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Chapter 19. Raster Images and Rasterized... > The Difference Between Vector and Ra...

The Difference Between Vector and Raster

Vector art generally produces sharper images than raster. Raster, however, can incorporate special effects and techniques that are impossible to reproduce in a vector art program, and can reproduce fine variations in color. Illustrator is, at heart, a vector illustration tool. Its sister program, Adobe Photoshop, is the premier raster program. With the releases of Illustrator 9 (with its transparency capability) and Photoshop 6 (which now employs vector type and simulates vector objects), the line is blurring between the programs. Each program, however, specializes in one type of artwork and has some capability with the other.

What Is Vector Art?

To understand the difference between raster and vector, you need to understand how vector art works. Vector art is recorded in a file as a series of mathematical relationships. If you were to translate the file data into English, it might read something like this:


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