Define: Vector Image

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Vector Images

Broadly speaking there are two types of computer image files. They are Bitmap and Vector. Graphic types of images tend to be Vector and images with texture like photos tend to be Bitmap.

Vector: A vector image is a computer image that uses a Wire Frame or Outlines to define a shapes area. This is made up of mathematical descriptions of paths and fills to define the graphic. A vector image is drawn in shapes and lines called paths. There are various types of Vector Images:

Vector Images tend to have a small electronic file size (KB or MB). Flash uses vectors because of the files sizes are small so the files download quickly. Because the image is stored mathematically the width and height size of an image is not important. You can enlarge a vector image and there is no loss of image quality. Even though an image may look bigger in width and height the electronic file size (in KB) remains unchanged!!


Vector images are commonly used in:

To create Vector images you would use programs like Adobe Freehand, Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw. Most 3D programs would use Vectors.

Definition: Because Vector images are made up of shapes with outlines they are not good at handling images that have textures such as Photos. For this you use Bitmap type images: Bitmap Image

Cross Ref: Tutorial - Pictures for the web


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