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Chapter 2. How Illustrator Works > Vectors and rasters

Vectors and rasters

There are two main types of picture-making applications: bitmap (or “raster”) and object-oriented (or “vector”), and it's important to know their strengths and weaknesses. Bitmap programs are ideal for creating soft, painterly effects, whereas object-oriented programs are ideal for creating sharp, smooth shapes and typographic designs (logos and the like).

Drawings created in an object-oriented program like Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia FreeHand are composed of separate, distinct objects or groups of objects that are positioned on one or more layers. Objects are drawn using drawing tools, and are mathematically defined. An object drawn in Illustrator can be recolored, resized, and reshaped without diminishing its sharpness or smoothness, and it can be moved easily without disturbing any other objects. An object in an object-oriented drawing will look smooth and sharp regardless of the size at which it is displayed or printed .


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