When creating original images in media design, vector images are a term designers quickly get familiar with. Unlike their counterpart raster images, vector images are completely editable. Since these images are complex, all vector image file formats are not readable by consumer-grade digital applications. However, these files are compatible with most professional design software applications. In this article, we will cover what makes vector images so useful and how to fully take advantage of their features.
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All vector objects consist of numerous points connected by lines or curves. These points have a corresponding position on the X- and Y-axis of the work plane. Vector objects can contain as few as 3 points (a triangle) while very detailed objects can contain thousands of points. This means the number of points can play a large factor in a vector image’s file size.
When creating vector objects, once you’ve connected the two end-points (beginning and end) that set of points becomes a path. More complex graphic effects can be applied across multiple paths by combining them into a compound path.
Since vector objects consist of points on a working plane that have a corresponding numerical value, vector image files are completely editable. This typically takes a design software application which utilizes a computer processor to execute the re-scaling calculations.
Web browsers and consumer-grade image viewing applications don’t have a need for vector image file compatibility. Raster image files are a much better option and are covered in another resource article. Once a vector image is created is very simple to create a raster image file as a placeholder. Vector image files are typically created by media designers to be stored for later use and editing.
Demanding File Size
Storing enough data to allow for editing can add up quickly on vector image files. A highly detailed vector object means more points. Each point is extra data as well as storing the several attributes associated with points. Although a single vector image file size may not seem too impactful. As a working professional, storing hundreds or thousands can take up space on a hard drive quickly.