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Part II: The Meat of the Matter > Working with Vectors

Chapter 4. Working with Vectors

Vector graphics are objects defined by equations, which include information about the object’s size, shape, outline, color, and position in space. This makes the graphic resolution independent, which means that the file size remains the same if the graphic is a tiny dot on your screen or a filling a huge area.

Vector objects have much smaller file sizes than other file formats because their code is comprised of mathematical equations, just like those Trigonometry equations that you had to plot in high school math. Remember having to draw parabolas on the board from quadratic equations? You changed one number and the parabola doubled in size.

This is the same math that defines the vector graphics in Fireworks. Simple mathematical changes directly affect the geometric properties of the vector and thereby the shape, size, and dimension of your drawing.

The greatest advantage to working with vector graphics on the web is that their file sizes are very small and “portable.” You do not have to wait for insane download times with vector graphics—they load in a jiffy! It is vector graphic technology that makes Flash animation on the web viable. Instead of redrawing a graphic pixel by pixel for each “frame,” vector graphics are scaled based on an original equation. (To really understand their power, check out www.macromedia.com/software/flash/.)

Note

We discussed vector graphics in Chapter 1, “What’s New and Different in Fireworks MX.” For a quick history review, refer to that chapter.


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