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Vector and raster images (Bitmaps)

There are two main types of computer graphics: vector images and raster images. Understanding the difference between these two types of images is useful when you're creating and editing digital images.

Vector images, such as those created in Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW, are made up of mathematically defined lines and curves called vectors. For example, in a vector-based program, you draw a blue circle with a radius of 1-inch in a specific location on the page. You can then move, resize, or change the color of the circle; the program always references the mathematical definition of the shape. Vector-based programs are best for type and bold graphics, such as logos, which require crisp, clear lines at any size.
Bee-Line images are CNC ready
Raster images (Bitmaps), such as those created in Adobe Photoshop, CorelPaint, Paint, etc, consist of a grid, or raster, of small squares, known as pixels. For example, a 1-inch blue ball in a raster image is made up of the collection of pixels in that location, colorized to give the appearance of a ball. When you edit the ball, the program references the pixels in the grid. Raster-based images are best used for working with continuous-tone images, such as photographs or images created in painting programs. Because raster images are resolution dependent, they can appear jagged and lose detail if they are scanned or created at a low resolution (for example, 72 pixels per inch or ppi) and are then printed at a high resolution.

Note: Because computer screens are made up of a grid of pixels, both vector and pixel images are displayed as pixels. Vector-based products render their shapes into pixels for display.

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