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Chapter 1. Pre-Maya: A Primer > Computer Graphics Primer

Computer Graphics Primer

If you've used a product such as Photoshop, you probably already know the terms and general methods of computer graphics and can skim forward, but these terms are so fundamental to progressing with computer graphics that I've supplied a recap of them in the following sections.

Vectors and Pixels

You approach computer graphics in two primary ways: vectors and pixels. Vectors are a connect-the-dots approach; a fixed point on a picture has a connecting line to the next point. After several lines are made, you can close the line and fill in the resulting shape with color. This approach is sometimes called line art. Because the endpoints and lines are at absolute points in space, you can create line art at any scale without loss of quality. This approach is excellent for hard-edged graphics, such as signs and logos, and programs such as Corel Draw and Illustrator use this method. Vector files are only a collection of connect-the-points directions and are usually quite compact.


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