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Vector Graphics

History & uses.

Tim Samoff

on 21 January 2014

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Transcript of Vector Graphics

Vector Graphics
& Uses
Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphics.
Vector vs. Raster
Vector = pixel precision
The vector graphics advancement in computer graphics came from an MIT student named Ivan Sutherland.
In 1961 Sutherland created a computer drawing program called Sketchpad.
Using a light pen, Sketchpad allowed one to draw simple shapes on the computer screen, save them and recall them later.
Modern vector graphics displays can sometimes be found at laser light shows, where two fast-moving X-Y mirrors are used to rapidly draw shapes and text on a screen.
Typical Primitive Objects...
Bézier curves
Circles and ellipses
Lines and polylines
Text (in computer font formats such as TrueType where each letter is created from Bézier curves)
Vector graphics editors typically allow rotation, movement, mirroring, stretching, skewing, affine transformations, changing of z-order and combination of primitives into more complex objects.
More sophisticated transformations include set operations on closed shapes (union, difference, intersection, etc.).
Vector graphics are ideal for simple or composite drawings that need to be device-independent, or do not need to achieve photo-realism.
Vector art is key for printing. Since the art is made from a series of mathematical curves it will print very crisply even when resized. For instance, one can print a vector logo on a small sheet of copy paper, and then enlarge the same vector logo to billboard size and keep the same crisp quality.
A low-resolution raster graphic would blur or pixelate excessively if it were enlarged from business card size to billboard size.
An Example of Converting a Photograph Into Vector Graphics
Original Photo
The "vectorized" version.
There are several vector file formats... Typically we will use:

AI (Adobe Illustrator)
PDF (Portable Document Format)
SWF (Shockwave Flash)
SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
Full transcript