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Chapter 18. Raster Images and Rasterized... > The Difference Between Vector and Ra...

The Difference Between Vector and Raster

The two basic classifications of digital images are vector and raster. Vector image files, such as those native to Illustrator, contain descriptions of geometric objects. Raster image files (also known as bitmap images) contain descriptions of colored pixels arranged in a grid or raster.

The two types of artwork have their strong points and their weaknesses. They are designed for different jobs, and they do their jobs well. Determining when to use which, when you have a choice, depends on a variety of factors. Sometimes file format requirements dictate whether your illustration can remain vector or be rasterized into a series of pixels. Sometimes you need to incorporate a raster image into an illustration, and such artwork needs to be properly prepared for best results.


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