General Question

leeloo's avatar

What is a vector when talking about graphics?

Asked by leeloo (28points) March 11th, 2009
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4 Answers

blastfamy's avatar

vector graphics center around points plotted on an art board. Vectors describe equations that are graphed between points to form shapes… The shapes are filled to create art. If you want an example, go to and look up Illustrator.

dynamicduo's avatar

Sometimes it’s easy to define vector by looking at what it is not, which is raster aka bitmap. Bitmap images are images constructed with pixels, essentially building blocks of all images on screens. The image is limited to the size it was created at, making it larger gives ugly results and making it smaller gives less than beautiful, but passable, results.

Vector images, on the other hand, are not composed of pixel building blocks. Each vector object corresponds to a mathematical formula which describes the shape of the object. The objects are only rasterized (sometimes not even done) at the final stage of production when it is sent out to print or ready to use otherwise. This means that I can scale a vector image to 500% and the mathematical formulas will regenerate the shapes perfectly, thus I can increase the size of the image by any amount or reduce it by any amount and get a much better looking image than with raster.

The wikipedia article for Vector images provides a great explanation. Please look at the image in the top right corner to see a very simple yet easy to understand explanation of what I’ve described above.

theladebug's avatar

Yes, the great thing about vector graphics is that they can be re-sized to any size and still look perfect.

Bri_L's avatar

@dynamicduo – beautiful! Much lurve! And they taste great to.

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