Bitmap vs. Vector graphics
- Bitmap images/files are made up of pixels. Pixels can be compared to building blocks where each pixel or block is assigned a colour and a space on a grid. The file size of an image is based on the number of pixels that make up the image.
- Bitmap images are not easily scalable and quickly degrade when enlarged. When a bitmap image is enlarged, the file size increases. Since no new information or resolution is added, this increase in file size is deceiving.
- Bitmap files are used primarily for photographic images or scans.
- Bitmap images are usually created and edited with industry-standard programs such as Adobe Photoshop.
- Some standard file extensions for bitmap images include .jpg, .tif, .bmp or .eps.
- Vector images/files are mathematically based and are made up of points and curves.
- Since they are made up of points and curves, vector images have smooth clean edges and can be easily enlarged. Therefore, they are resolution independent. When enlarged, the vector image file size does not increase substantially.
- Vector images are ideal for technical illustrations, drawings, and logos.
- Vector images are usually created and edited with industry-standard programs such as Adobe Illustrator.
- Some standard file extensions for vector images are .eps and .ai.
NOTE: The .eps format can accommodate both bitmap and vector information so it is not a reliable way of distinguishing between bitmap and vector files.