Photoshop CC 2015: Gradient Fill Angle setting does not get rendered with the advertised precision.

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
A visual change comes about only every 2–3°, whereas the input suggests a precision of 0.01° – which would be appropriate. The current behavior is just way too coarse to work with. The Gradient Overlay shows the same behavior.

To reproduce, simply open a new document, add a Gradient Fill layer (e.g. black to white, linear), set the Scale to 10% and try changing the Angle using the arrows keys with the text input focused (use shift-up/down for 0.1°). You can see the value change, but the gradient actually stays identical until the value reaches the next threshold, which happens approximately every 2.3 degrees – which is quite an odd value for unintended snapping.
Photo of Jens Nüesch

Jens Nüesch

  • 10 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
  • frustrated

Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Chris Cox

Chris Cox

  • 20280 Posts
  • 823 Reply Likes
Which Adobe product are you using?
Which version?
Photo of Jens Nüesch

Jens Nüesch

  • 10 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
The current version of Photoshop CC 2015 16.0.1 on OS X 10.11.1, using a MacBook Pro Mid 2012 with i7 and Intel HD Graphics 4000. I’ve tried using factory settings and disabling the GPU acceleration, but the problem still persists.
Photo of Chris Cox

Chris Cox

  • 20280 Posts
  • 823 Reply Likes
How large an area is your gradient covering? (because a small area won't show a small change in angle)

With a 4K video document, I see a change every 0.35 degrees or so at 10% scale. At 100% scale, I see the gradient change every 0.025 degrees.

But it does appear to be snapping to whole pixel values for some part of the calculation, which limits the precision. And using low percentage ranges for the gradient show a greater quantization effect because of that.
Photo of Jens Nüesch

Jens Nüesch

  • 10 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
You are right, the quantization effect gets more severe with smaller area coverage and lower Scale percentage. For comparison: using an image just 100x100 pixels with a scale of 10% the resutling precision drops below 10°, which means you can have an angle of 90°, then 102° or 78°, but nothing in between – this is no way to work.

Also, when using a constant angle and changing the Scale instead, you can see the effective angle snap around in a cyclic pattern – I guess the programmer might find it to be some trigonometric formula...

In essence: Whenever angle precision matters, one should always leave the Scale setting at 100% and move the gradient stops closer to one another instead. This is a viable workaround, but can be quite cumbersome with a larger number of color stops, so I would still like to see this fixed.