Could Enviroment Banding Be Reduced in Cycles?

To just take a guess…

It appears that Rhino is using a method of adjusting the intensity of a background by actually adjusting the background itself. Perhaps some of the finer dynamic aspects of the HDRi are being used, but the result often looks poor, and is a dead give away, making the backgrounds look 16-bit.

Perhaps an adjustment to truly darken the image on the screen might help this–instead of reaching for the very bowels of the HDRi, which may not be there. I suspect that some people may actually want to white out their ski-resort image someday.

[Oddly, I know someone who designers ski lodges–in Alaska.]

I don’t want move the midtones, I want to lower the brightness, and yes that means crushing the low tones to make the whole thing look darker, and not like…

This may or may not be the reason in this case, but typically HDRs are very poor in dark areas. The compression they use doesn’t handle this very well

If you can, use an EXR.

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Thank you @andy , but that’s what I was getting at: many of these things won’t be done that well.
A real brightness (attenuation-only) control would help.

I noticed this same problem with planar backgrounds, too.
Have you tried evening backgrounds that worked well?

This is Rhino with a low intensity.

This is the first image, lowered in brightness in Photoshop. I am sorry about the masking, but the background is smoother.

This background is either a picture, or a texture applied to an object.

This is the source image. “It too, is imperfect,” but I like better the way it is.

If I was looking for a tool to discover the defects in a mediocre image for scientific examination, I would be happy, but the net result is, the area of luminosity shows banding, and makes the image look 16-bit.