Understanding Vector vs Bitmap Images

Have you ever tried enlarging images and then images became blurry? Is there a way to enlarge images without losing quality?

The answer is:

Yes - if images are Vector graphics
No - if images are Raster (Bitmap) graphics

First, take a look at the following example.

The Raster (Bitmap) image becomes blurry when enlarged, however the Vector image keeps the same resolution regardless of enlarging the size.

The second, let's explain the difference.

There are two types of images in the digital world - Raster (also called Bitmap) and Vector.

Raster (Bitmap) images are composed of pixels. Every shape is composed of thousands of pixels which is why we cannot see individual squares while looking at a bitmap image. Each pixel is a tiny square with assigned color value. They are created using a grid of pixels to define the image. When you attempt to increase the size of an image created in a raster based program, the pixels defining the image can be increased in either number or size. Increasing the number of pixels or making the pixels bigger in an image results in the original data being spread over a larger area. Spreading the pixels over a larger area causes the image to begin to lose detail and clarity.

Generally Raster images are created through the process of scanning source artwork or "painting" with a photo editing or paint program such as Corel PhotoPAINT or Adobe PhotoShop. Pictures taken from a camera are Raster images. Majorities of images on the Internet are Raster images as well.

Popular Raster file format extensions include: JPG/JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, et al.

Vector images are made of lines and curves (or paths). They can be scaled up or down without any loss of quality. When an illustration (drawing) program sizes a vector image up or down, it simply multiplies the mathematical description of the object by a scaling factor. For example a 1″ square object would need to be multiplied by a factor of 2 in order to double in size. The math is simply recalculated to produce an object twice the size of the original. Because vector images scale up or down without the loss of image quality, they can be output at any resolution both on screen and in print.

Generally Vector images are created through the process of drawing with vector illustration programs such as CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator, or PowerPoint.

Popular Vector file format extensions include: EPS, AI, CDR, PPT/PPTX, WMF/EMF, SVG, et al.

In short,

Raster (Bitmap) images - generally refer to photographs, pictures - with great color detail, but canít enlarge without becoming blurry.
Vector images - generally refer to illustrations, drawings - with ability to enlarge without losing quality.

Here are key points about vector images
* Scalable
* Resolution independent
* Transparent

All PPT diagrams we developed are vector graphics and can be scaled to any size without loss of resolution. In addition, you are able to freely change line/filling colors and extract/combine them to create your own illustrations for your presentation. To learn more, View & Download Sample Illustrations

> Next Tips: Save PowerPoint Slides as 300 DPI High Resolution Image Files

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