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Hour 3. Importing Graphics into Flash > Vector Versus Raster Graphics

Vector Versus Raster Graphics

Vector graphics have certain characteristics because of how they are stored by the computer. A vector graphic file contains the math to redraw the image onscreen. For example, a circle includes information such as the radius, the line thickness, and the color. All the graphics you create in Flash are vector based. Vector graphics have two advantages: The file size tends to remain small (therefore it downloads fast), and the image can be scaled to any size without any degradation to image quality (a circle's still a circle even if it's a large circle).

Vector graphics are great, but it's important to realize their disadvantages. Vector graphics require the user's computer to work harder to display the image (it has to do a lot of math), and vector graphics often look “computery” or antiseptic because they tend to involve geometric shapes. Both disadvantages can be overcome, but you should be aware of them.


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