Compare the relative advantages and disadvantages of bitmap and vector image types.
Bitmap and vector image files are two completely different types of image that both have heavy advantages and disadvantages. A bitmap image is a computer file used to store a picture. It consists of tiny blocks called pixels (picture elements). They are especially suited for the storage of real world images.
In contrast to vector illustration programs, photo-editing programs like Adobe photoshop work with bitmap images. When you work with bitmap images, you can refine small details, make drastic changes, and intensify effects.
The pixels that are arranged and coloured differently to form a pattern. When you zoom in, you can see the individual squares that make up the total image. Increasing the size of a bitmap has the effect of increasing individual pixels, making lines and shapes appear jagged.
However, the colour and shape of a bitmap image appear continuous when viewed from a greater distance. Because each pixel is coloured individually, you can create photorealistic effects such as shadowing and intensifying colour by manipulating select areas, one pixel at a time.
One of the biggest advantages of bitmap graphics is that we can create photorealistic images as we can set each individual pixel to a different colour.
One of the disadvantages of bitmap graphics is that they do not scale very well. Reducing the size of a bitmap also distorts the original image because pixels are removed to reduce the overall image size.
If we try and enlarge bitmap images too much, it can cause the image to appear jagged and usually shows up in diagonal lines, or where two different colours sit side by side. The image will also start to look blurred.
Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon, which are all based on mathematical expressions, to represent images in computer graphics.
Scalable vector graphics are very different from bitmaps. Vectors describe the shape of an object as a series of points connected by curved or straight lines, represented as a mathematical formula. These lines may have a thickness or stroke assigned to them, and the object they create can be filled with colour. These strokes however, can only be one continuous colour and it cannot be changed.
The advantages of using vector graphics are there use of a small file size and the ability to scale the image to any size without loss of quality. This means you can stretch out the image as much as you want without any loss of quality in the image. Vector graphics, however, cannot reproduce continuous tone photographic images like bitmaps. This means that we cannot change the tone and colour like we can in the individual pixels with bitmap images. Also the location of each vertex needs to be stored explicitly.
It is through bitmap and vector techniques and their uses that we can see both their advantages and disadvantages.