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Chapter 16. Working with Vector Graphics... > Understanding Vector Graphics

Understanding Vector Graphics

Flash was originally designed as an animation application to translate old-style, incremental animation to the Web. Given its roots in cel animation, drawing has always been at the core of Flash. Although perhaps not as sexy as the scripting and complex interaction now possible, drawing is still essential to getting the most out of Flash.

Though computer screens always display pixels, computer software can define shapes in two ways: vector and bitmap. A bitmap is defined by a grid of pixels, like tiles forming a mosaic. Bitmaps contain color information for each pixel, plus the dimensions for the image, and define images pixel by pixel. Bitmaps are great for displaying subtle variations in color, such as photographic images. But what if you want to change the size of a bitmap image? Well, you either have to re-create the image at the desired dimensions or stretch the image, usually with undesirable results.


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