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Part II: Members In Detail > VECTOR MEMBERS



Using Shape Members

Using Vector Members

Using Flash Members

Source movies for this chapter can be found on the CD-ROM in the “Book Movies” folder under folder 7.

You can divide still-image computer formats into two groups: bitmaps and vectors. A bitmap is a collection of colored pixels that stores an image. A vector is a description of lines, curves, fills, colors, and other information that can be used to construct an image.

Bitmaps can be used for all sorts of images, but have one main drawback: They are already set to a certain size. You can shrink bitmaps without much trouble, but enlarging them results in a loss of quality. With vector graphics, on the other hand, you can stretch the image to any size without changing the level of detail. Vector graphics are not useful for complex images, such as photographs, however. The descriptions of such images would make the file huge and a burden for the computer to interpret.

Although bitmap images are stored pixel for pixel, with color data recorded for each pixel, vector graphics are stored as a description. This description typically states positions, colors, and curves of lines, rather than information on specific pixels.

For those of you familiar with graphics programs, bitmaps are typically created with such applications as PhotoShop, Fireworks, Painter, and other image-editing software. Vector graphics are typically created with applications such as Macromedia Freehand and Adobe Illustrator.

In Director, you can use three types of vector graphics. The first is a group of simple shapes, such as circles and lines, which are built into Director as special cast members. Second, you can create simple vector graphics as vector shape cast members. Third, you can import and use images and animations created with Macromedia's Flash tool.



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