Vector images / vector graphics that use geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphics. They contain information about the direction of the line or curve, how thick the line is, and what color or pattern fills the shape.
On the contrary, Raster image, a.k.a. Bitmap image is made up of pixels in a grid (e.g. photographic images). All scanned images and images from digital cameras are bitmaps. While raster images scale with loss of clearness, vector image can be scaled indefinitely without compromising quality.
Scaling an image does not affect the image permanently or does not change the number of pixels in the image. Scaling a bitmap image to a larger size gives a distinct rough appearance, whereas scaling it to a smaller size doesn't have any effect but effectively increases the ppi (pixels per inch) of the image so that it will print clearer.
Common vector formats include:
• AI (Adobe Illustrator)
• CDR (CorelDRAW)
• CMX (Corel Exchange)
• CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile)
• DXF AutoCAD
• WMF (Windows Metafile)
• SVG(Scalable Vector Graphics)
• VML (Vector Markup Language)
• AI (Adibe Illustrator)
• SWF (Small Web Format" or "Shockwave Flash)
One can increase and decrease the size of vector images to any scale and the lines will remain crisp and sharp, both on screen and in print. This makes them resolution independent. An image cannot be scanned and saved as a vector file without using special conversion software.
Vector images can, quite easily, be converted to bitmaps in a process called rasterizing. However, in 3D computer graphics, vectorized plane representations are most common (bitmaps can be used for special purposes such as surface texturing, height-field data and bump mapping).
The main differences between a Bitmap Image & Vector Image are sketched below:
• It is composed of pixels.
• It employs a network of individual pixels where each pixel can be a different shade or color.
• It is composed of paths.
• It employs mathematical relationships between points and the paths connecting them, rather than pixels.
Bitmap image can be completely transformed to a vector image using the smallest number of points possible in a short period of time. This is to have as few points as possible to keep the size of the file as low as possible, thereby retaining a high quality. These created / converted vectors are usable in a variety of tasks like printing, CAD, illustration, embroidery, engraving, web design etc.
Advantages of vector graphics / vector clip art over raster graphics:
1. Vector images can be scaled up & down, rotated, filled, etc without any loss in quality
2. Vector images can be printed in any size or resolution
3. Vector images have no serration.
4. Vector images can be used for manuals/newspapers/brochures.
5. From 3D perspective, shadows can be rendered to vector images.
All converted vector images are drawn manually by photo experts using patterns of accurate text, accurate layer information, associative dimensions, accurate line types, symbols & blocks of standard components and title blocks (as per scale).
An experienced photo editing team handles all images conversion to vector services efficiently and ensures minimum turnaround time for the projects, thus saving a lot of time and effort. The various vector image editing / vector illustration software employed by the experts are:
• Adobe Illustrator
• Xara Xtreme
• Serif DrawPlus
These vector graphics / vector clip art program are used to make the initial file, and then create a raster version for an optimized, Web-ready file.
Corporate organizations, portrait studios and public are now exploiting the various advantages of vector images and vector clipart / vector graphics than other conventional formats. Scalability to any size without much loss of quality makes it ideal for portraits, logos or other images that require resizing.
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