more tests using the technique from my earlier post. Using Inkscape then adding noise using the G’MIC plugin for [...]

  2. Gez wrote:

    I’ve bumped with this issue too. The best solution I found is to use the spread filter on gradients (rasterizing the object and applying the spread raster extension directly in inkscape). It sort of dithers the banding.
    It’s not that different than exporting and taking the bitmap to GIMP, but at least you don’t have to switch apps.
    I’d love to be able to apply that filter without having to convert the object to bitmaps (I mean, it would be better if the spread extension would work as an SVG filter) but it doesn’t seem to be possible atm.

    • admin wrote:

      I haven’t ever really used the filters in Inkscape. I sure have a lot left to explore. Thank you for pointing me in that direction Gez!

  3. Gez wrote:

    Notice that the spread filter is not an SVG filter but a raster extension. It’s in the extensions menu, under the bitmap submenu (I guess it’s “bitmap” or “raster”, I use inkscape in spanish).
    Oh, and remember that those filters will only work on bitmaps, so you have to convert you vector object to bitmap to appy them.

    • admin wrote:

      Oh thanks for clearing that up. I couldn’t find any spread filter in the extensions menu. What I found was Extensions/Raster/Add noise… and Extensions/Raster/Dither.

      There is a film grain effect that might be useful if I manage to understand how to tweak the filters. It’s under Filters/Image effects/Film grain in the english version.

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