Vector vs Bitmap for dummies

by Kahlil Gibran

There have been a lot of articles over the years about resolution and the differences between vector art and bitmapped graphics. When this one was submitted to our Photoshop Tutorials library through the Photoshop 911 Tutorials link, we immediately liked this approach as one of the more friendly ones. Thanks to the folks at Blogger.Iconshock for sharing this with all our readers ...


vector vs bitmapped graphicsWell... Yes. I'm afraid to tell you that I've come from a land far, far away, just to add to Google yet another post about the differences between vector type images and Bitmaps. So, why should you, dear visitor, continue reading these lines any further? What will make this article different from the rest? Well, for starters, I'm going to insert at the end of this post a hidden URL with hundreds of videos of my steamy, vicious, dirty, prolific sex life, and besides that, this article would be loaded with information so exclusive, so intelligent, so enlightening, that it will increase your credit card limit, save the Amazon rainforest and improve your digestion. How about that?

Hmmm. My nose has grown so much its pushing the monitor away.

Let's get things straight. I'm still in love with a girl that left me almost two years ago, so my sex life is pretty much restricted to my daily dosage of lyrics from AC-DC and The Rolling Stones... the only way to improve your credit card limit is saving as much as you can... and not even god himself can save the Amazon rainforest. Oh, and I really don't care about your digestion.

So with all things cleared out, I will now proceed to write about vector and bitmap images. Of course you are free to go on and make your own steamy videos instead of reading this.

Bitmap image enlarged to see the individual pixels

A vector has the same quality overall, despite how much you rescale it.

First things first. What is a pixel?

Defining a pixel is tricky, because it's a very context dependent concept. A pixel on print is not the same as a pixel on your monitor or on the tiny screen of your camera. But in general terms, a pixel or "picture element" is the minimum unit of information of an image, and corresponds to each dot of light that builds up all the shapes and colors you see on your screen. If you get very, very close to an LCD monitor, you could physically see each tiny square. These small units are arranged in a two dimensional grid alignment.

A normal monitor screen has from 72 to 100 pixels per inch, while in a printing device, the pixel per inch (or dot per inch) measure correspond more closely to the "density" of dot, or in plain words, to the size of each drop of ink and it can vary somewhere between 150 to 300 pixels per inch. (There are specialized printers with up to 4800 DPI or Dots per Inch)

Usually, when you talk about pixels per inch, you are referring to a display device, whereas the term dots per inch refers more to an output device.

As you can tell already from these two paragraphs of confusing info, we are submerging ourselves in a world where looks can be deceiving and the common sense tends to "What you See is Not What You Get"

Ever read "Horton Hears a Who"?

In this trip to nowhere, another concept to be acquainted with is that of image resolution.

... continues on the next page!

27th Anniversary for DTG Magazine