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Chapter 5. 2-D Tools > Illustration

Illustration

Illustration tools are designed for creating vector artwork. Vectors differ from bitmaps in that vector art uses scalable lines, rather than pixels of a fixed size, to define an image. The difference is significant in that vectors are editable and scalable (you can adjust and resize them) without any change in the appearance of the image. This makes vector art well-suited to graphic design for print work, in which you may want the same logo to appear on a letterhead as well as on a billboard, for example.

In animation, vector-based artwork has another advantage: At larger sizes, it is very compact compared with bitmapped art. You can put a vector animation on a Web site and have it play back at full-screen, and it won't take up any more Internet bandwidth than the same image sized to fill only one-eighth of the screen. The irony is that until vector formats (such as QuickTime's Vector codec and Macromedia's Flash) are more widely accepted as standards, most users will simply convert their vector art to bitmaps—in programs such as Photoshop.


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