The difference between Vector and Bitmap graphics
What are vector graphics?
Vector graphics are created in graphics packages using geometrical formulas to represent shapes called objects. These consist of points, lines and curves.
Even if an object in a vector graphic is large, it doesn’t need a lot of computer memory. Therefore the file size of a vector graphic is often very small.
Vector graphics are scalable. They can be scaled to a larger size and as a result do not lose any image quality.
What are bitmap graphics?
A bitmap graphic is composed of many tiny parts, called pixels, which are often many different colours.
Since the computer has to store information about every single pixel in the image, the file size of a bitmap graphic can be quite large (e.g. many megabytes).
When you enlarge a bitmap graphic, depending on it’s resolution, it tends to lose quality (i.e. it will become pixelated).
|Vector graphics||Bitmap graphics|
|What are they made up of?||Objects||Pixels|
|What can be edited?||Individual objects||Individual pixels|
|What is the file size?||Small, as the computer stores details of objects, which do not require much memory||Large, as the computer stores details of every pixel|
|What happens when they are resized?||They do not lose quality||They lose quality|
|Common file formats||.svg, .ai, .eps||.bmp, .jpeg, .gif, .tiff, .png|