By: Stephen Lauer
Post 8: Final Notes: Raster vs. Vector
There are two types of graphics, raster and vector. Raster images are the majority of the images that are seen on a daily basis. These types of images are made up of pixels that each contains a certain color and when thousands are put together they make up the image seen. Raster images can be of a higher quality when the overall number of dots per inch or dpi is increased. This means that the higher the dpi then the more editable the image is by zooming into the individual pixels themselves and touching up each pixel to adjust how the overall image looks. These are the main advantages of raster images but they also have disadvantages that can cause a need to use vector instead of raster. One disadvantage is when a raster image is enlarged past a certain point the image begins to become distorted and blurry. This makes the image unusable because it is unreadable. The second main disadvantage is that since each raster image is made up of pixels a large sized image is made up of millions of pixels thus making the file size extremely large. An example of this would be that a 10”x10” image that has a dpi of 300 means that the image has 30,000 pieces that the computer has to deal with.
Vector images are the other option which are not made up of pixels but of four points and the computer then fills in the area with a series of lines to make the image. The images below show the comparison of both the types, on the left is the raster image where it becomes pixilated when it is zoomed too closely or enlarged past a certain point. The vector image never becomes distorted since as the four points get further apart the computer continues to fill in the area with lines to keep the image crisp and clear. Now vector images do have disadvantages too. These disadvantages are that vector images can only contain limited information therefore making vector images less detailed in terms of color and content. In the end, both raster and vector images are used for their advantages as each can do something that the other cannot. My advice is to learn when each type is best used to create the best image possible. One example would be renderings are best as raster images while diagrams can be created using vector software for better quality.