# Raster vs. Vector

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Art Studio' started by Kyoji, Feb 18, 2007.

# Raster vs. Vector

1,097 Views
1. ### Kyojiｳｯｰｳｯｰｳﾏ

Member
2
Apr 15, 2003
:'(
Ok, so here we are. You've come here because you've never seen the word raster, much less have any idea what it means.
I'm here because I've seen you use the word vector incorrectly.
And it bothers me.

So here we go:

Raster
Raster images are the most common. And by most common, I mean 99% of anything you see on the net will be raster. Raster images have extensions such as: .jpg, .gif, .png, .bmp, .tif, etc. Raster images are defined by pixels. They are simply a grid that tells the computer this pixel at this coordinate is this color. Anything you export out of Photoshop will be a raster image. Yes, even those "vector" pictures everyone posts are raster.

I'm sure at this point you must be thinking, "But Kyoji, if a "vector" picture is raster, then whats vector?!"

And so I tell you.

Vector

Vector images are the least common. And by least common, I mean 1% of anything you see on the net will be vector. Vector images have extensions such as: .eps, .ai, .swf, etc. Vector images are defined by a mathematical formula. They are simply a shape that is defined by an equation on a coordinate plane. Anything you export out of Illustrator or Flash (with a few exceptions) will be vector. Since a vector image is defined by a formula, the image can be enlarged or shrunk to ad infinitum and never lose quality. Next time you watch a Flash movie on Newgrounds (because I know you watch movies on Newgrounds) right click on it and select "Zoom in". You'll notice the curves and edges of objects never get jaggy. Cool, yea?

It's important to note that even if an image was made in Illustrator for example, if you are looking at it through a webbrowser, 99.999999% of the time it will be raster. So don't call it vector. Or I'll yell at you.

Now for my bone of contention. Since you now know the difference, please, PLEASE do not comment on a raster image and say "I like your vector " or "Your vector is so cool!" Vector is NOT a style, nor adjective. For the love of design, do not use it as such.

2. ### Monkey01GBAtemp Advanced Fan

Member
2
Aug 27, 2006
The Netherlands
Hey, you have a .swf in your sig. Nice vector.

But anyway... when someone creates something in flash, then exports it as an image (.png), we say "Nice Vector", you=angry? How exactly should we call the vector like looking shapes that are not really vectors then...?

3. ### Kyojiｳｯｰｳｯｰｳﾏ

Member
2
Apr 15, 2003
:'(
Vector image I beleive is the proper term.

4. ### phooodtaking it to a whole new level.

Member
2
Jul 28, 2006
Jewgoslavia

I was thinking, "This is awesome".

But for some reason.... diviantart has a "vector" category.
So if you truly want the world to recognize the difference, give them a heads up.

5. ### Kyojiｳｯｰｳｯｰｳﾏ

Member
2
Apr 15, 2003
:'(
Well, their section is somewhat justified. When I used to be a DA head (about 3 years ago, lol) the vector section was for vector based images. So it was (and hopefully still is) appropriately named.

Well that and they wouldn't ever listen to me even if it was wrong

6. ### jumpman17He's a semi-aquatic egg laying mammal of action!

Former Staff
6
Apr 11, 2003
Even if the image is shown as a jpg or other raster format, as long as it was made in a vector program, I still call it vector. Stationary (as in not moving) vector is great for printing, NOT for showing off on the internet.

7. ### mthrniteSo it goes.

Former Staff
7
Jun 30, 2006
th' south
So how are you Kyoji, with the term "vector art"?

I've always considered something made with vector manipulating tools (Sculpt3d, Illustrator, pen tool in Photoshop) to be vector art. It never occurred to me that it's outputted form would change it, except that it would be a bitmap image of vector art.

Even if you see the Mona Lisa on TV, the Mona Lisa itself remains a painting... so you say "hey! I know that painting, it's The Mona Lisa" not "hey! I know that rasterized image, that's the rasterized version of the painting The Mona Lisa!" You just kinda know it's a painting, even if you can't see the brushstrokes, and you call it a painting even though it's really a stream of electrons squirting through a vacuum tube.

Hell, even when you're looking at a real painting, you're seeing light reflected off of it. "I'm really enjoying the light refelected off of that paint over there.."

Just like you see something obviously done in Illustrator, and you say, "hey, nice vector art!" or "Nice vector!" of whatever you damn kids say these days.

I'm not just trying to be contrary. Maybe I'm missing your point, idunno. Somebody straighten me out for gods sake..

8. ### Kyojiｳｯｰｳｯｰｳﾏ

Member
2
Apr 15, 2003
:'(
There are many people that use the word vector to indicate a style. I've seen countless examples where someone shows an image that was obviously made in Photoshop, but since it was just simple shapes, people exclaimed "Nice vector!" when it was in no way shape or form a peice of vector art.

Yes, things made in a vector based program are vector art. But things not made in a vector program are not vector art. I guess I sort of missed that in my original post.

9. ### mthrniteSo it goes.

Former Staff
7
Jun 30, 2006
th' south
Ok, cool, thanks for clearing that up.
Sorry to belabor the living hell out of my point.. ahh, you know how I am by now.