• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Part II: Flash Methodology > Working with Vector Art

Chapter 8. Working with Vector Art

by Robert Cleveland

In this chapter

Importing Vector Art into Flash

Cross-Development with Adobe Illustrator

Importing 3D Illustrations Efficiently into Flash Using Swift 3D

Optimizing Your Vector Work

Troubleshooting Vector Art

Did You Know?

Vector graphics are digital images that use mathematical statements to define lines and shapes that compose the final picture. This stands in stark contrast to a raster image, which uses information on each individual bit inside the picture to display the final results (hence the often-used name bitmap).

So, for example, a raster or bitmap image will define a single black line running across a white background as a collection of black dots situated next to each other. The vector graphic version, on the other hand, will describe the line as two points that are connected.

Vector images become advantageous in certain cases, such as the line example, because the information required to describe the image is substantially lower. And when you need to transmit this over a Web connection, lower is better.

But vector images are not always the best solution. For example, imagine a picture of a wheat field at sunset. The individual strands of grass, each with its own subtle hue, and the mottled blue and orange sky with lots of fluffy clouds all need to be described as curves, lines, and areas in a vector image, resulting in a huge file with scores of curve and line statements. Something with this level of detail would be better served by describing the individual pixels rather than every single blade of grass.

Luckily vector-based artwork always has been part of the program. Competent illustrators usually have several software packages they use to render various effects. Most of these vector-based software packages were used for simple graphic or text manipulation, but rarely in the final product.

And in essence that doesn't change with Flash. These collateral programs can be used to prepare elements for import, with Flash being the final focus point for assembly and creativity. Only now you can introduce other effects—motion and sound—into the final picture.

It's safe to say that as your knowledge base of graphics improves, so will your final Flash presentations. Rarely do you see a fantastic movie that doesn't rely heavily on vectors to give it strong, animated features. It also is safe to say that to become truly skilled in vector art development, you will need to look outside Flash, at other software applications, to improve those skills.



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint