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Chapter 4. Pixels, Vectors, and Resoluti... > Defining Raster and Vector Artwork

Defining Raster and Vector Artwork

Vector art generally produces sharper images than raster when printed. Raster, however, can incorporate special effects and techniques that are impossible to reproduce in a vector art program, and it can reproduce fine variations in color. Illustrator is, at heart, a vector illustration tool. Photoshop is the premier raster program. With the releases of Illustrator CS and Photoshop CS, the line continues to blur between the programs. Each program, however, specializes in one type of artwork and has some capability with the other.

What Is Raster Art?

The term raster refers to a grid. In the case of digital art, the grid consists of rows and columns of pixels. The pixel is the lowest common denominator in raster art. Each raster image is made of a series of squares, and each square can be exactly one color. These squares (pixels) cannot be subdivided. They are the smallest element in an image, and all images are made of them. Figure 4.1 shows a raster image and a close-up of the pixels used to display the image.


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