The vector images are defined mathematically, based on their geometric characteristics. To be precise, a vector image is described by a set of geometric primitives that describe points, lines, curves, and polygons to which we can attribute colors and shades. They are radically different from raster images, which are described as a grid of properly colored pixels.
1. In most cases, vector images will require lesser disk space than a bitmap. They are mostly formed by flat colors or simple gradients because of which they do not require a lot of disk space. Lesser the information to create the image, smaller is the file size. Thus, they are given more preference in comparison to other images.
2. Vector images do not lose quality when they are scaled. In principle, a vector image can be scaled indefinitely. In the case of matrix images, a point is reached where it is evident that the image is composed of pixels. Thus, the quality of vector images is superior to other forms of images.
3. They can be easily saved and modified in the future. The best part is that, the process of modification is quite simple as well. All kinds of changes can be easily managed without any difficulty. Even if a file is modified, the resultant file does not occupy a lot of space. This is another reason why they are used across industries.
4. The process of creating them is quite simple as well. In fact, using simple drawings we can get complex vector images without a lot of difficulty. Simple and user-friendly programs such as Macromedia Freehand, Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator can be used for creating simple drawings, which can be converted to vector images.
1. They are generally not suitable for encoding pictures or videos taken in the “real world” (for example – photographs of nature), although some formats support a mixed composition. Virtually all digital cameras store images in bitmap.
2. The data used to describe them must be processed by a powerful machine, i.e. the computer must be powerful enough to perform the necessary calculations for forming the final image. If the data volume is high it may slow down the rendering of the image on screen, even when working with small files.
3. Another disadvantage is that, even small drawing errors are often visible, when the images are enlarged to certain extent. Such an incident can affect the quality of the images, especially when they are used in the field of animation.
Despite the fact that vector images have a few disadvantages, they have a wide range of applications and are implemented in the fields of computer graphics, architecture and engineering etc.