Vector vs Raster: What Do I Use?

Rather than being comprised of square-shaped pixels, vectors are made up of mathematical curves and lines, meaning vectors display visual information differently than raster images. Both vector and raster images create visual content such as photographs, illustrations, logo designs, and icons. That’s why even simple Ai logo maker tools out there make use of these two formats.

raster and vector difference

A raster depicting an oil spill can show how the fluid moves from high concentration to low concentration. At the source of the oil spill, concentration is higher and diffuses outwards with diminishing values as a function of distance. A continuous raster surface can be derived from a fixed registration point. For example, digital elevation models use sea level as a registration point. In a discrete raster land cover/use map, you can distinguish each thematic class. Cartographers use polygons to show boundaries and they all have an area.

& Influence on the UI Design World

And you can upload raster images to vector-based design tools, like SVGator’s asset library, and include them in your SVG projects. This makes them ideal for detailed illustrations and complex shapes, whereas raster images work best for high-resolution photos and scenes. Meaning to say, if you need a complex image with lots of detail, then a raster image is probably your best bet.

  • Vector images are ideal for scalable graphics, such as logos, banners, typography, and web design; however, they are not as good when it comes to displaying digital photos.
  • But this comes at a cost for speed of processing and data storage.
  • Type and fonts are also created as vector images, which allows you to change the size while maintaining quality.
  • This is a screenshot of the farmer’s face on the example vector logo from above, zoomed in as far as the computer would allow.
  • We’ve covered the key differences, advantages, and disadvantages between raster and vector graphics in their respective explanations; now, let’s break them down for comparison purposes.
  • Rasterizing an image changes the file from a vector format to a raster-based image.

Raster images are often called bitmap images because they are made of millions of tiny squares, called pixels. You can identify a raster or bitmap image by looking at it very closely. If you zoom in enough, you will be able to see the square outlines of each pixel (especially around edges where there are dramatic color contrasts). You can resize them without consequence, go back and edit their paths/anchors again if you want to, and you’ll likely save much more storage space than you would have otherwise.

Vector vs Raster Graphics

Finally, you may need to select the most appropriate format and source of spatial data for your urban planning project, based on your research questions, data availability, and technical requirements. Data selection is the process of evaluating and choosing the most suitable spatial data for your specific purpose and context. Data selection can be done using various criteria, such as data quality, scale, coverage, and compatibility. Data selection can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your urban planning project, but it may also require trade-offs, compromises, or adjustments. Raster images use pixels, which means that every element of your image will be fully rendered at all times.

raster and vector difference

This comes in handy when there are restrictions to file sizes or image storage. While a vector image file has many advantages, there are compatibility issues when shared. You must have access to vector-based programs in order to edit the native files. Sometimes, you may need to convert vector data to raster data, or vice versa, depending on your urban planning objectives and tools. Data conversion is the process of changing the format of spatial data while preserving its essential information.

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Unlimited access. Rasterized effects can be added to vectors, but it’s not the same as a true vector and things like scalability and resolution become factors to consider. Out of all the software available, Adobe Illustrator is the most popular, and its popularity has led it to become the industry standard. Vector images also have the tendency to stand out with their attractive use of color, texture, depth, and layers.

More pixels result in better quality at the same or larger sizes as the original, but this also increases the size of the file and the amount of space it takes to store the file. Resolution limits the size the image can be scaled up without being able to see pixels. However, a high resolution image printed raster and vector graphics difference at a small size will cause the pixels to “cram” together and will make the image look as unprofessional as not having enough pixels in a large image. Raster images are best for photos, while vectors are best for logos, illustrations, engravings, etchings, product artwork, signage, and embroidery.

raster and vector difference

This means that raster images cannot be resized without distortion because the number of pixels are fixed. The more pixels, the higher quality (or resolution) the image is, given that there is more opportunity for color blending when viewed from a distance. At the same time, fewer pixels means that an image will show up as tiny or will ‘pixelate’ when resized because there are not enough pixels to provide seamless shading. Because the files are only identified by mathematical descriptions and not individual pixels, files are often much smaller than those of the raster counterparts.

Envato Elements starts at $16 per month, and is the best creative subscription we’ve ever seen. Generally speaking, there are also far more programs and apps that support raster formats compared to those that support vector ones. They’re more flexible as each shape is separate and you can scale up and down as much as you like, but it’s harder to make the images look natural. But if you view it at 1000% in Photoshop, you’ll notice that it loses clarity because the pixels simply become too large. The image below shows a very small section of the photo displayed at 1000%. This is a screenshot of the farmer’s face on the example vector logo from above, zoomed in as far as the computer would allow.



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