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Chapter 6. Deeper into Graphics > Paint versus vectors

Paint versus vectors

Now that Director has introduced the vector shape, you have two main forms of graphics to choose from when creating images internally: vectors and bitmaps. So how do you decide which is appropriate? Well, the decision is generally not that difficult: The areas of possible overlap are generally pretty small, and if you have a situation where either type will work, you'll probably choose the vector shape (if only for its smaller file sizes). To make a decision, keep these points in mind:

  • Bitmaps are ideal when you're dealing with complex images. They allow you to control the image on a pixel-by-pixel basis.

  • Vector shapes are ideal when you need a simple, smooth image with less detail than you find in bitmaps.

  • Vector shapes can be resized without distortion, whereas bitmaps generally become jagged when resized.

  • As pointed out earlier, bitmaps store information about each pixel, whereas vector shapes are a mathematical description of the shape. This allows vector shapes to use much less RAM and disk space than an equivalent bitmap.

  • Because they use less RAM, vector shapes load faster on the Web.


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